Should I Follow My Dreams or Get A 'Real' Job?

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The question we all ask ourselves: should I go with my head or heart? Should I chase after that dream job or take the safe route? You can either be a realist or and idealist when it comes to life, or even a bit of both. If you're somewhere in the middle, you might find yourself stuck on which career path to choose. How do you give yourself the best life possible? Do you follow your dreams and find eternal happiness? Or choose the safe route and have guaranteed financial security?

There are pros and cons to both so if you're unsure whether you should take that risk and follow your dream or play it safe, it's important to compare your options:

Pros of Following Your Dreams:

  • You'll wake up everyday getting to do what you love.
  • Can you live your life knowing that you didn't go after the one thing you always wanted? By following your dreams you're staying true to yourself and potentially having the life you've always dreamt of. If you can dream it, you can achieve it and if you want it bad enough, there's no reason why you can’t have it.
  • You will have a constant drive to achieve and reach your goals because you're working for yourself.
  • You're potentially creating a better and happier life for yourself by doing what you love and what you were born to do. If you’re skilled in a particular area then you owe it to yourself to pursue it and make the most of your skill and talent.

Cons of Following Your Dream:

  • It may not guarantee financial security. This is where the realist part of me would advise you to plan carefully to make sure you have a secure future for yourself. I highly recommend following your dreams however I know it's very important to have financial security. Just make sure your dream can assure you security in life too.
  • It may take a lot longer to go down this route rather than the 'traditional' job route. Overnight successes rarely happen and a lot of successful people have worked very hard every single day for years to get close to their dreams. If you're chasing your dream then you more than likely have a lot of drive and ambition so this shouldn't be a problem, but just be aware it may take you longer to reach a steady income in life if you're going after a big dream.
  • It may be harder to actually make your dream a reality than to choose a steady job.

As you can see there are a lot of pros to following your dream, and being a big dreamer myself, I highly recommend that if you're passionate about something then you should go after it full speed ahead. That's not to say that a 'normal' job may not be for you either, so here's a list of pros and cons of going down the 'safe' career route.

Pros of A 'Safe' Career:

  • *Almost* guaranteed financial security. Not every job can guarantee you a good pay cheque but you're more likely to have a stable income sooner if you choose the school-university-job route. It's no secret that we live in a world where we need money to survive so it's a safer bet to choose a 'normal' job if money is your main focus.
  • Security in the workplace. A lot of people start at entry level jobs and work their way up the career ladder and although no job is guaranteed, you may have more job security in the long run this way.

Cons of A 'Safe' Career:

  • If you're choosing a job purely because it's safe and will make you money, you could end up very unhappy in life. Money does not equate to happiness and you should never make a decision based on it. We all like to be safe but stepping out of your comfort zone is so important especially when it comes to your career.
  • The 'safe' job may not be the job you really want and therefor it could negatively impact your mental health. An unhappy job can really affect your state of mind so choose carefully when it comes to your career path. Life is long, so make sure you're doing something that you love.

While I'm not qualified to tell you exactly what to do with your life, I strongly urge you to find your passion and fight to make it your livelihood, whether that's through an untraditional route or the standard job route. You are responsible for giving yourself the best damn life possible and doing that by any means. Follow your dream and make it a reality.

Read: 10 Reasons Why You Should Follow Your Dreams

You Can Do Both

There's no reason why your dream career can't involve safety and financial security too. You can always work a 'normal' job while you're on the road to achieving your dream. Not only will you have some experience in the 'traditional' job field to fall back on but it will give you the funds to allow you to pursue your dream.

Inspire Yourself

A great way to help you decided on how to get started with your dream career is getting advice from others. I highly recommend a book by Aliza Licht called Leave Your Mark: Land your dream job. Kill it in your career. Rock social media. She gives great advice and guidance on how to kill it in your career and get your dream job at the same time. You'll feel hella inspired after reading this.

Another super inspiring book by Jen Sincero is You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. It's a brilliant how-to guide on creating a life you love and make money doing it.

Go With Your Gut

A lot of people describe this predicament as choosing between your head or heart, however I'm telling you to ignore them both and follow your gut. Ever heard of a gut instinct? If you have a gut feeling about something, always go with it. Trust your gut, you can always try both career options or even work a day job and pursue your dream at the same time!

Happiness or Money?

It comes down to what your goal in life is and what you really want. Is your goal to make a lot of money? Is it your goal to have a fulfilling purpose? Although money is important, it shouldn't be a deciding factor in your life and happiness. Chase the dream, not the money. Your happiness is ultimately what matters, regardless of money or status. Choose the path where you wake up everyday feeling happy and fulfilled. 

Regardless if you're going for the safe job or the dream job, don't be the person who says, 'What if', be the person who says, 'I did.'

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  1. Very inspirational post! Loved it. Special thanks for the book recommendations. Must take a look at them deeper! Have a great start into the new week! :) xx Essi

    1. Yes I find reading to be so helpful to get me motivated! Thanks for reading :) Emily x

  2. Great post! I am both an idealist and realist, but have always been a dreamer at heart so i try my best to follow my dreams thats all you can do really!

    1. I'm a bit of both too, and yes it's always good to follow your dreams in the long run. Emily x

  3. Hey Emily! I loved this post, I recently wrote a post on my blog about something similar, in the same topic. Could I share the link to this post on my blog when I publish it? It was really helpful! (Don't worry I won't share without your permission! (: )

    B The Fox ♥

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