“I was thinking … it would be SO nice to move to the country and live on a farm. We could grow our own vegetables.”
“Maybe I should just get a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart!”
“I’ll go back to school and study literature.”
And then there’s:
“How about a nice desert island for the rest of my life?”
Everyone I’ve met has these falsefantasies from time to time. (I do too.)
So what do these desert island fantasies mean?
– You’re probably ready for a change, a vacation or a break. Or you’re just tired for the day.
– Deep down inside, you probably don’t want to go live on a desert island for more than five minutes.
– You may need a change that’s not related to your job. Maybe you need a new relationship, a way to deal with family conflict, or a move to a new location.
When you get one of those fantasy wishes, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Nearly always the fantasy will disintegrate into a puff of smoke when you examine it more closely. Would you really want to live in the desert with all that sand? Would you want to give up your responsibility but work under someone whose incompetence will raise your stress levels even more?
– Can you identify patterns? For instance, do you tend to get these daydreams at certain times of the year or after a certain number of years in a job?
On one of my research projects, a sales rep told an interviewer, “I have these dreams of owning my restaurant. I had a restaurant a long time ago and sometimes I miss it. So I literally dream about being in the restaurant. I’m cooking and I’m happy.
“But then my dreams shift. I remember the cooks who disappeared, the food that got burned, and the customers who complained. And I realize I don’t want to go back there again. I’m okay for a while longer, till the next crisis, like losing a major account.”
– Can you identify the source of your frustration? For instance, are you being overwhelmed with too much work?
– Has anything changed in the last few months or weeks? Do you have a new boss/ New responsibilities? Or has something changed in your own life?
– Can you take a break and get away?
– Can you explore new opportunities and challenges? I don’t recommend tests and assessments if you’ve been working more than 10 years. Your tests will show you’re qualified to be where you are now.
Try my recent ebook, Career Change Without Tests, Assessments or Crystal Balls.
If you’d like to explore further, check out my Career Strategy Session.