Your job — pathway to success or career dead end?

You spend most of your time on the job, working. Whether you go on location to work or are working from home, your job is how you will spend a good deal of your life. Some people go into a job thinking it’s their dream job, only to find out they were mistaken. Others may have started a job with no real expectations but discovered they were on the pathway to success. It’s important that whatever work you are engaged in, you feel that it is the one that leads to job success. Without that motivation for your daily work, you will notice detrimental effects.

What is necessary for job success?

Job success is what you define it to be. Not everyone has the same idea of what a successful career path will look like. Your dream job is whatever makes you happy and content. If you enjoy getting up in the morning and going to work, you are in a job that brings you inner success.

No one else can define what the perfect job is for you or what makes a successful job because everyone has different priorities. Some people need a certain amount of money to feel like they’ve achieved job success. Others also want to have a job title to feel like they’ve arrived. However, when it’s all said and done, if you are inwardly satisfied with the job, that’s what matters.

Some things that contribute to that overall feeling of well-being:

  • You achieve your goals at work.
  • Your manager appreciates you.
  • You are making contributions.

What can hamper our career dreams?

The things that can hamper your career dreams are just things that make you unhappy. If you dread your job and have to push yourself to work every day, then you are not living out your dreams. Your job is no more than toil and a paycheck.

You can ask yourself these questions to determine if you are in a job that is bringing you down:

  • Do you dread or look forward to going to work? Of course, there will be times when you might have a bad day, feel sick, or be tired, but overall, how is your attitude towards going to work?
  • Do you feel fulfilled by your work or empty doing what you’re doing?
  • Do you enjoy your job?
  • Do you like the environment at work?
  • How well do you get along with others in the workplace? Sometimes, people like the type of work they’re doing but struggle with poor working conditions. That makes them dislike the job.

These are a few of the questions that, when answered, can help you identify whether you are in your dream job or not.

Effects of being in a job you dread

If you are in a job that you dread and not on the pathway to success, it will affect you. Doing something over and over that is uncomfortable or that makes you unhappy will prove detrimental to your well-being. You will begin to see the effects in the following three areas:


People who are deeply unhappy and engage in activities encouraging this unhappiness will manifest physical symptoms. Some physical symptoms may be tension headaches, neck pain, back pain, and stomach distress. It’s not uncommon for physical symptoms to be related to psychological problems.


Any time you go against what makes you happy, you will suffer emotionally. Doing a job you dislike daily will also have an emotional effect. You may feel depressed about your future opportunities as time slips by, and you’re still doing something you don’t like. You likely have an internal conflict about whether to stay or go. This inner battle is not healthy for your emotions. It could lead to depression, anxiety, touchiness, and difficulty concentrating.

If it’s not the job but the workplace you don’t like, that can weigh heavy on your mind too.


When you are in an unhappy work situation, it can spill over into your social life. People often like to socialize after work, but if you feel down about your job, you may not feel up to it. This can hinder your social activities. You may become isolated from others due to your miserable condition on the job.

How to get out of the rut of a dead-end job

If you are at a job that doesn’t bring you joy, what can you do about it? How can you get on the pathway to success? How can you have that dream job you always wanted?

Remember, a dream job is what you define it to be. So, your first step needs to be to write down what you want in a job. You could answer these questions to get started:

  • How do you define job success?
  • List three things that would make you happy in a job.
  • What are your dealbreakers in a job? In other words, what you must have to feel fulfilled.
  • Do you have certain workplace requirements?

Once you have defined what job success looks like for you, you can begin mapping out your way to your dream job. In some instances, you may be able to stay in your job with a few modifications. If that is the case, you’ll need to talk to the manager and let them know your requirements.

In other instances, you’ll discover that you are in the wrong place. You may need to start over with a new job position, or you may just need a different work setting to be happy. Whatever the case, you can and should find fulfillment in your job.