Dream Job

  1. I see so many posts about a "dream job," which typically exists at a place the poster does not currently work. How does one decide that a job is your "dream job"? You've never worked there. Often, you have never worked as a nurse. Maybe I'm just old and jaded, but I don't get it. How did you determine a job is your "dream job"? Ever think you got your "dream job" realized it was completely miserable (I'm guessing often, as the expectations are set so high).
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  3. by   meanmaryjean
    I've often wondered the same thing. I suspect it's a function of age. Much like a 'dream man/ woman/partner'. You eventually realize they are a figment of your imagination, lower your expectations and find happiness.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    I think many people who come into nursing, regardless of age, do so from a desire to live a life that contributes to the well-being of others. That is an idealistic push that gets you through the rigors of school, which are considerable. Often people go into nursing with a sense of only wanting to do one particular type of specialty, either based on a passion of theirs (ie: pediatrics or NICU...just love those kiddos/babies) or a personal experience (ie: NICU or oncology because of self or family member who went through it). There is a certain desire to control the outcome of all that schooling. After all, nursing is scary and hard and somewhat gross sometimes. Having a specialty in mind may help negate the anxiety and fear that goes with caring for others through a boost of emotional attachment.

    Sadly, as stated in the previous posts, this often is founded on unrealistic or inaccurate ideals and this is one of the big reasons that new nurses find the first year so hard. None of it matches up. Either one doesn't get into the specialty or employer hoped for (this is awful..if only I worked in XYZ area like I wanted or for XYZ Medical Center like I wanted) or one DOES but finds the politics are hairy or the learning curve far more intense than suspected or sick kids and their families aren't always very easy to deal with or the staffing doesn't allow for the type of care that was imagined in the first place etc etc etc. All involve coming to the realization that the imagined outcome doesn't match up with reality. Some people eventually manage to assimilate into the realities of nursing as it is or their chosen specialty or employer as it is, others leave and continue to chase that ideal with varying degrees of success in finding it.

    Long story short, it is rooted in idealism that has nothing to do with reality. The deeper the fantasy, the rougher the adjustment to reality. Either way, it is all part and parcel of finding out what you want in life versus what is really out there for you to have. I don't feel irritated with it as much as pitying. Most of us went through it to one degree or another and it hurts. Hopefully most make the transition to reality and find little ways to continue to honor their initial drive that lead them to this career.
  5. by   RNperdiem
    Yup, it is about expectations. The term "dream" in this context is a vague term. Often it is used as a word interchangeable with "fantasy".
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Dreams are just that, until hard work and sacrifice, make them reality. It's just a simple as that.
  7. by   KelRN215
    At this point in my life, my dream job is being paid to travel the world permanently.

    When I was a new grad, I easily obtained what I considered to be my "dream job." In a few years it had become a nightmare. Now mostly I want a job with M-F normal hours, good PTO and good health insurance.
  8. by   beekee
    Quote from KelRN215
    At this point in my life, my dream job is being paid to travel the world permanently.

    When I was a new grad, I easily obtained what I considered to be my "dream job." In a few years it had become a nightmare. Now mostly I want a job with M-F normal hours, good PTO and good health insurance.
    Now there's a dream job I can understand!
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    After 20 years' nursing experience, and 10 years in the USAF, I have had many notions of a "dream job" Right before graduating nursing school, my "dream job" came to me quite by accident, in the form of an interested OB unit manager who on the advice of one of my nursing instructors, called me and asked ME for an interview. I came into nursing JUST to be an OB nurse. It was a dream come true, in every way.

    But like all dreams, some things and sometimes, they go sour. I was getting burnt out on the long shifts (sometimes in excess of 13-15 hours), without time to pee or eat, (you don't know pain til you realize 13 hours in, you have not been to the toilet and what comes out is orange-brown eww)------and I tired of some of the horrible family situations I saw babies being born into. I came to strongly dislike my job. It made me tremendously sad, since this was what I thought I would do til I retired. But my body aches and exhaustion and age, I guess, caught up with me and I knew I was done in OB. I had no business there the last couple years I was. Life is funny and things change sometimes, beyond our control.

    I spent a year or so floundering, figuring out what I would do, worked a nursing home (I love the elderly) and also surgical nursing and in a doctor's office. I finally landed in dialysis, quite by mistake, ( a friend was a PCT and told me about it)----and found I loved it. I liked the hours better and the fact I got to know my patients; some became like family to me.

    Now, I am in a managerial position, regular hours (actually I decide when to go in and when to leave) and have the option to work from home on occasion, and again, the dream is alive. I am challenged beyond belief, sometimes to the point of exhaustion and wanting to quit. But I know I am making a difference not just in patients' lives but those of my team. I also get to travel on occasion for conventions and education, which I have found I really love. Interacting with nurses around the country is amazing and such a wonderful learning experience. Now that my kids are grown and working on their own, I really can do whatever I want without the worry of childcare (I homeschooled my kids on a schedule of 2 nightshifts a week). I made it work somehow for a lot of years. Once the kids grew up, the possibilities of new experiences opened up like flowers in springtime.

    Life is not a dream; the reality is, we have to figure out what we want and stop at nothing to get it, working hard and being true to ourselves and others; honesty and hard-work win each time.

    My current position allows me some flexibility in hours and I am salary, which can be a blessing and a curse. When there are callouts nursing wise, I usually wind up covering them. But then I can elect to work from home the following day to catch up, uninterrupted, and get it done. I love working with my staff, talking to them, getting to know them and round daily on both them and the patients to make sure everyone is doing ok. I am in a position to effect some change culturally and practice-wise and that is wonderful.

    How long will I do this? I have no idea. I am already thinking of what may be next. Maybe case management or working from home for insurance companies or something. Telecommuting has its attraction for me as I live "out in the sticks" near the west coast. Not having to drive into work every day, and doing the job in my jammies, has a definite appeal especially as I get older. I am not afraid to take a leap of faith and try something new which in just the past few years, I would never have had the guts to do. Staying in one position was "security" for me but miserable in the end.

    So, you see, in my example, the "dream" has changed, many times over. Never set your sights on just one thing. Be open to all possibilities; try new things, and be brave and make the changes needed to keep you stimulated and current----and ready to learn. That way, your career CAN be the "dream" all of us hope for but can be so elusive.

    Really, hard work, good reputation, being reliable and respected are critical to having and keeping any "dream job". That will win you the "dream" more than settling on one specialty without opening your mind to all possibilities. That's what has worked for me for almost 21 years now.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 16
  10. by   AnnieOaklyRN

    I believe my "dream job" is NICU and have been trying to get into one for many years. I am willing to take the chance that it may not end up being something I love once I actually do it, but since the only way I will ever know is if I try, I have to keep applying.

    Truth of the matter is that people have an idea of what they think would be their perfect job, but no one knows how true that is until they experience it, and if you never experience it your life is full of what ifs and if only...

  11. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I believe the "dream job," changes as we change and move through our life stages. What the dream looked like right out of school, when I was 22, is very different than where I am now as a mid career with young kids. I have had two dream jobs, and they both looked drastically different.