When Should You Stop Dream Hunting and Start Job Hunting?

Last week my friend Sam asked my roommate Katie and I an interesting question: at what point do you give up pursuing your dream career and start pursuing a job instead?

Sam graduated from a great college this May and has always wanted to be a reporter. Like most 2010 grads, she has had a tough time landing a full-time gig in her desired field despite numerous internships, awesome grades and tons of campus involvement.

Katie’s response to Sam’s question was, “You never have to give up pursuing your dream job, but you may have to take a different path than you imagined in getting there.”

My response was that you never have to give up your dream career, BUT you may have to pursue it as a hobby rather than as a full time job. And hopefully someday you can make that hobby into a career.

The answer to this question is, of course, different for everyone. If you’re a recent grad who has pondered giving up your dream career, my advice is to set a reasonable time period for yourself in which you will continue pursuing your dream career.  If after, say, 3 months you still do not have an offer, then start looking for a job– even if it is totally different than what you thought you’d be doing.  Never stop pursuing your passion (even while working full time, and even if you don’t get paid for it).

What would YOU tell Sam to do?

Should she keep holding out for a job as a reporter or should she switch gears and take an entry-level job doing something else?

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.