Do you want your dream job or your dream lifestyle?

Did you graduate from college with a “dream job” in mind?  I know I didn’t – I graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration, work experience from a myriad of internships, and no idea what to do with my life after I took my last college final.

My generation feels an immense amount of pressure from parents and peers (and maybe themselves) to spend their childhood and young adult years exceling in school. Despite all this prep, over half of Gen Z are anxious to take the next step of entering the workforce, fearing our skills aren’t applicable to the working world and that our future is out of our control. We subject ourselves to intense anxiety over something we can’t define: who’s to say we even have a dream job?

One thing I did know when I graduated was the lifestyle that I wanted to live. I wanted a job that gave me the freedom to maintain a regular exercise routine, attend appointments and social events, and travel when I can. Most of my friends worked from home when they started their jobs after graduation in 2020. I admired their ability to stay in different cities and socialize after work while exceling in their roles. Seeing my friends have legitimate work-life balance made me want the same for myself. I’m not alone here: Quarantine fostered a new approach to full-time work, and now flexibility is the top factor that employees look for in an employer.

I can tell you from personal experience that getting your “dream job” is not always as fulfilling as it seems. My first job was a supervisory role in the logistics department of one of the largest companies in the world. I may have felt accomplished and received praise from my LinkedIn connections by accepting the role, but the fame faded as quickly as I realized that the job wasn’t for me. The job was in-person with a strict schedule and required the same tasks to be completed every… single… day. My employer had below average benefits (many holidays weren’t given off) and the culture didn’t align with my values. I don’t blame myself for leaving, and I definitely wasn’t the only member of Gen Z that transitioned jobs for a better option.

Luckily, it’s 2022 – an age where working from home is normal, remote jobs are widely available, and living my dream lifestyle was attainable.

After talking with friends, family members, and trusted mentors, I decided to apply to Caster. I don’t know if there’s such thing as a “dream job”, but PR is well aligned with both my skills and my personality. Writing blogs, social media content, and pitches allows my creativity to shine, and my extroverted and amiable qualities thrive when connecting and developing relationships with clients and teammates. This is work I like and feel confident doing – and unlike my old role, it changes every day.

Caster too is always evolving. I joined a team that up until the pandemic had only one non-RI based employee and now is split with half the team located across the U.S. from RI to California. In my first month here, I travelled to meet with our team where I participated in a thorough training program by day and was wined and dined by night. During that time, I witnessed the sale of our beloved 4000 sq/ft bright-yellow office in quaint Wakefield. With half our team now remote, the Caster headquarters is transitioning a 750 sq/ft office suite located in the upcycled and modernized co-working space at Innovate Newport in downtown Newport, RI.

This is an agency that adapts to the times, allowing the Caster Crew to build our dream lifestyles while staying at the forefront of client needs. My job with Caster is remote, and I manage my billable hours around meetings and client need. I love having the freedom to finish my work at the times that work best for me rather than having a strict 9-5 schedule. Having a flexible schedule is more sustainable, for the individual and the company, keeping the employee happier and more productive during logged hours.

Our generation is witnessing new methods of making income emerge left and right, as side-hustle culture is trending. Gen Z is breaking down the barrier of having a traditional corporate job to pursue what they enjoy and making a living out of it. With ample opportunities now available, it couldn’t be a better time to find a job that is right for you.

So, what is your dream lifestyle?  Managing your own schedule? Traveling often? Being your own boss? I encourage you to take a second and imagine what that is for you. Start by deciding the location and time(s) of day that you want to work. Specifically, think of what you would do hour-by-hour during your ideal workday. Once you figure that out, it’s much easier to narrow down the type of job that fits those requirements rather than vaguely defined career goals.

Regardless of what point you are in your career, I encourage you to find a role that is conducive to the life that you want to live. Whatever you may choose, remember that it’s okay if you don’t land the job with Google or take the job with Apple, as long as your job works for you and makes you happy.

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Comma Chameleon

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