Dream Job Process with Worksheet
Finding out what your dream job actually is can be hard enough. Reaching this goal is even more difficult. Chances are, your “dream job” will change before you reach it and you will end up doing something even better that you ever dreamed of. There is no secret sauce or magic pill. You will only achieve your goal through ACTION and you must start immediately! This is 100% a process and this process takes years to complete. The good news is that the process is more fun than you ever imagined. Although point “Z” is sexy, starting at “A” and working through it all is fun and sometimes just as rewarding as the finish line itself.
The people doing your dream job did not get there overnight. No one gave them the opportunity without them earning it first. This is great news for you! This means that there is a real world process they followed to achieve this position; and you can follow it too. It is hard work that starts at the granular level and builds momentum throughout the journey.
Step 1: Figure out what your dream job actually is! This sounds easy and most people immediately think of someone that is extremely successful and wealthy and then assumes they will also be happy doing the same thing. This can have disastrous results. You need to think about several things first. What do you enjoy? What is your skill set? Can you make a living doing this? You want to pick something that will compliment your skill set. Being good at what you do is part of the appeal.
Step 2: Analyze that dream job and figure out what skills are important. Talk to someone doing the job or research to find out what the successful people in the job are really good at. Math? Graphic Design? Speaking? Negotiating? Analyzing Trends? Write down everything you can find. Also, take note of their career path to get to that position. With only a few exceptions, most people will have switched companies, jobs, careers, and focus several times! They were using each of these transitions as stepping stones to build their skill set.
Step 3: Build your skill set. Working towards you dream job doesn’t start in college. It starts as soon as you are born and continues till,…. the end. Whether you are in junior high or 10 years into your career, you should be working to become qualified for your dream job by gaining the skills you found to be important in step 2. You don’t need to be in the same industry and chances are you can do this as a hobby. Example: My goal is to become VP of Marketing for a large company. It is hard to become a marketing manager without any experience, so I asked to do marketing with a local ice skating rink while in college. This started as a volunteer type position and turned into a part time job. I learned CRM management, direct mail strategies, and cold calling. I carried those skills with me to help get the next position where I restarted the learning process. Each time I took a new position, I grew my skill set which helped me get the next position.
Step 4: ADJUST! Just because you set a goal and are working towards it, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it no matter what. Part of the process is learning if you like the career path or not. If you get into process and you suddenly realize that dealing with kids is a terrible way to spend a day, then you should adjust your plan from becoming a principal to something else! If this realization happens months or years into the process, then not all is lost. Take a look back and figure out what you did enjoy while working towards your goal and adjust your goal! Too many people get frustrated because they “wasted years working towards becoming a….”. I guarantee that it was not a waste! 1st, You figured out you didn’t really want to do “X”. 2nd, you built your skill set and probably found other things you enjoy.
Take Action Today
Start the process. Fill out the Dream Job Worksheet and take action right now. Make a call to volunteer. Start a blog. Interview someone in the position and ask to be mentored. Do anything you can to figure out what skills you need and get to work getting them!