The Search For The Dream Job: Your Story


I have recently been rethinking how I am living my life and my career choices, and whether I am happy where I am. Many people go through phases of thinking like this, and it can sometimes be very confusing knowing what you really want to do - regardless of your age, current job or otherwise.

Do you know what you want to do? Lucky you! I'm very jealous, because I'm still figuring that part out. Are you like me? You know that you need something more, that something in your life is missing? This feeling sucks and can have quite a big effect on your life. Motivation, good moods, determination... It can all go out the window when you are feeling lost. But - when you are aware of it and willing to make changes, anything is possible :)

First of all, we need to answer some questions that will illuminate what you genuinely want to be doing. Put simply - what you are supposed to be doing, is whatever makes your heart sing. But it isn't always easy - how do you go from your everyday job to making your loves a part of everyday life? I have adapted these questions from a wonderful book I have been reading - "I could do anything: If only I knew what it was" by Barbara Sher. Write them all down and answer them, and hopefully by the end we may have a few ideas..... :D


1. What were you supposed to be doing?

We all can usually answer this one - what did your family, peers and others in your life think you should be doing? Maybe you followed through with it to make them happy, and have finally decided to do things your way. I was supposed to study art, become a vet... Just work hard in general. I am a vet nurse now, which was half way there! By recognising the pressures coming from others we can distinguish why we may have taken paths not destined for us and make the decision to change.

2. What's your idea of a job from Hell?

Or Heaven for that matter - but if you are undecided like me, then you may struggle with the job from Heaven! So, the job from Hell. What are you doing? Where? With who? What are your hours, activities, environment, responsibilities? Now, reverse EVERYTHING you just wrote down. How does that look? Appealing? Change any aspects you need to, but this is a good way of getting initial idea of what you may want to be doing :)

3. What would you do if you were sure you would succeed?

Imagine that there was nothing that could stop you - what would you go for? Many of us put off our dreams as they seem impossible - like becoming an actress, singer or writer for example. What you have chosen is what your heart really desires and you should stop putting it off. If I knew I couldn't fail, I'd work for myself as a writer and blogger and study as much as possible. Write down all the ideas that come to you - there's no reason why you can't do more than one!

Sometimes people struggle with this - especially if you are like me! I have a huge list of things I want to do and simply haven't been able to choose one path to follow - but I will find my niche! If you can't decide what you to do because you want to do everything - then you need more direction. Write down a list of all your interests, and see if there are any common themes (e.g. science, or working with people). If there aren't, then think about each individual interest and come up with ideas for working with each one (e.g. you like drawing, you could become a tattoo design artist or draw by commission). There are ways of fulfilling all of these interests - read my blog post "Your 11 Lives". We are special people, who even have our own name - 'Renaissance Souls' or 'Scanners'. These terms were coined by Margaret Lobenstine and Barbara Sher, authors of books who help people like you and me. Check them out below:

The Renaissance Soul: How to Make Your Passions Your Life - Margaret Lobenstine
Refuse to Choose - Barbara Sher

4. What are the voices in your head saying? Who are they?

Even Steve Jobs agrees :)

After writing down what you would do if you couldn't fail, you may find that little voices will pop up in your head and argue against your choices. This is perfectly normal, and take note of all the things it is saying! For example:

- 'My dad will be so disappointed if I change jobs.'
- 'How can I walk away from a solid job?'
- 'People will think less of me if I go work as a bar girl or waitress.'
- 'I'm scared it will be even worse if I change - better the devil I know than the devil I don't...'

Try to distinguish who it is behind the voice - most likely it will be your partner, parents or others close to you. Some are your genuine worries, but they usually come from somebody else's initial ideas. Are they sensible comments? What is a solution for each comment?  

5. What's stopping you from doing it?

Seriously. This follows on from listening to the voices above - if you listen to them then you will never achieve your dreams. People say blogging is silly, I don't care. I do it because it makes me happy. They say the world is a terrifying place and I wont be able to cope, but I'm still making travel plans! Why? Because it's important to me. Your dreams are extremely important, and everybody deserves to give theirs a go.

The thing to realise is this: It will never be the right time. You will never have the 'extra' money to do it. 'Later' isn't going to happen unless you make it - you have to make time to do it. Instead of vacuuming the house for an hour, delegate it to a family member and take that time to study/work on your project/read/whatever it is that will help achieve your dream. Instead of buying coffee and lunch, make a sandwich and use that money towards your dream! In a year, if you spent $8 on lunch and a coffee (which is cheap in most places) five days a week for all the weeks you work (approximately 48) then you have spent almost $2000 dollars! Just think about what you could do with that instead :)

Don't be afraid of change - change is the chance to live the way you want. Take small steps and you will get there! Talk to your family and friends about your answers from the above questions, you will get some negative and positive responses and they may have interesting ideas of their own to add. They may be able to help you get to where you want to be! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me :)

Useful Links: - New Zealand's main careers service. It has a lot of information on career planning for students, young people and adults looking for career changes. It covers the process from start to finish!

Career Quest - a quiz about what does and doesn't interest you, and jobs that match your result. It's a really great tool, and you can compare pay, likelihood of getting a job and the future of that job plus much more.

Renegade Collective - I've recently discovered this website and magazine, its a great 'pick-me-up' for your thoughts and plans.

Think Differently - This is one of his posts about 'Scanners vs. Divers'. The rest of this site has many other inspirational career and creativity posts too.