Many have heard this quote once or twice before; It’s refreshing, inspirational and it sounds easy enough. Yet, to do what you love seems to be a little more complicated than expected. Why is it that millions of people continue to go to a job they hate year after year? Why don’t we go after what we’re truly passionate about? Regardless of what point in your career you’re at, life is too short to not go after your dream job (as cheesy as it might sound).
You may be satisfied with a job that pays well to build your resume or gain experience. Although it may give you just that, it is also taking you away from going after opportunities that may be more fitting. Unless it’s a stepping stone to where you want to go, avoid it, or it may cost you several months or even years of dreadfulness. Identify your goals, set standards and find a job that you’ll love to go to on Monday morning.
Step 1: Re-Evaluate! Finding your dream job means finding yourself
As much as I would love to tell you exactly what your dream job would be and how to get there, nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Once you know what you’re looking for, it’ll be much easier to find it. If you already know what that is, great! You are one of the few, but it means you are half way there. Stick to it, work hard for it and build your career around it. If you are unsure (like most), ask yourself the following questions to get you thinking on what is truly important to you and how to connect your career to your passions.
What are the things that make you excited to get up in the morning?
What do you value most?
What experiences have you enjoyed the most?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Who inspires you?
Why are you in the career that you’re in?
What do I want to be known for?
What are your strengths?
If you could be anything in the world what would it be?
After you’ve answered these questions (and more if you need to), take some time to create a vision statement. This will serve as a guide to steer you towards the right path. I have to admit, this may be the hardest and most time-consuming step. Don’t make it a stressful one. Simply ponder on these questions and on what you want to accomplish through your career. It’s not about defining a set career plan. It’s about identifying what factors form your dream job.
Step 2: Follow Your Vision
Now that you have a direction, search what other people in those positions have done to get there. It doesn’t mean you have to do exactly as they did, but you can learn from their examples. Stay proactive in your search and constantly evaluate your progress. This is not to discourage you, but to remind you of what your goals are and what areas you can improve on. With a clear vision in mind, you can start to build your career around it:
Look for jobs that will give you the experience necessary.
Get involved with companies that hold the same core values as you do.
Network with people who have similar goals or a similar mindset.
Ask for help or advice from mentors in the field.
Acquire additional skills you may need to succeed in the job.
Think outside the box to reach for beyond your limits.
Avoid jobs that do not steer you in the right direction.
Stay positive and be persistent.
Step 3: Stay Passionate
By following these steps, you will define and find your dream job. However, the most important thing in your career is to stay passionate. If you can’t find a job that meets your expectations, keep looking. If people tell you to go another (easier) direction, don’t listen. If the process is slower than expected, keep going. Stick to your vision and don’t let situations around you force you into the wrong job. I’m not saying stay at home and watch TV because you haven’t found the right job. I mean that you should filter your job search according to your career goals. Otherwise, you will constantly find yourself in a dead-end job. If you are not happy where you currently are, make a change for yourself! Step out of your comfort zone and reach for the many other opportunities available. When you do find yourself in a good job, continue to work hard to excel in it. Find new ways to learn and overcome any difficulties. Be persistent and don’t lose sight of your career goals until you find your dream job. You can achieve great things when you bet on yourself.
Hear how one of our very own bet on herself, and changed her career path to one she loves and excels in everyday.