Before you know what your dream job looks like, you have to weigh these 3 important factors.


Unless you’ve known your career path since age 10, the odds are that you don’t currently have your dream job. A survey from 2012 done by LinkedIn found that only 9% of all professionals currently work in their childhood dream job.

Unless you are a fireman or a doctor, you may not even know what your dream job is. To help you find it, lets look at the company instead of a job.


Competitive compensation is often a primary motivator in many people’s dream job. What is it that money provides that fits your needs: Security? Status? Possessions? Debt payoff?

Some companies are able to offer a higher salary than others. If this is what you’re looking for, the corporate route may be the best option. Established corporations tend to pay more, and can offer more job security than smaller companies. There will likely be tradeoffs with this salary. Corporate environments tend to offer more specialized roles, and have defined duties. If you enjoy a workload with familiar tasks this still could be your best fit.


Maybe you can’t stand the idea of doing the same thing every single day, and need variety to be at your best. You have an insatiable desire to learn and crave problem solving.

If this is you, think about working at a startup. Startups tend to foster creativity and challenge you to solve problems fast. Some say there are generally more opportunities to learn than in a corporate role. Keep in mind, startups can be a bit of a roller coaster ride, there is often a significant amount of risk. Unless they already have a consistent revenue flow from customers, they are usually dependent on funding. Long-hours and unpredictable schedules are common, so make sure the company fits you.


Do you have nightmares about spending all day doing something you hate? Are there things you are passionate about, but couldn’t do them with a typical 9-5 schedule?

There’s a few options for those in this boat, and you will have to dig to find these opportunities. Some companies allow flexible schedules, which provides time to pursue passions outside of work. Long commutes can steal extra hours in your day, and working close to home can help. Flexibility in remote work can also save commuting time. These perks often depend on company culture, which is critical to finding a company that fits you.

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