That’s right folks – I am going philosophical on you today. As great as the quote from Confucius is, the sad truth is that doing what you love is the dream of many, but the reality of few.
I get asked to help people with their job searches, however some people haven’t got a clue what the next job should be, where they are heading and what the longer term plan is. They are currently doing one thing and would consider doing ten different others. This makes it near impossible for me or the person themselves to actually get anywhere with the job search, let alone accepting a job offer down the line when the doubts start kicking in:
Confucius, the über wise man himself, put the truth down in a nice quote that sounds easy enough. The question is, how do you actually go about finding out what you would love to do? Not even a career coach can tell you exactly what you should do; it has to come from you. I don’t claim to be an expert on people’s dream careers but there are three simple questions you can ask yourself today and the answers can give you some guidance. Take a few minutes out of your day to think this over and you will have better clarity as a result.
Here we go:
- What is the passion in your life?
- What would you pay to do?
- How would you fill your days if you were a millionaire?
The answers to these three questions are hopefully somewhat similar and will give you a good indication of what your true calling is. Whatever it may be, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it is your childhood dream or what you set out to do before you stumbled upon an different path. Your dream will latently follow you for the rest of your life, your choice is whether to pursue it now or run the risk of having serious regrets later on.
Let’s say we press on. At this point it may seem like the dream activity is impossible to fill your days with unless you are idle rich. Assuming you don’t have that kind of money, your best bet will be to map out what others have done. By modeling others’ path to your dream job, you will have the roadmap ready. Ask yourself the three follow up questions:
- Does anybody get paid doing this?
- How could you get paid doing this?
- What is stopping you?
The answer to the final question is usually an amalgamation of excuses such as limiting beliefs, fear of failure, complacency and the all too cozy comfort zone. These objections can all be overcome with clear goals, hard work and belief in yourself.
Let’s take some action
When you have identified exactly what you want to do, the next step is to research the dream job. What companies or organizations do you target, where are the jobs located, do you need any qualifications, who can you contact that is already doing this? Speak to friends and family, professional contacts, scour Linkedin and the rest of the web for clues. The more research you do, the more fired up you will get.
Set some clear objectives and timescales and make sure you take an action every day to edge toward your goal. Get a big wall calendar to fill out your through goals and achievements. This change could be a long process but as long as you are willing to focus on where you are heading, you will get there.
Please note that while all great jobs out there are up for grabs, you have to do a reality check and make sure you are not delusional when pursuing your dream. There will be physical and other limitations that are out of your control. There could of course be very valid obstacles such as family situation or your finances; as a rule however, there is always a solution that can be worked out over time.
In my mind, as soon as you have identified the job you love you should go for it non-stop. Actually taking the decision to pursue your dream can sometimes be harder than achieving it. I say there are only two things you need to get any job; belief in yourself and desire. The rest will somehow take care of itself.
Are you doing the job you love? Why or why not?
You might want to check out How a Career Coach Can Help Your Job Search as well.