My first job out of college was my dream job. I’m not kidding—I remember screaming after I got the call offering me the position. It had everything: the appeal, the connections, the opportunities for growth, and of course, a super cool office. It was everything I could have dreamed—until it wasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong—it was great. I mean, I was incredibly fortunate that my first job just so happened to double as my dream job. I spent a little more than two years with that company, and I got to work with some incredible people, learned more than I ever could have imagined in that short amount of time, and got plugged into countless opportunities within the community. Then one day I thought to myself, “If this is my dream job, what else is left?”
I had spent so long trying to get to this one point in my life that I didn’t know what to do next. Nothing sounded as appealing to me as it had in college. I had learned more about my skill set and about the different areas in which I could apply them, and unknowingly, it turns out that my dreams had changed.
Fast forward to my current position, and I find myself tossing around phrases like “dream job” all over again. I am so incredibly fulfilled, and I can honestly say that I get to do my job instead of feeling like I just have to go to work. However, if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that God has a plan for me, my life, and my career, that exceeds anything I could dream. I don’t know where He’ll take me from here or how I’ll continue to grow, but if my first few stops on this crazy train are any indication, I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
The fact is, there’s no perfect timeline or checklist of things we should all be comparing our lives to. Our chapters all look different, and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m grateful to have figured out that my “dream job” wasn’t the be-all and end-all for me because now, instead of focusing on one end goal, I get to enjoy the ride and be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves.
Here’s what I’ve learned about “dream jobs”—or actually, most things in life.
1. You don’t know what you want until you find it—and even then, things are subject to change. It’s impossible to predict what will be a good fit for you until you’re in that role. Some job or opportunity may sound appealing to you on paper and turn out to be completely different than what you expected. Sometimes, you think you know exactly what you want—only to have a role show you there’s something else you desire more.
2. Hold your goals and plans with open hands. You might have your mind set on a specific path only to have divine intervention throw you a curveball at the last second. When you make plans for the rest of your life, it’s almost like you can hear God laughing, so keep your mind—and your options—open. I love the reminder we find in Proverbs 16:9—we may make our plans, but it’s God who determines our steps. So don’t try to pigeonhole God. It’s fine for us to have goals and ambitions, but hold them with open hands, trusting that God’s plan is far better for us anyway.
3. Opportunities are bigger than what you can dream up. Don’t limit yourself to your dreams. What seems like an impossible task is only impossible until you achieve it. If you aren’t open to new possibilities, you’ll be terribly disappointed when you reach that mountaintop you’ve been dreaming of only to find out that there’s much more out there. It’s like what Ephesians 3:20-21 says—God can do immeasurably more than we can even think or imagine. And it’s for His glory! So ask God to give you God-sized dreams. Because when you do that, you’re building your faith and trusting that God is who He says He is.
Your future has much more in store than you could ever imagine, so stop thinking that your current dreams are the ultimate accomplishment. Let your dreams motivate you, but be okay with a change of pace because you might not be dreaming big enough. It can be hard to remember, but often, the best is yet to come.