Experts say that remembering the job you wanted to do as a child is one of the simplest ways to figure out what really makes you happy or gives you a sense of purpose.
According to research from LinkedIn, nearly one in three people have done just that - 30.3 percent of people currently have their childhood dream job or work in a career related to it but 34.1 percent said they still dream about having the job they wanted as a child.
AdvertisementThe survey of more than 8000 people globally, and more than 400 in Australia, found that the top childhood dream jobs for men were airplane or helicopter pilot, engineer, scientist, professional or Olympic athlete and teacher.
On the other hand, women in Australia said that their top childhood dream jobs were teacher, writer, doctor or nurse, vet and singer.
More than 70 per cent of respondents said that the most important characteristic of a dream job was "taking pleasure in your work."
In second place was "helping others" followed by "a high salary".
Career coach Kate James said that taking pleasure in what you do is the most important element of career satisfaction, and this is easiest to pinpoint when you are a child.
"Children are not worried about trying to impress other people, not worried about trying to get the answer right, not thinking about what's going to pay the mortgage," News.com.au quoted James as saying.
"They're just thinking about the things they enjoy," she said.
The research found that professionals who said they don't have their childhood dream job were most likely to cite "as I got older, I became interested in a different career path," as the primary reason they work in an unrelated field.
Almost 17 percent said their dream job was too difficult or expensive to pursue, and 12.8 percent chose a more profitable career.
"They pursued creative things at school then they got to a certain year level and their parents said they have to focus on math or science," James said.
"And they're just really unhappy because they're not playing to their natural strengths," she added.
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