Is There Such a Thing as a Perfect Job?

The concept of a "dream job" is similar to the idea of a "soul mate." I've been married for four years now and I can't imagine a better partner for me than my husband. But that doesn’t mean he's a perfect human being. No one is. If I'd waited around to find someone who was perfect — rather than being perfect for me — I'd still be a single woman.

First things first: You're probably not going to land your dream job right out of college, or even in your first few jobs. You may have to strategically lower your standards to figure out the best job you can get right now, and then work your way toward a more ideal job. And honestly, you may not even know what you want until you've been working for a while.

As Kelly of Adulting wisely shares here, figuring out your current priorities is a better option than chasing after the unicorn of a job that is high-paying, fulfilling, and not time-consuming.

At one of my past jobs, I absolutely loved my work. I came in every day excited to tackle that day’s projects. My boss and I had a great working relationship in which I felt supported and challenged. But the office was freezing cold all winter — like, everyone in their coats, hat, and gloves cold. After two winters there, I seriously considered leaving because it was so uncomfortable.

But I realized that, in downtown Chicago, there was a chance that any other job would be in another old building with an equally troublesome HVAC system, and a very good chance that I would not be as professionally and emotionally fulfilled in my everyday work. I decided to make do by bringing an electric blanket in to work, and stayed at the job I loved until we moved for my husband's job.

Don't take a job where you think you will be miserable, but don't turn down a job that's absolutely everything you want except for that one thing (the commute is long, the pay isn't great, you fill in the blank). Sometimes a fulfilling job — or a fulfilling work-life balance — will bring you such satisfaction that you can overlook the less-than-ideal aspects.