Is there such thing as a dream job?

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A poll of UK workers this week found the dream job consists of five things: a supportive boss; a 16–20-minute commute; 29 days of holiday; a 21–30-hour work week; and £44,355 pay packet.

As HR understands there is no 'one-size-fits-all' though, is it futile to pursue such an ideal?


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Shakil Butt, founder of HR Hero for Hire, argued that the idea of a dream job is a moving target, and so it will always be just a dream.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “Employers need to move their focus away from creating the ideal dream jobs for the many and consider, within their capacity, how they can adapt their organisations to better reflect what individual employees really wants from their employer which is not likely to be consistent experience for everyone.”

Rather than sticking to hard and fast rules about the ideal work week and annual leave, Butt said employers should consider employees' priorities when creating roles.

He said: “Ultimately work is a means to an end whether that is having a certain lifestyle, purpose, time with loved ones, personal development, being outdoors, etc. So that is probably the starting point for thinking about what your employees really want from work and whether your workplace is even the right one for them.”

However, the one thing Butt agreed is essential is having a supportive boss. With that, he said, all other contractual terms and conditions are negotiable.

Tanya Boyd, learning architect at training and development provider Insights, on the other hand, argued that the dream job is much more reliant on the content of the role rather than terms and conditions around how people do it.

Boyd told HR magazine: “I do believe that dream jobs exist, but I believe they are defined much more by the content of the job itself and the match between an individual person and a job, rather than a generalised list made up of pay, hours and commute time.

“One person's nightmare could be another person's dream job, but it has to do with the work itself and the meaning that one finds in that work rather than with how many paid holidays they receive.”

The survey, by industrial equipment supplier Raja Workplace, found that one third of UK workers have already found their dream job.

Almost all (95%) respondents asked said their work environment is important to job satisfaction, and over a third (36%) of respondents prized their work culture higher than salary.

Raja Workplace’s survey was based on the views of 2,000 workers in the UK.