I have a dream job.
Over the past fifteen years, I have been allowed to self-identify areas of opportunity and solutions that I thought would make us better. I’ve had the flexibility to go after them by choosing to work from the office or in the filed. I’ve had the freedom to travel to all corners of our state and to areas of the country that I may not have ever seen had it not been for my dream job. I have windows with blinds I have never lowered because I like seeing vegetation and flowers, rain and sun, and of course, the squirrels. I also have a working office door that I can close if I want to (it took 20 years of hard work to earn that luxury, no kidding). I have my own conference room. And up until just recently, I only had one employee to supervise (we miss you Erica). I have been recognized and appreciated publicly by national and international organizations, and I’ve had some of the most respected leaders of our profession and within my agency say nice things about me. I have been invited to speak to and teach and help thousands of good people get better in a professional field that matters.
Sounds nice, but that’s not exactly the type of dream I’m referring to. I am super-thankful for the obvious benefits that my job affords me, but on a bad day, they can be easily discounted with as many frustrations as a negative mindset can imagine.
What has really motivated and satisfied me over the years has been the freedom to dream. I get to innovate, to think deeply, and be creative. I get to dream about a better environmental program. I dream about better partnerships and better interactions with our neighbors. I dream about technical solutions and increased efficiency and effectiveness. I dream about completed work that makes a positive impact on water quality while also provides benefit to other elements of our mission. I dream about execution that provides demonstration and justification so that dreams can eventually become process. I truly have a dream job.
As sad as it may be, on some nights I also have literal stormwater-related dreams in my sleep (mostly nightmares). Much of my positive stormwater dreaming happens on the clock and I get paid for it. That’s pretty cool.
You also have a job where you get paid to dream. Is your employer or client getting their money’s worth? Are you done with dreaming, but still looking for your “dream job” to come along? Or do you simply have it all figured out?
I have seen many of my dreams become reality, some have passed away. I see the fruits of some dreams quickly, and others take years to execute. Implementation is fun and rewarding, but it would likely never happen without all of those dreams. If you have the freedom to dream (you do) be thankful and take full advantage of that authority. It’s the only way we can get better.