Believe it or not, foosball tables, beer Fridays and napping pods are not the way to the average professional’s heart. While these are cute (and welcome) perks, they aren’t really what people want in a dream job. Curious to know what is? Good, let’s find out.
The good news is, we’re a mostly hopeful bunch — 80 percent of Americans believe there’s an ideal job for every person, and that this job will lead to complete career happiness and satisfaction. But before we go any further, let’s clarify the definition of a “dream job.” While many people think of the literal work being done everyday, there’s another crucial element to the “dream job” equation—the employer. People also want an ideal environment, with ideal people. Enter: the dream company.
According to a survey by Horizons Workforce Consulting, dream companies have three qualities: they’re run by people who care about your well-being; they provide opportunities for you to grow in your career; and promote work-life balance. It’s not all about money and perks. People actually want to grow and achieve things (we’re guessing you’re not surprised and we’re guessing it’s because you’re one of them).
Seventy-five percent of employees who call their places of work “dream companies” agree that their organizations provide them with opportunities for learning and growth, compared with 35 percent of people who feel that way as employees of less-than-ideal companies. As for the importance of investing in professional development, the workers have spoken: 83 percent say opportunities for career advancement are either “important” or “very important,” 76 percent say networking opportunities are either “important” or “very important,” and 82 percent say company-paid general training is either “important” or “very important.”
It’s not like perks and benefits don’t play a role in happiness, they do. Fifty-seven percent of people say perks and benefits are top considerations when job hunting and 79 percent say they’d prefer them to a pay raise.
An important point to remember about all this, especially if you’re an employee, is that you likely won’t stumble into a dream job and suddenly be supremely satisfied. Dream jobs are often jobs that people grow into over a period of time. And that process of growth pays off—studies show that people who transition slowly into an ideal position end up much happier than those who snag the position right out of the gate.