Golfer Arnold Palmer once said, “The road to success is always under construction.” While Palmer was definitely right, there’s more that can be added to that quote. The path to success is a work in progress, but what that progress looks like is never the same for two people. Going from the job you have, to the job you want may not be easy, but you can take steps at your own pace.
When Reddit user squidmucha posted on AskReddit, a popular community with more than 26 million members, asking how people ended up with their dream jobs, the answers were very different. It goes to show that success can come from unusual places, and these answers can serve as an inspiration to keep moving forward on that track.
1. Quitting for your dream
Reddit user EttVenter will be the first to tell you that their strategy wasn’t perfect, but they ended up pursuing a passion and landing their dream job. EttVenter studied IT and got a job in that field, but quit after a month to pursue a career in photography instead.
“That was almost 8 years ago, and it’s the best decision I ever made. Literally living a dream life at the moment,” they wrote. To encourage others, EttVenter added: “Quitting your job the way I did is a very reckless way to do it IMO, but make it happen.”
2. A lifelong dream realized
SpadeEpiphiny dreamed of being a tattoo artist when he was younger but put that aside in his 20s to get a career in tech. At the time, there weren’t any opportunities to learn tattoo artistry, and he wasn’t willing to go at it on his own. In 2016, after a “better part of a decade” at his job, SpadeEpiphiny took two years off work to try and reevaluate what his next steps would be.
SpadeEpiphiny and his wife had planned a move to Portland, Oregon, and a friend mentioned that they had just gotten inked at Forbidden School Body Art & Tattoo in Portland. SpadeEpiphiny immediately poured his energy into his portfolio and application for Forbidden School and got accepted in May of 2018. After years on a different path, he finally circled back to his dream.
3. Moving from job to job
Your dream job might not actually be something you’ve dreamed about for your whole life. In many cases, you can find your dream job on accident by picking up work experience and falling in love with what you’re doing. That’s exactly what happened to Reddit user yuge48bigly. He said that he worked more than a dozen jobs before finding something that worked for him.
yuge48bigly said he started as a real estate secretary but moved into restaurants quickly where he got a delivery gig until he could start waiting tables. As it turns out, he loved the delivery job, and when Doordash came onto the scene he was able to become an independent courier, meaning he sets his own schedule. “Basically, you just do a ton of jobs until you land at one you know you like,” he explained. “When you do something you love, it won’t feel like work. It will be relaxing.”
4. Going for it all
Reddit user HelenAngel said that landing her dream job took “a lot of hard work, taking a huge risk, & thankfully being in the right place at the right time.” She loved video games from a young age and naturally gravitated toward community service. After volunteering in the community, and then getting paid gigs, HelenAngel eventually turned her skills into a community manager position with Minecraft.
5. Decades of experience paying off
Even if you know what you’re interested and find a job in your ideal field, you might not love what you’re doing immediately. Reddit user Fultron84 said that he fell in love with filmmaking as a 12 year old in 1997 and set his sights on a career in the industry ever since. Without enough money for film school, Fultron84 opted to take an internship where he learned editing, and after a few years discovered motion graphics.
After another decade of work and a few less than stellar jobs, Fultron84 found his dream job. “It’s all due to a consuming passion for video and film and about 17 years of getting involved in anything I could to better my skills,” he wrote.
The Bottom Line
Whether you know what you’re looking for or not, the route to finding the perfect job isn’t going to be simple. But as long as you keep your personal goals in mind, take opportunities to better yourself, and occasionally take a few risks, you’ll end up where you need to be in the end. If you are looking for a bit of guidance, though, check out The Princeton Review’s Career Quiz. It’s free to use, and if nothing else can help you get thinking about where you see yourself in the future!