Know How To Find Your Dream Job?
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.
- Henry Ford
Finding Your Dream Job ... A Step By Step Guide
So here is my step by step approach to finding your dream job. See if you think it will work for you.
Step 1. Know What A Dream Job Is
Lots of people casually talk about looking for their dream job, but no one ever defines what a dream job really is.
Too often, people's idea of a dream job is based on a fantasy instead of a realistic look at what they would love to get paid to do all day.
What A Dream Job Is Not
So here is what a dream job is not. Any one of these items means the job you have or are considering taking on is not the one you dream of. Specifically, a dram job is not a job that ...
- pays you big bucks for doing little or no work
- requires no special skills, knowledge or passion
- only makes life a bit more bearable
- takes over your life and leaves you empty
- takes more than it gives
- puts you on an endless cycle of job hopping
- under whelms you
- leaves you wondering what you are supposed to be doing with your life
- makes life seem mundane and ordinary
- depresses your soul and your spirit
- makes you choose between it and the people you love
- justifies itself by giving you a gold watch at retirement
- involves working with people you hate
- makes your community and the world worse
- leads you astray from the joys and passions of life
- negatively impacts your self esteem
- makes you respect yourself less
- erodes your self confidence
- makes you feel small or insignificant
- stresses you out
- feels like it is one size too small
- drives you crazy (but not in a good way)
- you take to please other people
- settle for and try to make the best of
- makes you feel stupid, dumb or just plain ignorant a lot of the time
- makes you work for, around or with people who look down on you
- is killing you
- does not pay you what you are really worth
- makes you behave like you do not care
- squashes your potential
- hides your best qualities and abilities
- makes you go against your principles
- undermines your values and relationships
- lacks challenge and curbs ambition
- turns you into someone you don't like
As you can tell, this is a pretty long list of things that are not part of any dream job --- no matter how well it pays or how hard you worked to get it. And if any of these items apply to the job you currently have -- or dream of having ... Guess what? It isn't a dream job.
As Ms. Nicey would say ... its a whole lot of foolishness ... and maybe it is time to clean house. To do that, start by identifying the type of job you have.
If you get the gist of the list above (flies in the ointment that spoil any job, including your dream job), perhaps you might be interested in ...
What A Dream Job Really Is
So what exactly is a dream job? It is a real job that pays handsomely to do great work .. work you love. You can tell it is a dream job because it is a job that ...
- rewards you well for your special skills, knowledge and passion
- gives more than it takes
- puts you on your desired career path
- makes you feel that you know what you are supposed to be doing with your life
- makes life seem blessed and extraordinary
- inspires your soul and spirit
- makes you feel wonderful
- fulfills you
- pays you well for your time and energy
- brings you closer to the people you love
- justifies itself by making you excited to start the day
- involves working with people you love
- makes your community and the world better
- leads you towards the joys and passions of life
- positively impacts your self esteem
- makes you respect yourself more
- makes you feel great and empowered
- provides you with the benefits and perks that are meaningful to you
- builds your self confidence
- makes you feel generous and significant
- you pleases you deeply
- gives you the feeling everything is right with the world (even if it could use a few changes)
- doesn't let you settle and allows you to make the best of yourself
- makes you feel smart a lot of the time
- brings you to life and keeps you feeling that way
- pays you what you are really worth
- recognizes and develops your potential
- highlights your best qualities and abilities
- upholds your principles and allows you to live them
- supports and strengthens your values and relationships
- challenges you to grow, evolve and succeed
- turns you into who you were meant to be
Okay, so now you have a better idea of what a dream job is and is not. Are you ready for...
Step 2. Determine The Essential Ingredients of Your Dream Job
Ever wonder how to define your dream job? Searching for a way to describe what your dream job will look and feel like? Curious how to turn that description into a detailed list of ingredients?
A Loose Definition
The second step in finding your dream job starts with loosely describing what your dream job will look and feel like, so you can go looking for it ... and know it when you see it.
Working at the level of ideas ... helps you focus first on the most important things your dream job will do for you .. the "why" behind it being your dream job ... and not just another job that pays the bills or is a lot of fun.
Dream jobs are special because of the way they make you feel ... and you know you have one when you are inspired to say something like this ...
"I absolutely love my work. Each workday is meaningful because I get to work on the things I care about. I work with great people and am doing the things I used to only dream of.
I am great at what I do and my paycheck reflects that. I feel like I am finally doing the work I was born to do."
The Essential Ingredients of A Dream Job
To make you feel this way ... a dream job is filled with certain things that fill your life with meaning, joy and large paychecks. Like being paid to follow your bliss, a dream job is work where you get to ...
- Use your gifts and talents
- To do what you love
- Using the things you love
- Working with the people you love
- Spending time in the places you love
- Working on the problems, issues, and needs you care deeply about
- And having the experiences you love
- While following your life calling and fulfilling your life purpose
- And being inspired to live an the life you dream of
Now is a good time to take a moment and seriously think about the definition above.
- Would you be thrilled to make a good living doing work like that?
- Does it describe how you envision your dream job?
If it does, then I can show you how to work on creating your own list of personal ingredients by taking a quiz to discover your dream job. Take a few minutes to check out this link and see if you are ready to focus on making your list a reality.
Once you have a list, you can turn it into a way to discover your ideal job or business in the next step.
Once you have a detailed list of ingredients for your dream job, you need to see how to turn them into a detailed description of your own dream job.
If you have answered the quiz for discovering your dream job, you will have a list of 50 to 100 things that make up your dream job ... things like the people you want to work around or for, the places you want to work in, and the specific tasks you want to work on or solve.
Then all you need to do is provide your own ingredients and fill in the blanks below, and you have a statement of your dream job.
My Dream Job Is ..
Surrounded by the people I love to work with and for, _________, ___________, and __________ ... I solve the problems, issues or needs I love to work on, such as ____________, ______________ and _______________ .
My workday is filled with amazing experiences, such as ______________, ________________, ___________ and I get to use my favorite things, like _______________, _____________, _____________ and __________.
I am finally able to afford the life I want, where I can be ___________, ___________, do _________, _____________ and have _____________, _____________ and ______________.
The Problem Is ...
It looks like a simple task. And if you know yourself really, really well ... it isn't that hard.
The problem is that most of us can't do it. We have no clue what are gifts and talents are, what problems we love to solve, what places inspire and and the types of people who bring out the best in us. We have no idea what amazing experiences we want to fill our days with and what our life calling is.
But don't despair. The reason you don't know this stuff is that you were never taught it in school. Most classes in high school and college focus on teaching you basic facts, theories, and what previous great minds have discovered. Few, if any, focus on helping you discover who you are, what your potential is, what you would like to do with your life, or what your dream job is.
So when faced with the above, we draw a blank. If this has happened to you, read more about answering "What is My Dream Job?" ....
Step 4. Find Your Dream Job Titles
This is the step that feels like magic ... finding words and a real job title that reflects exactly what you want to spend your life doing ... and earn a living at. In all the steps or tasks involved in finding your dream job, it is the one that I enjoy helping people with the most.
Like most of the inhabitants of the Art Gallery , it brings me to life to see others light up when their detailed dream job description becomes a reality.
Seeking A good Job *Counselor*
With your description in hand, any good job counselor or guidance counselor in high school, college, job bank, unemployment office or placement office can help you zero quickly in on titles that fit your description.
And with the title or work keywords, you can look up the jobs and learn more about them ... on the Internet, job search boards, or Jobs Outlook reference books.
Arranging Into Life Path Categories
But this is not just a site to help you put your life and dream job in the hands of someone else ... because there is a lot more work to do ... and it will help you when you go for interviews and talk with people about what you are looking for.
The first thing I do is look at what life path your dream job ingredients fall into. Usually the activities, things, people and places you love fit within one to three life paths ... and give you a great starting place. Discovering what they are is another light bulb going off ... because suddenly all of the things you love .... from people and places to activities and experiences ... fall into place and the puzzle of what you love starts to make sense.
So take a moment and look over your dream job ingredient list and then look at the nine life paths to see which ones fit you best. Each life path has a major activity that defines it ....
Life Path Activities
By grouping things into activities, you automatically start to create career groups that match the major type of activity your ingredients fit into. To see an example of how this works, read the bush chef's raw list and then look at the list sorted into life paths and specific activities.
The way it works is simple. You just group your ingredients under common activities, and then change the word from an adjective describing the activity ... into a noun that names the person who does those things.
Here are a few examples ...
writing --> writer
planning --> planner
performing --> performer
inventing --> inventor
managing --> manager
building --> builder
That is all there is to it. And with these labels ... you start to have the beginnings of a job title you can use to look up professions, careers and trades.
Start Researching Titles
With this under your belt, it is time to do some research. Go to a career center and ask about references that list and describe job categories and titles.Or visit the Books and look at the Occupational Outlook there. Or just go online and look at careers and professions or the online version of helpful references ...
While you are there, get a counselor to check out what you have done and give you some feedback. They might be able to spot something you missed or lead yo directly to the material you need to research your dream job titles.
You want to try to cast a wide net and come up with all the possible options. Once you have a good list, you will want to do more checking around to narrow the list down to the job titles that best reflect most or all of your dream job ingredients.
Does that seem easy enough?
Still Want A Little Hand holding?
If you are new to turning ideas and work activities into professions, here is another example to help you see how it is done.
A Short Ingredient List
Say you love ...
kindergartners, crayons and playing board games ...
these fit into Life Path 2 (Nurturing).
But you also love doctors and hospitals,
which fit into Life Path 6 (Healer).
And you love working out and running in marathons
(you even won a prize for jumping rope in grade school),
which is Life Path 5 (Athlete).
Old School Approach To Choosing Careers
The old school approach would be to have you look in three different directions (becoming a kindergarten teacher, a doctor or a personal trainer) and then choosing one of them.
New Focused Job Titles
But ... if instead you do have stepped back ... and looked at the activities that you love and want to get paid for doing ... you are looking to CoMBINE
Nurturing, Healing and Athletics
That gives you a lot more options and places to look to find out exactly what your dream job is. Often, people will get a few ideas and jump at the first or second job that meets those needs .. and end up later unhappy with their choice and confused about why it did not turn out to be their dream job. The reason often is that your dream job has many components or ingredients .. and you need to find a job that meets most or all fifty to one hundred ingredients .. not just two or five or ten.
More Ingredients Helps You Zero In
Would you love a recipe that was missing 90% of its required ingredients? Would you even want to try it out .. or would you pass it up and wait for the real thing?
So why settle for a dream job that only has 10% of the things that make it your dream job?
In this example, we need more information to help you zero in on exactly what you would love to do. For example, who do you want to work with as clients ... children or doctors?
- Profession: Physical therapy is one profession that combines healing and athletics. Working within the field of pediatrics lets you combine healing with nurturing young children, as does work in cognitive development and learning disabilities.
- Job Title: Combining the fields of pediatrics and physical therapy, you might love the idea of being a physical rehabilitation aide ... someone who gets to spend all day working one-on-one with kids ... helping them develop their physical and mental abilities while recovering from major life threatening illnesses. The work involves hands on interaction with the kids playing with balls and jump ropes as well as board games and flash cards.
But maybe you want to work with kids, but you also have gifts and talents in computer programming and writing software. Then you might be more drawn to ...
- Profession: Computer & Interactive Games Development in the field of cognitive development, specializing in helping kids who are disabled mentally or physically.
- Job Title: Game Developer, Inventor, or Programmer working on games to help therapists diagnose problems, as well as to help stimulate and develop specific skills.
But maybe you are more drawn to working in depth with lifelong skills and self esteem ... and the athletic side of you wants to be more active. In that case ...
- Profession & Title: You might want to be involved with the Special Olympics as a trainer or facilitator -- someone who works directly with the kids on a daily basis helping them develop their physical abilities.
Now you have three job titles and an organization you like to work with, and can keep your eye out as you learn more about the opportunities in the work world to do what you love.
Step 5. Find The Right Industries, Companies & Bosses For You
Finding the right industry, company and boss can make all the difference in whether you love or hate your dream job. Do you know how to find the right ones for you?
If not, you are not alone ... many people think any place where they can do their dream job ... has to be wonderful. But employers are not created equal. They have different missions, values and cultures .... as do industries. And bosses come in all types ... from tyrants to pussycats ... and evolved individuals who can champion your goals and give you wings to be very successful.
Taking The Time
So taking the time to get it right ... and avoid mistakes .. is well worth it. Often, we are so relieved that we have found someone who will pay us to do our dream job, we overlook the small warning signs.
Or miss the rare opportunity with the right boss ...
Finding The RIght Industries
The place to start is with industries .. because often if you move around ... you tend to stay within an industry because of the special knowledge you gain and the network and reputation you build. All of that usually means higher salaries if you stay within an industry where they know you, and another reason why it makes sense to find the right industries.
Ups & Downs
Industries go through cycles like the seasons ... and some are just emerging, some are growing like weeds, while others are slowing down and some are dying off. It pays to know what your favorite industries are doing.
For example, buggy whips and wheel wrights used to be all the rage ... until the automobile can along and replaced them. The dot com's were a great place to work until the industry overheated, too many launched IPOs (going public to cash in by issuing stocks) and the Dot Com Bubble burst ... laying off thousands of people and emptying speculative stock portfolios of value.
Values & Cultures
Industries also have industry wide cultures and values .... so you want to find ones that are aligned with yours. If you are an environmentalist trying to work inside a polluting industry, you can expect that you are going to be working against the mores and standard ways of doing business. That could be great, unless you hate being a crusader and underdog.
Cultures can range from old school to cutting edge ... Ivy League to creative chaos ... valuing stability, tradition, stewardship and exhaustive research .. or be at the other end of the spectrum , rewarding anarchy leading to new revolutions in ideas and business practices, entrepreneurship , garage based startups and fly by your pants initiative and huspa.
To learn more about industries, first you will want to find the ones that fit your life paths. Although people can fit into a number of industries ,, such as accountants, consultants, factory workers and shipping clerks .. most industries are built around a core activity. Finding the ones that fit your profile of dream job could just be the cat's meow.
Find The Right Companies
Once you know the right industries for you .. the ones that match your values and support the things you care deeply about ... you can look for the best companies within each industry.
Brand News & Old
Just like industries, companies have their own cycles. Some are brand new, others are growing up, and still others are maturing or in the process of aging and dying off. Rarely does a company last more than 100 years ... and many that are under two years old will not make it to their third year.
So you want to look carefully at the age and health of a company, as well as where it is in its lifecycle.
Elevators Going Up & DOwn
Companies also have a place or niche in an industry. Some are the innovators, while others are the market leaders, or the old standard.
All have a place on the totem pole of the best companies to work for .. with the ones who value customers, reward employees and focus on making sustainable profits at the top.
High turnover employee mills who chew up employees and spit them out are at the bottom, along with companies that flout laws and try to make a quick buck before rolling up the sidewalks and getting out of town.
In the middle are the companies that care but not that much ... doing what they have to in order to stay in business and keep out of trouble and red ink. They are decent to their employees and customers ... but they do not value loyalty or look to pay more than they have to. Employees and customers come and go ... both are expendable if they get a better offer.
Finding The Right Bosses
Once you have found the best companies for you to work for, it is time to focus on who you will be working for. The most overlooked choice in evaluating a job offer is who you will be working for. Most of us tend to think that all bosses are either all the same, or we have no control over who we work for.
But your immediate and one level up boss are critical in making your dream job a dream instead of a nightmare. Who you work for is a choice ,,, and all bosses are not created equal. These two people are the ones who will give you bonuses, raises and perks. They will decide if you get promoted, how much you earn, what assignments and projects you get to work on, how much you get to build critical and valuable skills and experience for your resume, and what kind of reference you get from the company.
So you want a boss that not only likes you, but sees you as a valuable asset and valued member of the team ... who respects you, your opinion and recommendations. Someone who wants you to succeed at the job. Someone who will be a mentor and champion when job growth assignments and promotions become available.
If your boss sees you as a threat, dislikes you, or does not want great people working for them ... you are in trouble. And in any skirmish between boss and employee, the boss automatically wins ... because someone already hired them and put them in charge. Not very often does a boss get fired, because that would mean that someone else higher up made a hiring mistake. And you are easier to replace than a boss ... and usually the boss is the one who gets to tell the higher ups who and what the problem is ... and they rarely finger themselves as the source of the problem who must go or be transferred.
But you can check out bosses by talking with people about their reputations. Past employees as well as current ones can tell you what the boss is like. Great ones stand out like a beacon in the night ... while the bad ones leave track marks in the sand and skeletons scattered all around them.
Research who you will be working for, ask around the industry about them to see if you want to work for them. And if you would not trust them with your kids or your favorite pet .. do not go to work for them. They control a large part of your life .. 40 hours a week ... and weekend time recovery time if the job is going badly.
The Next Step ..
Now that you have some idea of who you want to work for ... you can start to prepare for your dream job. The easiest way to do that is to ...
If you need some great ideas or inspiration, try these ...