How to get the career you want
- Know what you want!
Become proactive – don’t just leap at whatever opportunity comes along. Make a list of exactly what you loved in every job you ever had. Trust that you already know exactly what you want and then find ways to let it come to the surface. What are your priorities? Salary? Work life balance? A sense that you’re doing something important? Decide what your priorities are, and every couple of years, take the time to reevaluate yourself to see if your priorities have changed. You might think that you’ve got a good grasp on what you really want, but according to the research most people don’t.
- Know what you don’t want!
Go ahead – make a list. Everything that you ever disliked about job… anything that makes your life harder, not easier. It’s time to abandon all those ‘shoulds!’ Most people spend at least half their waking hours at work (if not more). Why would you want to spend half your life in misery? Make sure you know what factors are off limits for you, and avoid jobs that involve those at all costs, unless you’re literally going to starve otherwise. Because she had a young child at home, Janis Rodriguez (from website Mi Trabajo Mi Casa) focused her efforts on finding “trabajo desde casa” – a work from home job. She ruled out any and all jobs that required her to commute. While the initial job search took longer and presented greater difficulties, when she eventually found a job, it was the perfect fit. She could keep an eye on her child, stay at home, and make a living.
- Know your values!
What’s more important to you than anything else in the world? Family, fun, wealth, expertise, wisdom, helping others……? While it’s possible to work for a company where the values don’t align with yours, you’re unlikely to flourish in such an organization. The best company to work for is a company whose values truly align with your own.
- Know your strengths!
If it’s easy for you, you can bet it’s hard for someone else. You were born with incredible talents – go ahead and admit it, and decide to use them to make money. It’s generally a mistake to lean against your natural strengths. Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking that whatever it is your good at isn’t something that you can make money from. Almost anything can be turned into a business if you’re good enough at it.
- Know where you are in the process
Do you know what you want, but aren’t sure how to do it? Do you have an inkling, but can’t seem to tie it into anything tangible? Are you clueless? Once you know where you are, it’s just a matter of locating the resources to take you a step closer. There’s always a next step to take towards your dream job. Figure out what the next step is, then take it. Eventually you’ll get where you want to, regardless of how far away it seems.
- Get support!
Barbara Sher (author of Wishcraft) says that isolation is the real dreamkiller. Don’t try to live life as a lone ranger – find a coach,a mentor, a consultant, or create a success team. Build a support network of people who you can talk careers and business to. Not all your friends will meet this criteria – sometimes you need to go searching for like-minded peers. Get some momentum and see what happens!
- Get financially stable!
Money can be the number one obstacle – if you can’t support yourself, it’s unlikely you’ll have the energy to do anything else. It’s important to remember that we live in an economically driven world, and that being able to pay for the bare necessities is the first step. If you aren’t in a position where you can find a job that you love, find a job that cover your bills first, then make a two year plan that involves saving and working towards your goals.
- Get honest!
Admit that there’s something wonderful out there waiting for you to recognise it. What scares you about it? What makes you excited about it? How do you need to change to make it happen? Be honest with yourself about where you are and where you’d like to be, and figure out if you’re willing to pay the cost of getting to where you want to go. Don’t let other people tell you what you should be doing – if you’re honestly and earnestly working towards the things you want, then you have reason to be proud of yourself.
- Make room for a change!
Would your life be chaotic if you found work you love? Would the laundry keep piling up, would your home look like a rubbish dump, would you ever eat a healthy meal? Get these distractions on automatic pilot so you can spend your time as productively as possible.
- Start having fun NOW!
If you’re miserable in your job, chances are the rest of your life isn’t much fun either. Make a list of things that you know you have fun doing, and then schedule some time to do at least one this week. Relaxation and downtime is essential to avoid burnout.