When we were kids, adults often asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Back then it was easy to dream. I want to be an astronaut... I want to be a doctor… I want to be a millionaire! We had high hopes that we could be anything we wanted to be. Now that we’ve reached adulthood, we ask ourselves the same question but with a little more truth: “What do I want to do with my life?”
Most of us, if not forced by our parents into a career we dislike, are guided by our own fears and wrong beliefs fed by our manipulative society. Often, this career advice does more harm than good. It’s this career advice that actually makes people miserable and unhappy.
If you’re stuck and have no clue what to do in life, this article is for you. Finding your dream job is difficult but here’s some great tips to start you along that path to work happiness.
First, you’ve got to find your greatest talent – something you and others know you’re qualified to do. Usually, it’s not something we can evaluate personally. Often, we ask the help of our trusted friends, co-workers or boss to give us insights. Once you discover what you’re good at, it will be easier to start the small steps that will lead you to your dream job.
Start small by taking further studies, internships, evening classes, weekend work – anything that can build on your best skill. Not only could your skills get recognized on the way, but you’ll be far more qualified and practiced than other job candidates when your dream job comes up.
I know of many people who are confused as to what their passion is. Is passion the same as interest? According to Kerry Brown, professional coach, and author: “the first place to start your discovery of passion, is to explore your interests”.
Passion is actually interest plus engagement. When you’re passionate about something you develop a mindset to improve in that criteria. That means you spend quite a lot of time doing it – even when you have to do something else. A job that you’re passionate about is a job you’d rather be doing more than anything. At the very least, it’s something you know you will enjoy even if you’d get zero dollars.
If you’re still unsure what you want to do, revisit your past. Take a trip down memory lane. What did you like doing most when you were young? How did you spend most of your time when you were 13? What activity gave you the biggest sense of accomplishment? Were there any activities you loved but then had to stop? By analysing your past experiences, you will be able to figure out exactly what you like or dislike. If you’re finding it difficult then try looking through the activities that you used to love, to the skills you were using underneath – for example, was it problem solving? Great, look for jobs that need that skill.
Finding your dream job will give you extraordinary happiness but we must also realise that it’s okay to have more than one dream job in our lifetime! We all grow and learn more about the world as we age. Most of us will not be happy doing the same job for 20 years – and that’s pretty normal. The point is: it’s okay to change jobs if your interests change. It’s okay to close one chapter and start with something completely new. People need to relax and stop forcing themselves into one career path all their lives. At the end of the day, your dream job is the job where you will find the most satisfaction, growth, and happiness.
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Remember when you were still in school and everyone’s giving you unsolicited career advice? How much of it end up actually being useful right now?