If you could wave your magic wand and have the job of your dreams, would you? You might be surprised how many people have to stop and think about that question. I recently had a client who was so beaten down by her employer, doubting her own value, that she was afraid to start her job search because she thought she’d never be able to get the kind of job she really wanted.
Sally was a Vice President and had run afoul of some pretty nasty office politics leading up to a merger. Her allegiance to her General Manager turned out to be a liability when he did something unethical and got booted out the door. Sally was left holding the bag internally and this uncomfortable situation was her wake-up call that she was at a dead-end in her career and at this company. Her spirits were low and by the time she came to me she believed that she was ineligible for the kinds of positions she wanted most.
Sally needed some help seeing her own value clearly, but even when she managed to detrigger the negative emotions that put her into a downward emotional spiral (which is a terrible place from which to try and engineer a career transition), she struggled to figure out what kind of job she wanted next.
Here were the dimensions that Sally and I explored as she tried to figure out what her dream job might look like:
- Challenging work that makes the kind of impact you care about
- Working with people you enjoy in a community you like
- Working in a company culture you enjoy
- Includes a schedule that gives you time to do the things you care most about
- Fits in your life stage
- Builds on your previous work and leads to a job you want in the future
Sally recognized that her current job used to be her dream job, and that’s where she had to start; by realizing she’d found her dream job once, she gained confidence that she could do it again. However she recognized that her life had changed and she was looking for different things this time around. After all we’re always growing and changing and what makes a perfect job when you’re 27 isn’t going to be what gets you excited to go to work at 34.
Once Sally focused on the fact that she could dream again, she started to enjoy the process of dreaming! She still had to stop and detrigger the little negative voice that would periodically try to talk her out of going for her dreams, but once she got focused on distinguishing the characteristics of a job that would get her excited to go to work, her confidence began to grow.
Even better, with greater clarity of what she was excited about she reached out to her network. Within a few weeks she’d identified a few jobs to apply for and in less than two months she was offered a job that took her closer towards her dreams. Even more importantly, it was a job that made her feel valued. She’s already started thinking about her next dream job; not because she’s not happy with this one but because she doesn’t want to end up in another career dead end!
What about you? Are you secretly worried that if you go for your dreams you’ll be disappointed? “Too busy” to stop and think about what would make you happy? Not sure how to organize your dreams into a job search? Don’t let “not being sure where to start” stop you. Check out more resources in the InPower Coaching Career Center to get you started!