Dream Jobs Do Come True
Obviously, your dream job isn’t going to land in your lap, so you’ll have to work to get it. During this first month, stop and take inventory, advises Epstein. Assess your prior work experience and the skills you possess. Discover what you like, what you don’t like and what you’re good at doing. Then determine how those things can apply to your new career. If you’re having trouble articulating your skills, write them down, Epstein suggests.
These skills shouldn’t be confined to your job performance, however. “Everything I’ve ever done, from playing basketball, attending college, learning discipline in the Marines—all those skills helped me when I was coaching my leadership programs, and all of that really supported me in teaching,” says Kevin Froner, a former trader on the American Stock Exchange who pursued his dream job of becoming a teacher and executive coach.
If you realize you don’t have the required skills for your ideal career, find out whether they can be learned on the job. If not, you may consider seeking additional training or education. This is often the case for those who have chosen a new career far removed from their previous, uninspiring jobs.
Lastly, consider how pursuing your dream job will affect you and your family financially and emotionally. Before you quit your career and go back to school, you should take this first month to plan out how you will continue to support yourself and your family while reaching for your dream.
Start the Search to Changing Your Job
Though your dream job research may be done and you have a prospective career in mind, you may be confused about how to proceed.
“Talk to people who already have the job. Find out the real story behind the dream,” Mitchell says. “You have to explode the myths that you’re holding. The term ‘dream job’ is very loaded, and usually means people are having some kind of false ideas about what life is going to be like when they land their dream job. You have to unpack the emotional package. The best way to do that is to talk to somebody. Ask them not only about the good things but the bad things. Every job has downsides. People should be looking for what they have to put up with to have the dream.”
Some of the easiest ways to talk to people in your industry is to set up informational interviews or network through professional acquaintances, friends and family. Locate a professional organization or trade group in your chosen field and go to social events to meet people. You may begin to realize that your “dream job” isn’t listed on career web sites or in the classifieds. For many fields, the only way to find out about a potential dream job is through referrals from people you know.