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In our younger years, most of us had some idea of what we’d like to ‘be’ when we grow up.
We drew our inspiration from the world around us: our caregivers and the telly; shopkeepers, schoolteachers, and officials in our lives such as police officers, doctors, and even bus drivers.
Do what you enjoy: some people can’t believe they get paid to do something they’d do for free, simply because they enjoy it so much.Tweet This
What we don’t get, in any concrete measure, is what, exactly, a dream job may be.
Is it the one we dreamed of ‘being’ when we were little? One that we could earn power, prestige and lots of money doing? One that clicks with our beliefs and worldview?
Whatever your definition of a dream job may be, following these steps is sure to help you find it.
Step One: Define Your Ingredients
Can you describe what your ideal job would include?
You might like the idea of working outdoors or with animals; with children, with computers. Perhaps you can’t get enough of museums or classical antiquity. Or could playing with numbers be all you crave?
One essential ingredient of a dream job is the satisfaction you will derive from it.
Others include being able to work on something you care deeply about, being able to use your natural gifts and talents and being able to learn new things fairly regularly.
Listing what your dream job consists of is the best way to start.
Step Two: Describe Your Dream Job
Now that you know what goes into making your perfect job, take time to bring those ideas into sharper focus.
You want to work outdoors: doing what? You might be a roofer, a farmer or a park ranger. You might choose landscaping or ecosystem management.
Once you’ve brought your main dream job criterion into focus, you can start populating it.
Would you rather work alone or with a like-minded team? Would you like to be a team leader?
Are leadership skills a part of the gifts/talents you bring to the job? What else do you bring?
Recognising your talents and gifts requires substantial introspection and a hefty dose of realism. For instance, you may be quite the prolific writer… but only in your journal. With no real idea of how your writing would be received, you cannot yet count it as a gift or talent.
On the other hand, you can count writing as a career you would like to pursue…
Step Three: Putting a Name to It
Now that you have a clear definition of what a dream job represents to you, it’s time to find out whether such a job actually exists.
At this point, it would be a great idea to talk with a job counsellor who could help you further categorise your dream job.
S/he will help define which field your dream job falls in: building and design, planning, marketing and the like. And, if your dream job does not neatly fall into any currently established category, s/he will help you best define what you’re looking for.
Once you know that, you can target your job search to those positions that meet your criteria.
“Searching through job listings, finding a job you like and sending off your CV is no longer enough to land your dream job. Today’s job market is a highly competitive place, and in order to stand out from the hundreds of other applicants who may be applying for the same position you need to be on your A-game.” – Landing Your Dream Job
You might find job counsellors at the employment office, at your school or active in your community. Some counsellors, like Superprof, have a strong online presence.
What if, after all of this brainstorming, you still have no idea what your dream job consists of?
Talking to people is the best way to start finding out. Your teachers and caregivers, job counsellors and mates; there is a good chance they have an idea which career fields you might be well-suited to.
Consider the different types of work environments: office, factory, shop, restaurant, in the great outdoors… If you can narrow that list down to the ones you think you’d be happiest in, you would get closer to defining what your dream job could be.
Do what you enjoy: some people can’t believe they get paid to do something they’d do for free, simply because they enjoy it so much.
To make this dream-defining method work, forget about money and the future; think about doing what you love and see where it takes you.
Many people end up quite surprised that a job they took on a whim turned out to be what they’d been looking for all along – satisfying work that reflects their ethos and still pays the bills.
Which brings us to our final point: be flexible.
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s best to be open when an opportunity presents itself.