Have you seen the movie ‘Inception?‘ It’s a wonderfully imagined film and one that stretches reality beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. I enjoyed the film when it first came out and I still find myself thinking about it today. Was the whole thing a dream? Was Leonardo DiCaprio’s character “Cobb” stuck in his own dream, did he ever wake up from his last extraction? You’ll have to see it to make your own assessment, I highly recommend it! So what do you think the meaning of dreams are as they relate to your work?
Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat after having a nightmarish dream about your job? Maybe you show up naked at the hospital or you’ve missed a career-changing deadline, each of these dreams could have a deeper meaning about how you feel about your job? So what are your work dreams telling you about your relationship with your job? Here are a few examples of what your dreams may be telling you, or you’re telling yourself.
Being late for work: Dreaming about being late can represent a lack of control over your career. It can manifest as a fear of change in your work life, a feeling of unworthiness of your job or an upcoming promotion, or something as simple as a vague feeling of disorganization. It can also symbolize a feeling of needing to impress the management and falling short when trying to do so, or a disdain for your hospital or facility.
Missing a deadline: One of the most common work dreams, missing a deadline can mean you feel unprepared and almost lost at work, and can even represent a feeling of worthlessness or inability to do your job. It can also mean that you feel disorganized and scattered at work. It speaks to the core of your work place self-esteem.
Going to work naked: Showing up in a public place naked is a pretty common dream for most people, but the interpretation can differ from person to person. Clothes symbolize a need to cover up. If you are embarrassed about being naked at work, it may mean you are attempting to mask a secret from your personal life or something you don’t want your coworkers to know about.
These are just a few examples of dreams/nightmares one might have about their jobs. According to a Staples Small-Business Survey: …more than half of small-business professionals said that work has actually become part of their dreams. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said that they “sleepwork” (i.e. dream about work), and nearly 70 percent of those “sleepworkers” report they wake up and put their “work dreams” to action.
The survey says our work-related dream/nightmares are most frequently about, in order of frequency:
1. Arguing with the boss.
2. Being late for an important meeting.
3. Lusting after a colleague.
4. Having to make an unexpected presentation.
5. Going to work naked.
6. Losing all their files in a fatal computer crash.
7. Getting fired.
8. Killing the boss.
While these kinds of dreams may highlight your subconscious emotional reactions to situations at work, they can also present solutions to these situations — or, at the very least, provide you an outlet through which you can vent these frustrations. In other words, your dreams are exaggerated. So, for instance, the fact that you imagined yourself failing miserably on a project doesn’t predict that you will fail — nor does it mean that you are inept or crazy — even if you did show up naked, lose all your files and lust after a colleague.