My Dream Job is Now a Drag

Dear Heidi,

I landed my dream job about two years ago. It was fantastic. I finally had the chance to what I dreamed about since I was a kid — an animator at one of the top companies — and I was really passionate about what I was doing. That lasted about a year until the reality of office politics and the toll of a 9 to 5 (let’s be real, 7 am to 9 pm) work day hit me. Now I’m bored, frustrated and worst of all, unhappy. What do I do to get out of this slump? Is it just a phase or should I call it quits?

— Shattered Dreams


Uh oh. The honeymoon phase at your "dream job" has come to an end.
On the bright side, deets on this outfit coming soon.

Dear Shattered Dreams,

A quick reality check: Office politics and big companies go together like bad botox on an episode of RHOBH. There is no separating the two. In fact, the bigger the company, the more office politics there will be. So if you think going to another company will get rid of office politics, it's not going to happen.

So how do you handle office politics? You don't. Just accept that it's part of adult life and working with a big company, or don't work with a big company. Also, define what you mean by being "happy." Often, not being happy is the result of not knowing what you want.

So you're an animator at a big company. Ask yourself: what's the point? Did you want to become an animator to inspire people to look at the world differently 24/7? Or did you want to become an animator because you think you can work for a big company doing something you like... but just from 9 to 5 ?

As for "the toll of working 7am to 9 pm" daily, well,  the PC answer is for me to tell you to get your work-life balance figured out. The real answer is, it's more realistic to aim for work-life integration instead. Sometimes, there really are can't-wait-'til-tomorrow deadlines. At times, you'll have to decide which is more important: work ambition or personal time. Tough love, darling.

Being bored and frustrated at work is very normal. I can't tell you how often I feel like calling it quits and just sit at home playing with kittens. Then I get emails from readers telling me how much they love my blog or asking me for help on a fashion or work issue... and I remember why I do what I do. So, take a minutes (or hours, days) and try to remember why you wanted to be an animator as a kid.

As a quick fix -  I suggest watching quick 10 min clips of House of Cards anytime you feel your work politics getting the better of you. You'll thank your lucky stars that you don't have the Underwoods in your office.

Photo by Josefina Andrés for Vogue



  • Nikki says:

    I agree with Heidi, there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to work on a job that really pleases you and makes you grow as a person. If you’re not happy, then don’t push through it.

  • Taylor G. says:

    Office politics is really something that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I’ve seen my colleagues go through hell and back and end up dismayed when someone else got the big guns, just because those who git it are close to the ones sitting in higher positions.. SO sad… 🙁

  • Arianne says:

    Before I became a blogger/reviewer, I used to work for an Internet service provider, taking calls, chatting with members and fixing their servers. I wasn’t really happy working at that time, but it paid my bills so I had to endure stressful days and sleepless nights. When I finally realized i was not growing as a person and when I looked into the mirror and saw a haggard-looking girl, I knew I had to stop and move my cheese.. And the rest, as they say, is history 🙂

  • Francesca says:

    I couldn’t complain about landing on my dream job because it had been a satisfying one. If there’s one thing I don’t like maybe, would be the required overtime at work every end of the month. Inventory and all. But apart from it, everything is a breeze; I wish it would stay like this for some time. I wouldn’t know what to do if I’d be force to look for another job in the future.

  • MJ says:

    Having and achieving your dream job is one thing. Being able to enjoy the fruits of that job is another. I wouldn’t say I was mistaken in taking the job I want, because I actually liked working on the print industry. I learn a lot and I get the pay I deserve, sometimes even better. I guess the only drag I feel is with my co-workers who seem hell-bent to take me down. I don’t think they like that I get ahead of them at some time.

  • Susan Armstrong says:

    My daughter also mentioned to me that she’s not having the time of her life lately on her work. Things are getting monotonous, that’s what she says. I guess I have to tell her about these ideas of yours so she’d be enlightened. Thanks sweetie!

  • Sophie says:

    Hmm, you actually had me thinking there, Heidi – work ambition or personal time? I actually want and need both! Can’t decide which one to choose..

  • Rhaiza V. says:

    My mom always said that if you’re no longer happy with the way things are getting, it’s high time to stop, get up and move on to something more rewarding. And then repeat..

  • Katie says:

    At this point and time, I’m just a year old in my new job, so far so good, but the office politics, like you said, is imminent. I don’t think I’ll have enough ammo to go on war with the office bigwigs, so what I do for now is to heed and abide, and if worse comes to worst, that’s the time I’ll pull the strings.

  • Queenie Rays says:

    It’s never easy dealing with office politics, I can attest to that. In my world, these high and mighty people think they could get away with everything and yes, unfortunately for me, they do. All I have to do is just contemplate, be patient and wait for divine intervention. That, or maybe just look for another job.

  • Vivecka says:

    My advice for you, Shattered Dreams, if I may… Perhaps it would hep if you would take a breather for the meantime, relax and contemplate. If this is your dream job and there are no other complications aside from what you’re feeling, then stay. But if you got other options, then move your cheese.

  • Rosie St.Paul says:

    Shattered Dreams,

    Ya know, if you think your dream job is restraining you from doing some things you want to do, better relax and go on a short vacation. You’re given paid leaves, right? Use it and relax, gather your wits together and think of something that would make you productive at the end of the day. After all, this had been your dream job, right? So make the most of it, because you might not land on that same job again in the future.

    Just sharing,

    Rosie St. Paul

  • Isabella says:

    Can I also share my sentiments?
    Honey, if you think your dream job is now a drag, maybe it’s time to look for other possibilities. But think about it really hard. If you say this had been your dream job, you must have loved doing it. Me, if I landed on my dream job, I’ll make sure I make the most of everything, because not everyone is given the chance to get the job they want, right?

  • Cresta says:

    Hmm, resigning isn’t an option, I guess? If not, you could probably suggest being moved to another department? Just sayin..

  • Bernadette Real says:

    Me, I have always believed that you should love your job because that’s your bread and butter. If you’re not happy working, find the one that fits you so you won’t feel burden by it.

Comments are closed.