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Beware of getting your dream job

Beware of getting your dream job. Many people who burn out, do so whilst in the best job of their lives.

This was a surprising pattern we heard in our interviews with people who had burned out. These people weren’t miserable. They were thriving. At least to start with.

People who got their dream job often experienced three conditions:

· They were great at their job

· They loved doing it

· There was an endless demand for what they could offer

This made them valuable, respected and needed. Happy days.

But there was a dark side. The desire to meet the need, prove their competence, and help other people came at a cost. To themselves. Eventually, they were giving so much of themselves, that there was nothing left to give.

Some were able to course correct – I need to slow down, say no, set boundaries – but many pushed on. Until the tank was empty.

We should aim for careers that are a good fit for us. For many people, dream jobs turn out to be great.

But, it is worth being aware that great jobs have a shadow side. When everyone wants what you’ve got, you’re holding a double-edged sword.

Proceed wisely and look after yourself. The work is endless, your energy is not.


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