What Stands in Your Way of Finding Your Dream Job?


Everybody wants to do something that they love. Who wouldn't?

Problem is, most people aren't living the dream. Surveys have shown that 84% of Americans wished they were in another job. You ask me, that's a pretty horrifying stat. That means that the odds of you, me, and most everyone we knew is likely to not find their dream job.

This, of course, begs the question just why so many people don't end up doing what they want to do. Ever hear that great line about preparation? "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Simply put, people that seem to be the luckiest are the ones that have prepared themselves to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. I'm a firm believer that whatever we prepare ourselves for will come (within reason, of course; I doubt I'll be sprouting wings any time soon). This applies to everything in life from education to job opportunities to our personal lives. If you want something bad enough, you'll do whatever it takes to get there.

So everybody wants to get into their dream job, right? On one level, yes, yes they do. They're more than happy to say it. To this I say, "actions speak louder than words."

If you really want to sit down and decide how you're going to find the job that fits your values, your talents, your personality, there's going to be some work involved. Believe it or not, it's that fear of work that's actually keeping so many from finding that dream job that makes them feel like they're doing something worthwhile.

To a great degree, finding that dream job means doing some self-discovery. After all, you can't know what job will fulfill you the best until you know what fulfills you personally.

So how do you do this? You start by sitting down and writing out a few things about yourself. Take a few minutes by yourself, free of distractions, and be completely honest. What do you like to do? What are you good at? What kind of personal goals do you have for yourself? What are your values? What do you wish you could do? What aren't you good at or dislike doing? (Identifying things that you don't want to do also helps in narrowing down possible job fields)

After you've made this list, get in touch with your parents or siblings or close friends (somebody who knows you really well) and ask them what your strengths are, what you're good at. By the same token, ask them what you're not good at. Again, knowing what you don't excel in is an essential part of narrowing things down.

Now compare this list with what you worked up. You may be surprised what they see in you that you didn't see in yourself. I know I certainly was.

For those of you still in high school or college, talk to your favorite teachers, the ones you connected with best. They've seen at least hundreds, if not thousands of students go through their classroom and know how to identify aptitudes in people.

Talk to a guidance counselor while you're at it. If you've gotten an idea of what you may be interested by this point, they have access to internships, job shadowing, or other chances to look into specific fields.

Even aptitude tests are useful as far as they go. Remember, these are not designed to tell you what job will work best for you; all they do is tell you what you're good at. You'll have to do the homework yourself to find how those skills or talents best line up with a career.

There are a lot of tools out there to help you find your dream job; it's your job to pick up those tools and put them to work for you.

Why We Work - Laying the Foundation for Your Career


Let's talk for a minute hear about why we work. Not something that we stop and think about very often, is it? Oh, sure, there's the usual answers: pay the bills, pay the mortgage, pay tuition, pay for the car, pay for gas, pay for X/Y/Z. But that's all superficial when you really dig into it.

Truth is, there's something deeper to why we work. Everybody has the innate desire to do something more with their lives, to make a difference somehow. Nobody wakes up and decides that they want to be a below average human being. That's not in the nature of being alive. Given the opportunity, we all want to make our mark.

That is why we work. Nothing meaningful has ever been accomplished by sitting around doing nothing. Why would it be otherwise? It goes against the very laws of nature.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell once put it: "Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile."

For an Englishman that passed away nearly 70 years ago, he was definitely on to something there. Not to go all philosophical or anything like that, but any serious student of happiness understands that being happy requires that we do something. What that something is up to you--that's not something that a book or your parents or your spouse or your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/guidance counselor can tell you.

Beyond the obvious of getting off the couch and doing something, I think that Sir Grenfell had a great point at the end: when we do something, it should be worthwhile. Worth something. Something besides watching the latest episode of Lost or playing Halo or gossiping about the neighbors.

Now don't get me wrong--I'm not suggesting that we all become Mother Teresa copycats and do nothing but charity work. That's just not realistic, and nobody was Mother Teresa except Mother Teresa.

Each of us is unique in our talents and skills. What makes me happy may drive you crazy. And that's okay. There's no set definition of what is the perfect person. The fact that we're all different is what makes the world go round. Those differences mean that we all have a place where we belong and excel.

So what makes us waste our time doing something that we don't love or at the very least enjoy? I really want to hear what you think about this.

De-spelling Myths About Choosing Your Career


Choosing a career is not an easy task. Unfortunately, not many people put much time or thought into what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Some just think that getting into a field for the money is more than enough. Granted, money is certainly one part of it, but that's hardly going to make you happy down the road.

Dawn Rosenberg McKay of About.com wrote an excellent article detailing the myths of choosing a career that is a great read. Basically, it all boils down to doing something that you love (or at least like).


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