How to Get Clear on Your Dream Job
free photo courtesy of www.dreamstime.com
If you are looking for a new career, one you really love, in a moment I’ll share with you 3 ways to get started.
For years I knew, deep inside, I wanted a different type of job. I was looking for a career that aligned well with my passion and provided much better work/life balance. Yet, unlike those fortunate few who know exactly what they want to do by time they’re 10, I had no idea. Not only was I fuzzy on what I wanted to do, I was completely terrified to leave my long standing career and corporate benefits in the dust. It seemed like such a waste to throw it all away and I sure as heck didn’t want to start over again.
As the years passed, the quiet longing to change careers became an obnoxiously loud voice. It was pounding in my head like a raging jackhammer. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t ignore it. I was desperate to do something better. Yet, still I struggled to get clear on what I wanted to do. I could not see how leaving my career was possible without taking a major pay cut. Since I was a major breadwinner for the family, this did not seem like a good option. None of the jobs in classifieds, job search engines or even in my own company appealed to me anymore. I knew without a doubt I was meant for something else.
What occurred next put my career and life on a completely new track — one filled with things I could only dream of like traveling, public speaking, hanging out with incredibly successful and positive people, writing, coaching and so much more. I have much more freedom to do the things I enjoy both at work and at home. Now I teach others how to pursue their dream jobs.
If you’re feeling stuck in a job that doesn’t give you life, here’s how to get started…
What do you enjoy?
Create a list of all the things you enjoy doing. Leave no stone unturned. Look at ALL areas of your life including things you enjoyed in the past and things that have nothing to do with your job. For example, even though I was a sales manager, I had on my list the following: traveling, teaching, reading self-help books, mentoring, working with employees, training, creating training materials, organizational consulting and writing.
Many of these things I had long forgot and they had little do with my career. The key is to be honest with yourself. Chances are your dream job will encompass many more of your interests than your current job. Don’t worry about relevancy right now. Resist the urge to connect your interests to jobs you recognize. Chances are you have not seen your dream job in your current reality. Be open to new ideas that you’ve never considered before.
What are you sick of?
Next, make a list of everything you are discontent with in your job. What have you been tolerating that you’re ready to let go of? What aspects of your job have been okay but you know you can do better? Perhaps you are sick of commuting to work, working long days or having to get up early each morning. Perhaps you are tired of feeling stressed and overwhelmed all the time. Just brainstorm everything about your job you would like to change. If you are retired or a stay-at-home parent, you still know what kinds of things you don’t like. Write those thoughts down.
What would you love?
On the next list ask yourself, “What would I love?” If I had a magic wand and could give you the job of your dreams, what would it be like? Describe it with as many specifics as you can. Here’s a hint: what you would love is the antidote to what makes you feel discontent. Look at your list of things you’re sick of and ask yourself what you would love instead. The more detail the better. Paint a picture that you can see clearly in your mind. If you can only think of 3 or 4 things, that’s fine. Start there. This ability to “dream” has been shut down in most of us from an early age. We were told by our parents to go get a real job, find something with financial security and for God’s sake stop daydreaming!
Consider things like how many hours you would love to work and how much money you would you love to make. Try asking yourself what kind of people you would love to work with including co-workers and clients. Get honest with yourself. Most people dismiss ideas because they seem unrealistic. It does no good to ignore your dreams. They are not going away. Realize that what seems unrealistic to you is completely realistic to another. Having a dream job is not reserved for the special few. You deserve to to do what you love, and yes, you can make great money too. I invite you to stop limiting what’s possible for you.
Keeping your eyes peeled
Once you create these three lists and determine what kind of career you would love, keep your eyes and ears peeled for resources to help you. They will come in all kinds of forms including conversations with others, emails, articles, books, webinars and many, many other ways. Stay open to new ideas and possibilities.
Help comes in many forms that most people overlook. The exercises I just walked you through will help to open your eyes to possibilities you’ve never considered before. Rest assured, anything you dream up is possible even if you can’t yes see how yet. That calling inside you to do more is there for a reason. Start listening to it more often and your life will begin transforming in ways you never imagined.
For more helpful tips, weekly inspirational emails and coaching support, please visit my website at www.danielleisaac.com.