In my post Dream Job or Fantasy?, I highlighted an entitlement mentality that pervades too many job seekers (or even job holders). I touched on what’s wrong with this viewpoint and why it can sabotage our careers (even as the person thinks the opposite.)
Then, in You Can Have Your Dream Job, I talked about having a dream job (it’s okay to have it as a goal), and beginning steps to have that dream job.
In this third post in the series, I would like to share a foundational thing you need to do in order to make that dream job a reality.
Remember that I said that you are likely to have 3-5 careers in your lifetime? Keeping that in mind, a job that you consider a “dream job” today may not be so dreamy in a decade or so. Be prepared to have several “dream jobs” in your career. In other words, don’t get too focused on only one… or think that an alternate career (or path) will doom you to missing your dream.
To find (and land) that dream job, there are several things you will have to do. We will cover them over the next several posts.
First, remember that a dream job is not likely to come looking for you. You have to take the initiative and hunt it down. In order to do that, you need to know what that dream job is and what it looks like. (After all, if you are going hunting, you better know what your quarry looks like and where it lives. You won’t have much success finding an alligator in the desert. But a swamp?… much more likely.)
Write down all the aspects of the job. (Yes, write them down. In longhand, preferably. I don’t have space to cover why right now, but it is part of how your brain works.) Also write down the less obvious aspects of the job, including the ancillary aspects. (Things like whether you are working from home or with other people, what the “corporate” culture or office culture is like, what coworkers are needed and what they are like…. I’m sure you get the idea.)
Surprised at the inclusion of the ancillary aspects? Too many people I know had their dream job turn into a nightmare when they got the job they wanted but the culture that came with it wasn’t acceptable. Why only get half of the job you really want?
Also look at where and how this job is performed. Does this job only happen in one industry? Is it restricted to a geographic location? Does this job have physical or age restrictions? (There aren’t many 55 year old combat fighter pilots… and the reason is not due to age or gender discrimination…. at least not by human bosses.)
Now take a look at it sideways — those restrictions you just listed may not be limitations if you look at it sideways. For instance, there are highly competent combat fighter pilot trainers well above the age of someone sent into combat. They get to do just about everything a combat pilot would do… except fire real rounds (or missiles) at another live target… and get shot at themselves.
Likewise a job that you think may only be available in one industry may really have a counterpart in a different industry… using the same skills. Quite often geographic restrictions also can be overcome.
You might think that a secretary, or administrative assistant, or office manager has a location restriction. Virtual Assistants would tell you otherwise. I know offices with the whole staff working from their homes in different parts of the country… crossing four time zones.
Looking at this sideways may open up a whole new set of places that you can be prospecting for your dream job.
Now that you have applied some creativity to defining the dream job (and where it is likely to be found), it is time to begin searching for it. Look for that in the next post.
By the way, if you are having problems making all of this happen, you may need the extra help and support of a coach. Some outside eyes and assistance may be just the ticket to getting your ticket punched. If you think you could use the help, be sure and check out my coaching programs. They are proven to help people overcome the blocks and obstacles that hold them back. Guaranteed.