Let’s face it; many of us are continually in search for that perfect job or career. We aren’t totally unhappy where we are now, but we also aren’t feeling completely fulfilled in our professional choices. We listen enviously as some of our colleagues and friends share their work stories with passion and excitement. We wonder if we will ever find that magical place. Some of these leaders are new to their careers while others have been in their jobs for many years. It doesn’t matter how long we have been in our jobs if something is missing or just doesn’t meet the expectations we might have.
These past few weeks I have heard many of these types of stories with leaders asking:
“When will that perfect job be posted?”
“What industry would be a better fit for my style?”
“Where can I put my true strengths into action and get paid for it?”
“Does that kind of job really exist?”
Wishing and hoping and praying will only get us frustrated. A better approach to tackling that dream job is taking action.
Here are five actions to take while your dream job is still evolving:
1. PUT IT DOWN IN WRITING
Stop dreaming and start strategizing. We begin to commit to a change when we put it in writing. List or describe the components of the job you are in search of.
- What would a typical day look like?
- How would it incorporate your strengths or talents?
- Who would you be reporting to or collaborating with?
- What experiences would be part of this new job or career?
Leaders begin to commit to finding their dream job when they put it in writing.
2. CHOOSE 3 NEXT MOVES
To prevent ourselves from becoming overwhelmed with too many options, pick three actions that are most important to make our dream job a reality. One of the actions might simply be to do some research about a particular career and what types of jobs are available. Stick with three actions and spend time doing your research and self-reflection.
3. TALK TO SOMEONE IN THE JOB OR CAREER
I’m a big proponent of interviewing someone who may already be in that job or career. People love to talk about their paths and how they got to where they currently work. You might even try to identify a mentor who could continue to be part of your future career journey. Make sure to have them share their mistakes and failures. Knowing the trajectory someone else took can often help you position your direction more accurately.
To make a career change interview someone already in the field.
4. IDENTIFY YOUR SKILL GAPS
Now comes a hard look at what you need to do and change to nail down that dream job choice. Here are some critical questions to ask yourself. Be honest with your responses.
- How can I attain the right skills mix to be qualified for this dream job or career?
- What positions could I apply for to gain more experience in this field?
- What type of additional training or education is needed for this career?
- Are any of my current skills transferrable and how?
5. FOLLOW THROUGH
Are you definitely ready to embark on your dream job and willing to do what it takes to obtain it? Then using your dream job description set up dates to make it happen. Commit to make this dream job search a priority. Don’t become discouraged when one action doesn’t work; simply replace it with a new one. Just don’t stop your movement forward.
How have you led while searching for your dream job or career? What steps have worked for you?
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