The Fear of Setting Standards too High: Is the Dream Job Attainable?

Words by Denise Dogan

My name is Denise, I am 21 years old. I just graduated from Cardiff University with an English Literature degree. I plan to study Ancient History for my Masters, with hopes of being a fashion or publishing editor one day. 

As a recent graduate I have felt the pressure of trying to find jobs or throw myself into my career path as soon as possible – at the risk of leaving it too late and failing. Despite attesting this pressure, I can’t help but find myself succumbing to it from time to time. I often put myself down worrying I’m not doing enough or working hard enough. At times I find I’m blaming myself for not being in the job I want yet.

It’s been one month since finishing university. What’s the rush? In light of this I’m going to speak on the way as a society and generation we tend to be too hard on ourselves – which can lead to depression and anxiety. 

Society seems to be a dominating factor in our fears of failure. We are constantly reminded of successful young 21-25 year olds who have ‘made it’ in the modern world. Through means of social media (YouTube/Instagram). Because these figures are so domineering we easily forget they are a small percentage of our society. Most of us are sitting at home feeling the exact same pressures of trying to be successful. Because of the incredibly high standards society has set for our age group, we easily feel deflated when we cannot catch up to our age mates. Schemes to help young people buy houses when young people barely have money to afford a deposit is one way of inciting pressure on them to quickly earn money at such a young age. We see a lot of students rushing to go university when taking a gap year maybe would’ve benefitted them. We see graduates rushing to get employed at the risk of feeling like failures. Because of the standards set by society, we then as individuals begin to put pressure on ourselves. Which brings me onto my next point.

Due to the way we feel pressured by society, we tend to then add on more pressure onto ourselves. As a result, this causes doubt and worry. We then fear we are not good enough and worry we are in over our heads. We compare ourselves to other people, and question our own validity. This leads to us falling into dire states of depression, making us feel negatively about ourselves. There isn’t a single understanding of success. Success is based on an individuals goals and dreams. Try not to succumb to the way we are made to feel when we leave university. While some of us measure success by having a million in the bank; some of us measure it with simply having the job that you want or being able to buy a house one day. I am here to say that measure success based on YOU. Nobody else. 

And the big question; is the dream job attainable? YES. YES. YES. However, do not feel pressured to attain the dream job as quickly as you can. Take it at your own pace. Do it your way. In order to attain my dream job I’ve decided to take a year out to do volunteering and gain work experience, also to travel. I will then take the next step into reaching my goal. Everything is a process, and everyone’s process is different. Don’t be too hard on yourself, take it with ease. We easily feel defeated and feel like we’re at a dead end. You’re not. Don’t feel that you need to rush, you will reach your dream job, it’s waiting for you. 

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