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Dez, 25-year-old new father, makes the most of his not-a-dream-job.  

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be no job. It would be to just gig my band, do Chi-Gong, martial arts and spend time with my girlfriend and our six-month-old daughter. But I would also like to own a café one day.

So what job do you currently hold?

I have a few jobs. I work at a coffee shop four days a week, three closing shifts 8:00pm to 2:00am or 3:00am, and one opening shift on Saturday mornings. I also work at a candy store once a week for about five hours. And then, I teach Chi-Gong once a week for two hours.

Do you like to work at the coffee shop?

I don’t necessarily like the work, but if I have to work, I want to work at a café. I really like the environment of coffee shops.

Alright. It’s not your dream job. Are there any other advantages?

Yes, for sure. It pays the bills. That’s a big one. But also, my boss is totally supportive of my goals outside of work. The schedule works great, too. I have band practice a couple days a week and a residency gig where we play a Saturday happy hour every week. I’ve been able to organize my schedule around the things I want to do.

I’ve also been learning a lot about how operations work at the coffee shop. That’s something I’ll need to know when I have my own cafe.

Ok, and what don’t you like about the work?

I don’t like working alone back there, especially during a rush. When it’s just me on the schedule, and I have to deal with all the drink orders and the food orders by myself, it can be really overwhelming. It gets frustrating, and I think to myself, ‘Why doesn’t he just schedule someone else?’ But I have to accept it. It’s his business, and he runs it the way he thinks is best.

What’s your secret to maintaining this kind of acceptance?

Well, I think it’s important to have personal goals outside your job. A lot of people seem to get stuck on the idea of ‘I hate my job,’ or ‘My job is keeping me from my dreams,’ but I think we limit ourselves. If you make time for your dreams no matter what your situation is, then you’ll start to see how even a non-dream job can help you achieve them.

For me, practicing Chi-Gong and martial arts helps me to empty my mind and accept those moments when I least like my job. Practicing a calm and accepting mind is a great start. Because in the big picture, the job really is helping me move further toward my goals.

What advice can you give those of us who don’t practice Chi-Gong and so might not be great at accepting the difficult moments?

Act as if. Sometimes when I can’t quite release all my frustrations, I smile and act as if everything is ok. Body language is 80 percent of communication, and pretending can actually turn the moment around and transform it into a positive one.

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