Setting high, but realistic, career goals are part of any successful career plan, but the fact is that sometimes you’ve got to take advantage of the job you have while pursuing the job of your dreams. Even if you hate it and dread even the sight of the building, you still have to pay your bills, save for retirement, and fund the path to your ideal life. To this end, it is necessary to stay motivated, productive, and somewhat satisfied with the situation you are in, so that you can eventually reach the situation you’d prefer to be in.
For starters, you have to make the most out of whatever job opportunities come your way. Of course, most of them will not be ideal but odds are there are at least a couple of aspects of your job that help you push through the day. Maybe you really like your coworkers or perhaps the job you’ve been pining after is located within the company for which you already work. The point is, the environment in which you work (and your attitude) can offer as much satisfaction as the work itself.
Even if the above conditions are not true for your situation, you can still feel confident in your knowledge that your steady employment shows you to be a stable, reliable, and talented employee who takes responsibility seriously, even when in a less-than-ideal situation. Looked at another way, your current position can be used as a personal motivational tool. Even though it can be difficult to see sometimes, there are job opportunities everywhere, even if they aren’t necessarily your perfect cup of tea. Once you’ve taken one of these opportunities, you may find that being able to work with people you like, a flexible schedule that suits your lifestyle, and in an area that you love can actually give you greater satisfaction than taking a job that looks great in theory but may be able to provide you with the job satisfaction that you seek. The important thing is to identify a factor, or factors, that bring your job satisfaction, find a job that provides these factors, and learn to appreciate the value of that satisfaction. You may even find that your dream job arrived in a different form than you had ever imagined.
The moral of the story is that even if you can’t find the job of your dreams, but can find opportunities that bring you job satisfaction, make the most of them, become motivated by them, and recognize the experiences as further evidence of your value as an employee; a trait that will not go unnoticed by future recruiters and hiring managers. Keep your eyes open and stay aware of the job opportunities all around you and remember that, to a large extent, your job and career are what you make of them.