Stagnation. Burned out. Underappreciated. Stressed. The words that can be temporary and manageable. They can also be a sign that your career path is not what you expected. Over the years you may discover that your position does not feed your soul.
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I am not suggesting that the greatest job for you will not include bad days. But bad days become regret and resentment when you are not where you should be. Fortunately, it is not too late. Landing your dream job will take desire, work, and passion.
These qualities will come naturally when you discover the right path. But how do you know you are on the right path?
Today I will discuss five questions you can ask to choose and maintain the direction to your dream job and your dream future.
1. What do I need to be happy?
Your journey starts here. Ask yourself what qualities you need to be happy in life. Translate those qualities to the start of your job hunt. Do you need freedom in your life? Perhaps working for yourself is a requirement.
Do you desire human connection on an individual basis? Human services might be the ticket to a permanent smile.
Do you prefer the quiet solitude and analyzing? Perhaps a career in computers.
The questions are endless and so are the implications. As you begin to envision and translate these qualities, the mission will become clear.
2. Where is my support network?
This is an overlooked factor in obtaining your dream job. Where is your support network? Who can you connect with to further your search?
You may have played the game Six Degrees where you try to connect two people through no more than six steps.
The same can be said of job searching. Burning bridges is a poor method of maintaining a network but when was the last time you actively sought to build new bridges?
Reach out beyond your immediate circle and work those six degrees. Your coworker may know someone in the business you are seeking.
Your mother may have a friend who can connect you to just the right person.
3. How can I test my vision?
It is common for people to jump into jobs or careers without testing the waters.
I have clients who are unhappy in their occupations because of this factor. You have seen your vision and have groomed and grown your support network. Now what? Use those connections to find out about the job on a personal level.
Ask people in the career field about the day to day life work. Do not be afraid to ask about the highs and lows. Everyone wants to know the benefits of a career opportunity. You should also ask the potential pitfalls.
In my own experience, I have ended up in two misery-inducing roles because I forgot to ask about the bad days.
Once you have a connection set, ask about shadow opportunities. These are typically one or two-day ‘ride along’ shifts where you can see and experience for yourself the ups and downs of a job without taking the plunge.
4. Does the job pass the ‘really’ test?
Perhaps the most vital question to ask is also the most obscure.
Does the job pass the “really’ test? The ‘really’ test is an internal and private question you ask yourself about the experiences you have had in you shadow days or through study and questions.
It is simple and effective. Think about the job and see how it excites your mind, soul, and spirit. If after some thought, you are asking yourself, “wow, someone will really pay me to do this?” then you have landed your dream job.
Every day I wake up and ask the same question or make the same statement.
“I cannot believe someone pays me to be a psychotherapist.” That statement indicates that I would do this for free if I could still support myself financially.
If your study, research, questioning, and shadowing has you thinking the same, then it is time to ask the final question.
5. What is stopping me from pursuing this opportunity right now?
Ask yourself what can keep you from getting what you want? Keep your questions actionable. Avoid asking why. Instead, ask ‘what.’
What is the first step I need to get my dream started? What are my potential obstacles? What are my hesitations and anxieties? Those are actionable questions.
Those questions lead to actionable solutions.
Nobody will tell you that achieving a dream is easy. It is not supposed to be easy. If you have the passion and drive, you can make your life extraordinary.
These five questions are merely the catalyst to action.
The only thing you have left to do is decide that you are ready to take charge of your happiness. Start your journey today!