How to Choose the Right Career-Dream Job or Dream Company?

You’ve probably had this idea at one point or another – finding your dream job would be the best solution for your career. Something that excites you, makes you feel accomplished, useful and allows you to be great at what you do. But should you be looking for a dream job, or a dream company?

There you are, just out of college, starting off your career and dreaming of the perfect job but seldom do you think of what the perfect company would look like. Landing a job with the perfect company for you could also result in landing the right opportunity to building a dream career. More often than not, that career may not even be the same as the dream job you thought you wanted when you started your search.


At one point you may have thought “I’ll give this job two or three years to see how things turn out”, perhaps you are thinking this at this exact moment. And why is this? Are you hoping that the job will turn into a career? More than likely you are. So what is the determining factor? The job or the company? Working for an “okay” company has as little chance of turning the job you applied for into a dream job as going into a Walmart hoping it will turn into a luxury shopping experience.

The reality is, you have no idea whether something will be your dream job or not until you’re working there. Until you’ve been working there for a while, in fact. As much as you think you might love doing that job for that company, it might turn out that your coworkers are horrible, or your boss is a nightmare, or the company makes you bring in a doctor’s note every time you have a cold, or your workload is so unreasonably high that you end up being stressed out and feeling completely unappreciated. As a result, you resign and start again. How can you avoid it next time?

Is there an ideal job? Your ideal job, that dream job that you are hoping turns into a career does exist — when it’s work you love to do, at a company that treats employees well. When you work for a great manager, who encourages and respects you, you feel valued. A company that values your work and respects your ideas and input becomes intrinsically rewarding.

So what’s a dream company? Well, it should be one that recognizes you as more than merely an employee, one that recognizes you are also a committed friend, family member, etc. A dream company supports your entire life, enabling you to do your best work.

All of the outcomes an employer would want — productivity, job satisfaction, lower stress levels, intent to stay with the organization — are more strongly associated with being at a dream company than being in a dream job,” says Dr. Lucy English, Managing Director of Institutional Research at Horizons Workforce Consulting in Watertown, Massachusetts.

So in addition to brainstorming what the perfect job might entail, think about what values and beliefs a company would need to have to align with yours. Does it care about your well-being; does it provide you with opportunities to learn and grow in your career; does it promote a work-life balance?

The main reason we suggest choosing the dream company over a dream job is that if you share the same values with the company you are applying for you’re more likely to understand what’s important, how are things done, and where the boundaries are. It goes without saying that if this is your preferred route make sure that you do your research before applying. Don’t limit yourself to looking at a company’s website – their social media channels will probably say more about what they stand for than any other form of communication.

When you are working with a dream company you love coming to work – it absorbs you, you relish each day, you are stimulated and feel good about life!