I’m going to share a little known secret about me. When I was seven I wanted to be a ballerina, it was the only thing I loved and the only thing I wanted to do. My dream job! My mum was a dance teacher and I loved everything about ballet – the classes she taught, my pink tutu and my pretty ballet pumps. Whilst I loved ballet it was never actually going to be reality for me and would always remain just a dream (a serious lack of skills and ability combined with not enough dedication and determination) but why when we get older is it sooooooo much harder to identify and achieve our own dream career?
Unfortunately, there is no manual, guide or even any clearly defined steps that you need to follow to find your dream career. What industry/sector? What city/region? What position? What am I actually good at? What do I actually enjoy? How can I get on the right path and find the job and career for me? Where on earth do you start?! The following three easy steps are a great start to help you identify what makes up your dream career:
Focus on what you don’t like!
You might not be clear on what you want to do, however you’re likely to know what you don’t want to do or what you don’t like. To help you start and focus on your dream career, write a list of things that you know you don’t want to do. It helps to get creative and expressive, make it an exhaustive list including broad and specific dislikes.
Once you’ve made your list, the next step is to make it relevant to your job search. Identify jobs that fall under your “don’t wants.” For example, if you don’t want to work long, crazy hours a job as a Finance Broker in the City or working in a Recruitment Agency as an account executive may not be ideal for you.
Now use your same list to reverse things and create a list of the things you do want and do like. These might be such things as having flexibility in your working hours/being able to work from home, working closely with creative individuals, or working in a small supportive team. What’s do you want and what do you like/enjoy?
Using this dislikes and likes list is now a great starting point in searching for and identifying your dream career.
Focus on your actual skills, not JUST qualifications
Qualifications are great, and for some jobs and specific professions they are a must have (who would want to be seen by an unqualified doctor?) As a result, far too often we focus on the qualifications for a job rather than actual skills. Make a list thinking about:
- What you are good at?
- What do you find easy?
- What seems to come naturally?
- When do you find you really enjoy yourself?
- When/what are you doing when you are at your happiest?
If this seems an impossible task, ask others for some feedback:
- What do they think you are good at?
- What do they think you do well?
- When do they see you at your happiest?
Identifying your skills and focusing on them will help you searching for and identifying your dream career.
Focus on a dream life, not JUST a dream career
For most of us lifestyle is vitally important. Your job and career is only one part of a dream life. Does your dream career fit into your dream life? In your dream career how would your life look? Would you be living the life you want from a financial, social and ethical point of view?
Looking at your dream life, it’s useful to remember that there are many aspects to a dream career: earning money, personal satisfaction, your development and growth, supporting and working with others, work-life balance and the importance of daily happiness.
Perhaps thinking less about your dream career and more about the lifestyle you want might be beneficial!
If you’re looking for more career advice and support come on over and join the Your Career Quest tribe (private Facebook group) – click here to find out more and join for free – I’d love to see you there