From Just A Dream to Reality
Part of growing up is being able to support yourself and sometimes provide for others as well. In other words, we need a J-O-B! However, that reality doesn’t mean it has to be only work and no fun! In fact, the more you love what you do, the more likely you will be successful and happy doing it. But all too often, we find ourselves working just to get by.
So, how does your job life go from dream to reality?
LOOK UP AND DREAM BIG
First things first: it’s your dream so don’t sell yourself short! Let your imagination soar! If you limit your dream, you limit your reality. Shake off the fear and doubt, tune out those naysayers and really let your spirit take over. What do YOU want your dream to be?
BE FOR REAL
Making something real first takes clarity. Some of us know right away what our dream job is, some of us need to work at it a bit. Here’s a tool I’ve used successfully many times: a living list. Yes, you heard me right. Create a list of the characteristics of your dream job. Keep it in a place where you can continue to adjust it (I like the notes app on my iPhone). Don’t think about a job title—maybe your dream job hasn’t been created yet—instead, think about the many dimensions of your dream:
What types of people do you want to work with? Collaborative, creatives? Powerful movers and shakers? Be part of team or work as an individual?
Do you want to travel? How frequently? To what types of cities, countries? Or not at all?
What hours work best for you? Do you want well defined hours or a more flexible schedule?
How do you want to dress? Power suits and heels? Corporate casual? Fab fashionista? Come as you are?
Do you want to lead others? Do you want to develop folks more junior than you? Serve as a mentor or a guide?
Do you want to work with others your age or are you looking for an environment where you work with more experienced leaders and learn from them?
Are you a change agent? A regulator? A gatekeeper?
Are you an entrepreneur at heart? Do you move to the beat of your own drummer? Or do you like big, established companies? Or something in between?
Big company sophistication or small company scrappiness?
Where do you want to live? Large, thriving city? International hot spot? Near family? Bucolic country setting? Close to extended family or within a day’s travel or is that not critical to you?
Do you want a commute? Or is it more important that the office is close? Or real close as in work from home?
What about compensation? More money than you can imagine? Or is money less important than what you do?
Do you want your work to involve your family? Or are there clear divisions between work and home?
How do you want to balance work and parenting? Do you want a “family friendly” company? Or will you make it friendly for you?
As you can see, there are many dimensions of what makes a career ideal for you. As you mull it over, keep adding to the list. I have had a list for over 20 years and it has become a guidepost for me. Sometimes, I’ve been able to create the experiences I want outside of my “job” through volunteer roles and other organizations. I’ve also learned that some things I thought I wanted were actually not so great when I got them so I had to cross them off my list.
You may not get everything on your list immediately, but over time, you’ll see that you have more of what you do want and less of what you don’t.
Lastly, you have to keep working against your list; you can’t simply write it down one time and forget it. What brings your list to life is revisiting it from time to time to assess how you’re tracking and take the steps to adjust where needed. There is real power in the written word and that alone helps us to manifest our ideas.
Your dream job is out there, but life is a process and and so is this. Step by step, as you get more clear about what you want, the closer you will be to making it a reality. And that is what we do...we make moves and we make it happen!