If you have been dreaming about work, you are not alone! In a recent survey of 1,000 adults conducted by British bank NatWest, 80 percent of women and 60 percent of men said they dream about work. Even more surprisingly, 65 percent of women and 43 percent of men reported waking up in a cold sweat, worried about their jobs! Fully 25 percent experience those nightmares once a week or more.
The researchers asked participants what their work-related dreams were specifically about. Here are the responses they received in order of frequency:
• Arguing with your boss.
• Being late missing an important meeting.
• Lusting after a colleague.
• Having to make an unexpected presentation.
• Going to work naked.
• Losing all their files in a fatal computer crash.
• Getting fired.
• Killing the boss.
Let’s take a look at what each of these common dreams about work may represent:
Arguing with or killing your boss.
To dream that you're attacking someone may represent your need to release some pent-up frustration and anger over a feeling that you have been wronged. To dream that you are being attacked by someone, on the other hand, signifies that questions have been raised about your character resulting in a need to defend yourself, and may also be faced with difficult changes in your waking life. A dream about your boss is usually not about your boss but about yourself - each one of us has a part of ourselves that is (either consciously or unconsciously) in control of the other parts, making decisions and accepting responsibility. Arguing with or killing this representation of yourself may indicate your unwillingness to change and adapt to a new situation.
Being late or missing an important meeting.
To dream that you arrive late for something may mean that you are neglecting a responsibility, or you'd like to avoid the thing you're late for. Dreaming of feeling bad about being late can mean your are experiencing or fearing a loss of control or fear being controlled by outside circumstances in your life. Being late in a dream can also represent passive-aggression towards an authority figure.
Lusting after a colleague.
Dreams about love do not always have sexual meanings. They might reflect your longing for love, warmth, affection and understanding, or your wish to connect with some quality you’re your colleague represents, such as leadership, creativity or gentleness. If the dream involves an illicit or forbidden love, you may be hiding things—perhaps even from yourself. A dream of illicit love or sheer lust can also indicate a disappointment or failure due to your own greed.
Having to make an unexpected presentation.
Being unprepared in front of a crowd can symbolize a fear of being exposed, or a fear that those around you know things about you they are not telling you about. Often the occasion of the speaking or the audience members will suggest something to you about an area of your life where people are looking too closely for your comfort. This dream is similar to the nudity dream in that exposure and inadequacy are themes in the dream. The dream may be an attempt to expose a weakness that you are covering up and close scrutiny often reveals trouble where you thought everything was fine.
Going to work naked.
Dreams of being naked are possibly amongst the more common dreams that people have. In dreams, clothes can represent concealment or hiding, so having no clothes can represent being left defenseless or exposed. Often dreamers have fears that they worry might be uncovered. Dreams where no body but the dreamer is aware of the nakedness can indicate that the fears are unfounded, and that nobody else is concerned about them. Nakedness can also indicate fear of being caught off-guard, especially if you began clothed and became suddenly naked.
Losing all their files in a fatal computer crash.
Dreams about losing something as precious as all of your files may reflect a basic need to defend your territory. The things we value most often serve as an extension of our self-awareness and reflect a part of how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, the loss of such an object in a dream is significant. In losses of this kind, the indication may be that you are nervous about losing an expensive or important new object in your life. Your computer and the files on it at work often personify yourself. You may feel damaged or that things are deteriorating. Your identity is threatened or something valuable (including time) has been lost.
Dreaming of getting fired from a job may indicate that you subconciously want to end some relationship or situation in your waking life. This dream also suggests that you are repressing what you really desire most.
While these kinds of dreams may highlight your subconscious emotional reactions to situations at work, they can also present solutions to these situations by representing your subconscious emotional state, both in your work-life and beyond it. Dreaming about being at work in general most obviously indicates a feeling of being overworked, or of being overwhelmed by career issues. It can also be a sign that you need to be more productive at work.
Erika has long been fascinated by dreams and dreaming, both from a symbolic perspective and a psychological perspective. You can read more about dreams at dreams.SpiralLibrary.com and even ask Erika to help you decipher your dreams!