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Expanding the Definition of Dream Jobs

Expanding the Definition of Dream Jobs


Doctor. Lawyer. Business manager. Traditionally, these have been among the list of aspirational careers. And according to new data, 15-year-olds are increasingly thinking more traditional in their ideas of dream jobs, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 


The only problem? The jobs that teenagers are dreaming of could increasingly be getting complemented with new digitalized jobs or jobs that don't even exist yetWakeup call: we need to start thinking of new dream jobs. According to ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage survey, the most in-demand roles include IT, skilled trades and technicians.  


“It is a concern that more young people than before appear to be picking their dream job from a small list of the most popular, traditional occupations, like teachers, lawyers or business managers,” said OECD Education Director Andreas Schleicher said. “The surveys show that too many teenagers are ignoring or are unaware of new types of jobs that are emerging, particularly as a result of digitalization.”  


So how can the next generation of workers prepare for and find satisfaction in this future world? Here are ways to expand thinking around what makes a desirable career and find the best fit.  


Open new doors  

The new jobs are out there – but they aren’t always attracting applicants. According to ManpowerGroup’s survey of employers, the single biggest driver of the talent shortage is simply a lack of applicants. For employees, this is a signal to test the market and apply for jobs even if you are content in your current role. Given the demand for talent, employers are more willing to pay a premium to hire.  


Discover what drives you  

A majority of Millennials say purpose is a priority in a career. This is important to know in assessing your career goals, because there may be new avenues to apply your purpose into emerging jobs. Ask yourself what you would do if a paycheck wasn’t on the line. Nurture this curiosity and desire to explore new things, which translates into Learnability and discovering new jobs that suit you.  


Find a mentor  

For many in the next generation, mentorship is key to gaining a foothold for their career and life. Young employees can get ahead by discovering new applications for their skills from mentors.  A university alma mater, your current workplace or a professional organization will help match a young person with a mentor that aligns with their interests, needs and personality. A beneficial mentor can help steer people into careers they may have never considered before.  


In summary, it’s a new era with new types of careers. Technology is impacting the jobs available and how they are conducted. Those entering the workforce should keep an open mind about what a dream job looks like, and how they can prepare for one.