My Dream Day Job
What would your dream day job look like? Coffee shop delivery? Catered lunches? A speech room with windows that open? Coworkers that get you? An office of your own with a small caseload?
For me, it would be a job with my own office, friendly coworkers, and a supportive boss. Of course, I wouldn't turn down a coffee delivery, too. :)
A Word on the Term "Day Job"
Like many of you reading this, I have hobbies, passions, friends and family, side gigs and an up-and-coming side hustle. My day job pays the bills. I don't expect it to meet my every need. I think this is an important distinction at a time where people say this is the best job in the world and that their job is their passion and calling.
Passion Thinking Leads to an Overwork Reality
I call that kind of thinking dangerous. In my opinion, that kind of thinking gets us teetering on the edge of burnout and overwork. If our job is our reason for living, we will find all sorts of excuses to spend more time at work and less time doing life, which is what really matters. Work matters, a lot - but let's keep it in perspective.
Please. Don't think you were created and put on this earth to be a speech-language pathologist. With this kind of thinking, the stakes are too high, and the mighty will fall with today's caseload sizes and work requirements. Being an SLP is something you do (and only some of the time at that). Being an SLP is not your identity. Being an SLP is not who you are.
Your Dream Job
So, back to that day job. And, back to that dream job. What if we marry the two?
Dreaming is important. I mean, that coffee delivery thing could be the wave of the future. Although, I'd take a room with windows, too.
Now, let's keep our feet firmly planted on the ground, even while our head is up in the clouds.
Could there be a dream day job? What would that look like for you? Knowing your job won't fulfill your every wish and desire (and knowing that's not what jobs are for anyway), where does that leave us?
It leaves us defining our values. What is important. What we want from our day jobs. Head in the clouds, feet on the ground.
Your Dream Day Job
Lately, I realized that my "day job" is my dream day job. Right here, and right now. There are really, really hard parts. But ultimately, I work with nice people. I enjoy the work I do. Instead of feeling drained at the end of the day, I feel I was helpful and did good work. I take pride in my job.
That’s my wish for you, too.
When I go home, I’m not too emotionally exhausted to interact with my family.
When I get called into my boss’s office, I’m not afraid I’ll be demeaned or get yelled at. I know I will be treated respectfully.
When I get an email from a coworker, I know 99% of the time, it’ll be incredibly kind and understanding.
I feel like I’m right where I need to be. And that feels wonderful.
Your Dream Day Job
So, here’s my dream day job wish for you.
I want you to wake up and feel good about going to work, knowing you can be helpful and get your work done.
When you get into your office, I want you to feel a sense of optimism that you can do your job and do it well (instead of a sense of dread).
When you are working, I want you to be treated respectfully and kindly. I want you to have good boundaries with your coworkers and clients.
When your work day is done, I want you to be able to leave work knowing you did your best and your work is done – at least as much as possible.
When you get home, I want you to love the heck out of your friends and family because you still have energy left at the end of the day, because you didn’t use it all up working an unworkable job.
That’s my dream job wish for you.
I haven’t always been in this space, so I know what the other side is like.
How to Get to Your Dream Day Job
So, if you haven’t already – start paying attention to how you feel before, during and after your work day. From there, use that information to help you decide if it is time to make a change.
If you already have your dream job, congratulations - you are one of the lucky ones.
If you learn from tracking your feelings that you don’t have your dream job, change what you can. If that doesn’t help, think about if it’s time to leave.
Secret Project (Shhh!)
Also – psst...I’m playing around with the idea of making a workbook for SLPs who want to change jobs or job settings and want some encouragement and guidance. If you are interested in something like that, let me know via our website contact form and write "Job Change Project" on the first line of the message, and then explain why you'd like a resource like this and how you'd use it. Also feel free to add any questions you'd like answered in the workbook. If I get enough responses, I’ll get to work on it (probably this summer).