They say our dreams mean something – so, have you been dreaming about work? According to Monster.com – here’s what they mean:
Showing up to work naked
No, it has nothing to do with nudist tendencies. “Naked dreams come about when we’re having concern or anxiety about being in a situation in which all eyes are on us,” says Loewenberg. The idea of feeling exposed or concerned about how you appear to others can definitely be work related, especially if you’re in a new job or hitting the interview circuit.
Ask yourself: In what areas of your professional life do you feel scrutinized, judged, or picked apart? “Perhaps you’re training for a new role, evaluation time is coming up, or you have to give a presentation,” says Loewenberg. Whatever the case, do what you can to be better prepared so you can alleviate some of the anxiety.
Boring work dreams
A totally different type of work dream is simply being at work and doing exactly what you normally do, says Sue Kolod, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, and chair of the Committee on Public Information of the American Psychoanalytic Association.
“You might dream that you’re making calls or working on a brief. This is usually sparked when you’re preoccupied by something you’re working on,” she says. “You’re literally working while you’re asleep.”
Ask yourself: Are you taking your work to bed with you? Kolod recommends giving yourself at least a full hour before bedtime to relax. That means no checking your email, taking calls, or doing any work-related reading. “Try to consciously make a point of separating work life and relaxation and sleeping,” she says.
A sex dream about a co-worker
There’s no reason to feel embarrassed or awkward if you have a sex dream about someone you work with. That’s because dreams are symbolic, not literal, assures Loewenberg. “The act of intimacy is often more about a psychological union you need or have had with that person,” she says. It can also be that you’re attracted to an attribute or style that the co-worker possesses, one that could benefit you.
Ask yourself: Have you connected to your dream partner in some way recently, such as working on a project together? Or do you need to connect with that person to advance in your job?
Being back at your first job
Dreams are always connected to what’s going on in your life right now, but there could be something unresolved from your past that is affecting you now, says Loewenberg. If you’re dreaming that you’re back in your first waitress job and can’t fulfill an order, for instance, it can be your subconscious comparing that experience to something going on in your job now that feels similar.
Along those lines, if you have feelings of contentment or happiness when dreaming of an old occupation (or even a completely new one you’ve never had), it could signal that you’re unhappy with the trajectory that your career has recently taken.
Ask yourself: Are you not reaching a certain goal in your current career? Have you had trouble serving the needs of your clients and your boss? Is there something missing from your job today that you once had?
If you’re having frequent nightmares about workplace violence or fighting with people in the office, it’s a sign that your emotions are overwhelming you in some way, says Kolod. It could be a strong indication that something is difficult for you at work, either a relationship with a colleague or a grueling project. Or, it could be something more serious.
“If your work dreams are truly unpleasant, such as a recurring dream about your boss coming after you, take that seriously,” says Kolod. It could be a call to action telling you to deal with a situation that’s weighing on your mind.
Ask yourself: Does the emotion you felt in your nightmare feel familiar to one you’ve felt during a real-life conflict? “Emotion in a dream is very honest,” says Loewenberg. “It’s a huge clue as to what the dream is trying to help you with.”