Career Advice, Jobs, Watercooler

Why Do People Quit Their Dream Job?

There’s plenty of talk these days about finding the dream job. Job seekers routinely jump through hoops to get the job that any professional would covet – a position at the big hot company with all the perks and all of the pay. After all, it’s what you’re socialized to do. You compete for degrees at the best schools and then start it all over again by going after the best jobs.

However, success does not mean happiness. Just because you have a job that looks great on paper doesn’t mean you’re going to be fulfilled. Often, you’ll land a dream job only to realize that it’s anything but. Here are four reasons people come to that realization and quit their dream jobs:

Flexibility wasn’t an option
No matter how much money you’re making and how “great” the company is, if there is no flexibility to take care of life’s everyday needs, the dream job may fade. No one wants to sneak out for doctors appointments or take PTO just to manage the electrician coming to the house. If flexibility is not integrated into the work structure, professionals tend to reconsider their job choice. In a survey conducted by Mom Corps, a national talent acquisition and career development firm, 39% of working adults considered leaving or have left a job because it wasn’t flexible enough, and 73% agree that flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider in a role.

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The boss ruined it
Job satisfaction wanes if you end up having a poor relationship with your direct boss. Direct supervisors are one of the top reasons professionals report liking their jobs or not. When professional land great jobs without thinking about how their personality and working style will match up with their boss, it can be a recipe for disaster. A direct supervisor is often a gateway to more opportunities and is supposed to be an advisor in helping to identify and solve problems. If this relationship is taxed, it can be the defining factor in leaving a dream job all together.

The “dream” changed
Every opportunity is a stepping stone in learning about yourself – what energizes you and what contributions you want to make in this world. Sometimes, those learnings have opened up a whole new world and thus a new dream. Just look at Oprah Winfrey…She left a highly successful talk show at the epitome of its success to do something she’d never done before but knew she needed to do – create and run an entirely new cable network. Her dream evolved as so many people’s do.

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Shiny toy syndrome
Many dream jobs are like shiny new toys. They seem great and people jump all in without thinking about how the needs of this job are aligned with what will energize them every day. Career expert and author of the forth-coming book The Career Experiment, Baily Hancock, shares why exactly this happens. “Everyone has a unique set of wants and needs in their careers, so what might seem like an amazing job could be a terrible fit for you. It’s important to align your core motivators to a company culture, since it’s that combination of motivators that make one company right for one person but awful for another,” she says. Without taking the time to consider this, people often figure out that their dream job isn’t so ideal for them.

If you take these factors into consideration the next time you’re considering your dream job, you might just find exactly what you’re looking for.


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