I am in a position of privilege in many way. One is that I have a job that I love, that offers meaning, purpose, value, significance every day.
I am guilty of taking this privilege for granted at times, though this rarely lasts long.
Pursuing a dream job that allows us to make a living and gives us purpose is not something we are entitled to.
I have a friend whose parents moved to America to give their kids opportunities. The parents are nearing retirement after working 2-3 menial factory jobs each for the last 20 plus years, after owning their own company in Mexico. The work they do in these jobs is monotonous and frankly below their skill level. These jobs have also made it possible for them to put 5 daughters through college as first generation immigrants. You can’t convince me or them that their job doesn’t have purpose.
One of my best friends works as a chemist. He has always been open about his relative boredom and dislike of his job, but he has never let that come out of his mouth without saying that he is grateful for the opportunity it provides him to be a volunteer YL leader and to be the dad he wants to be because he doesn’t bring any emotional work home with him.
My generation (millennials and younger) too often looks down on our parents generation for the way they stayed in jobs they dislike simply for the pay check. We think they lacked courage to chase their dreams and idolized financial security.
The pendulum will swing back in the other direction in the next generation. As my kids pay off their student debt they will wish that I had cared more about financial security and less about making a difference in the world. They will tell themselves that they will provide security for their kids that I wasn’t able to offer them.
So yes, chase your dreams, but don’t look down on those whose dreams don’t involve a job that doubles as their life’s mission.
Yes search for a job that makes you come alive, but don’t believe you are entitled to it.