Forget About Your Dream Job?


Does a truly fulfilling lifestyle require that you build a magic box that generates cash while you sit on a beach in the South Pacific? Do you have to whittle down your work hours to only a handful per week so you can have time to pursue your dreams?

That’s what Tim Ferriss, author of the popular book about lifestyle design, The 4-Hour work Week, advocates:

...this book is not about finding your “dream job.” I will take as a given that, for most people, somewhere between six and seven billion of them, the perfect job is the one that takes the least time. The vast majority of people will never find a job that can be an unending source of fulfillment, so that is not the goal here; to free time and automate income is.

Ferriss is right that most people won’t find unending fulfillment in their job. Many people look to their careers for general happiness only to miss opportunities to do other things during some of the best years of their lives.

A dream job may still be worth pursuing, however. Some “jobs” can lead to genuine fulfillment. A lifestyle of automated cash flow, minimal working hours and unlimited mobility isn’t for everyone.

Lifestyle design is about examining your life and your goals and thinking unconventionally about how to make things possible now instead of later.

It’s probably true that most people would prefer to spend as little time working as possible. That doesn’t mean your ideal lifestyle can’t include pursuing your dream job.

In fact, it could be quite the opposite. Don’t forget about your dream job if it will lead to a lifestyle you really want.

Everyone contemplates what a dream job might be for them. Reasons for considering something a dream job probably include money, location, working conditions, what you get to work on, fame, recognition, etc. The lifestyle a dream job would enable is part of the thought process, but maybe not the primary consideration.

Someone practicing lifestyle design would turn that process around. Instead of thinking about the type of job you might like to do first, a lifestyle designer would start by identifying the key lifestyle aspects any job should allow for.

For most people, time and mobility are the most sought-after lifestyle components. Having a lot of free time and mobility with enough money will enable you to live like a millionaire without being one.

That’s why so many people are trying to become start Internet businesses and why there are (supposedly) now more full-time bloggers than computer programmers.

Maybe you have a real passion for something and feel that pursuing it as a career would make you happy. By all means, you should pursue that passion.

While you’re planning that dream job, however, you might want to consider how that it could be even dreamier by allowing you more free time and mobility. Otherwise, your dream job could become reality only to find out you hate the lifestyle it affords.

Even If you’re not planning a dream job, there’s a chance you can still negotiate location independence from your current job. You can use the concept of lifestyle design to your benefit, no matter your situation.

Do you have an idea for a dream job? What kind of lifestyle would it enable? Let me know in the comments!

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photo by DrBaloney

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Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I’ve been writing here since 2009. Join my email list for new articles about supporting yourself doing something you love: