Do you look forward to Monday mornings with dread, and dream of changing jobs? Or are you about to embark on your career and uncertain where you want your journey to take you? There are plenty of jobs to inspire you out there, you just need to know where to look.
Whether you feel stuck and don’t know where to go, or you have a dream but feel like it’s impossible, the answer is more achievable than you think. Check out our top tips for discovering and pursuing your dream career below.
What Would You Do If You Didn’t Need to Work?
Imagine you didn’t have to work, and had all the time and money in the world. There is one caveat, however: you need to leave the house all day every day, so you won’t be able to just watch Netflix! How would spend your time? This will show you where your passions are, and the things you would. Although you may not be able to do exactly these things as a job, it will give you an idea of the general area or direction you should be heading in. Your dream job lies at the intersection of the 3Ps- you should look for activities that you can be really good at (Perfection), which are Profitable and which you are Passionate about.
Visualise Yourself in 10 Years
Another great exercise to uncover your dream career is to visualise your ideal future life. Sit down, relax, and close your eyes. Visualise yourself ten years from now. Where do you live? What is your house like? Are you in a relationship? What does a typical Sunday look like. Now think about your career: what will your job be as part of your dream life. This could be something specific, like a specific position at a company or organisation you love, or it could be more general, like a type of position or just a profession.
Don’t Be Limited in Your Dreams
It is important when doing these exercises not to limit yourself. Really think about your actual dream career and dream life ten years from now, not what you think is possible. If you limit yourself with your dreams, you will limit your future self. Opening yourself up to all possibilities means that literally anything is possible. In reality, you are only limited by your imagination. The sky’s the limit, you just need to work out how to get there, which you will never do if you contain your dreams from the start.
Make a Step by Step Plan
Once you have a good idea of where you want to go, it is time to work out how to get there. This can be the most overwhelming part. Many people don’t know how to work towards their dreams and this can keep these in the dream category, rather than ever becoming a reality. However, making a plan to achieve your dreams is relatively simple if you work backwards. Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down where you are now in your career at the top of the page (be honest!). At the bottom of the page, write the dream career you visualised 10 years from now. Working back from that end point, plot out the steps in between to get from one point to the other. What qualifications, certifications and skills will you need to have at each stage? What do you need to do at the stage before to get that skills and experience?
Take the First Step
Now you have your plan, you’re ready to go. Right? Well, almost. The hardest part is taking the first step. This is by far the most intimidating part of the journey. More importantly, once you have taken that first step, every step after that will be much easier. As the saying goes, a journey of one thousand miles starts with the first step. Go back to your step by step plan: what is the first stage after the one you are right now. What do you need to do to get to that stage. Make a list of action items, whether this is completing a course, applying for jobs, or expanding your network. Break these down to easy, bite-sized chunks and take your first bite.
Designing the career of your dreams is not only possible, it’s very achievable. Once you have visualised your dream self, mapped out your plan, the only thing left to do is to take your first step!
Find a Personal Mentor
Remember your friend in school who asked you mock questions before the exam? And you did the same for them? To make sure you don’t lose steam, see if you can find a trusted friend with whom you can review progress every three months over a coffee (or something stronger!) The path will seem easier and more fun with a friend to share your journey.