I should have noticed the first red flag when, during my interview, the CEO asked me when I planned to have babies. I brushed it off with a laugh and accepted the junior role, but it quickly went downhill as I witnessed workplace bullying and frequent displays of anger and belittlement by management that left me and others on the team nervous wrecks.
The intense 40-hour weeks frequently extended into weekends, yet it never seemed to be enough for the slew of demanding clients.
My dream job was not enjoyable or meaningful, and caused me intense anxiety. Thankfully, I found something else (that I loved) before leaving less than 12 months after signing the contract.
Realising that a dream job has turned into a nightmare is a common phenomenon, and according to research by 80,000 Hours that reviewed more than 60 studies, there are many factors to consider if you want a fulfilling role.
Writing for the 80,000 Hours career guide, Benjamin Todd says finding a dream career is not – as some people think – about finding an easy job with zero stress, nor is it as simple as "finding your passion".
In fact, he says that the concept of passion at work can be misleading.
"Following your passion can lead you astray," Todd writes.
"Steve Jobs was passionate about Zen Buddhism before entering technology. Maya Angelou worked as a calypso dancer before she became a celebrated poet and civil rights activist.