People Are Talking About The Death Of The "Dream Job," And Honestly, It Makes Perfect Sense

    "This is not a ‘dream job.’ This is not ‘a great culture.’ This is not ‘great benefits and perks.’ This is the baseline that every single person deserves in exchange for spending half of their waking hours at work."

    Ever since the start of the pandemic, the younger generations have become less and less enamored with hustle culture and the ideal of the dream job. As a popular TikTok sound summed it up, "Darling, I've told you several times before. I have no dream job. I do not dream of labor."

    There are several reasons for this growing discontent. First, there's stagnant wage growth that wasn't keeping pace with the cost of living — even before inflation made going to the grocery store into a financial obstacle course.

    And then there's the 24/7 always-on work culture that leads to absurd situations like people getting disciplined by HR for not answering texts from their boss on vacation.

    Plus, for those who had the privilege of working from home during the 2020 lockdowns, cutting out their commute gave them more time to spend with loved ones and on hobbies, which led many to question why work had occupied such a big place in their lives before.

    For many of us, what this all adds up to is a sense that we're being asked to work harder and harder and to sacrifice our personal lives for diminished rewards. How are we supposed to dream of labor under these conditions???

    stressed out woman working in an office

    Well, recently these sentiments have even been leaking over onto LinkedIn, the professional networking site that's often associated with hustle culture cringe and crying CEOs. Instead, these days people are taking to LinkedIn to talk about their desire for more balanced lives and the idea that it's okay for your job to simply be a job.

    "During this cloudy time, it’s important for all professionals to remember this: Your current job is the vehicle, not your destination," wrote Andrew McCaskill, LinkedIn Career Expert. "Forget about the ‘dream job,’ and instead focus on building a career that aligns with your top priorities, whether it be salary, flexible work, work-life balance or advancement opportunities. Determining what your ideal work ‘lifestyle’ is should take priority as you tackle this next stage of your career."

    man in business suit and construction worker shaking hands

    Here are a few more popular LinkedIn posts that show how the platform is shifting towards a new understanding of work's place in our lives:

    "You deserve to be paid well enough for your work that you can afford a place to live, childcare, healthcare, healthy food, and an occasional splurge on a 40-hour work week, without needing a second or third job… This is not a ‘dream job.’ This is not ‘a great culture.’ This is not ‘great benefits and perks.’ This is the baseline that every single person deserves in exchange for spending half of their waking hours at work."

    Bonnie Dilber, Recruiting Leader

    "On paper, I had a dream job, a nice sounding title, and a comfortable salary at a well-regarded organization. In reality, what I really had was microaggressions, invisible minefields, and a deeply ingrained undercurrent of racial hostility that constantly tripped me up and eventually eroded my confidence and self-esteem."

    Danielle Prendergast, Ph. D

    "I don't like the term 'dream job,' because it doesn't exist for me. Granted, I used to use that term incessantly, but what I realized going through life was having a 'dream manager' was the important aspect of any job. You can love what you do, but if you have a bad manager, that ruins everything and can cause significant stress, anxiety, and other mental health struggles."

    Eric Vento, CPP

    "It's okay to take a job that isn't your dream job because you need work. Even if you don't plan to stay long-term. It's also okay to turn down a job that isn't your dream job to wait for something that is. This job market is rough. Do what you need to do to take care of YOU."

    Alyssa Rhoda, Director of Talent Acquisition

    "Moving to a foreign country, making a career 180 and starting fresh with new friends and colleagues from different cultures and backgrounds—it's been a lot! With all the life changes, these are the biggest career mindset shifts I've fully come to embrace this year: F*** the concept of a dream job, because the most fulfilling aspects of my life happen outside of work. As Gen Z puts it, 'I don't dream of labor.'"

    Emily Y. Fung, Marketing and Communications Professional

    "At the end of the day, a job is a job. It doesn’t have to be 'on-brand' or an extension of who we are as a person. It doesn’t have to be our identity. I hope that if given the choice, we choose a job – where we spend 2,080 hours (86 days!) each year – that is able to provide us with our basic needs and more."

    Jordan Santos, Social Media & Community Consultant

    Can you relate? Tell us what you think about "dream jobs" in the comments!