Are you happy at your current job or career? It’s ok to answer… I won’t tell your boss! If you are, you’ll be happy to know you’re not alone. A daily Gallup poll found that 34.1% of U.S. Workers are engaged at work. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace!
If only we could all be so lucky! Well… I think you can be! I personally don’t believe that dream jobs exist I believe they are created. We are all uniquely great at different things, how could a dream job be perfect for us without being made with us in mind? So here are a few ways you can create your dream job!
Redefine What a Dream Job Is! When we were kids it was easy to blurt out the first thing we thought of when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But now, for some, reality is settling in and we yearn for a job or career we can be proud of, feel connected to and actually enjoy. Consider jobs that aren’t glamorous but match perfectly with your skill set. Learn what other positions within your current company consist of; maybe they are a better fit for you. Be open to non-traditional roles; i.e. women in construction or men as nurses. Opening yourself up allows for you to find that your dream job may not be as far away as you thought.
Know Your Strengths. In order to match your skills with a position, you have to first know what your skill set is! Take a personal inventory or survey about what you do well, what could be improved and what you flat out don’t know! When finding your dream job, some clients tell me “I don’t know” when asked what they want to do in life! You can’t expect someone else to know if you haven’t figured it out. The great thing about life is… it’s never too late to change. If you don’t know what you want to do, start by making a list of what you hate to do! Don’t just consider the skills you use in the workplace, go back to your school days. What subjects did you excel in and still hold your interest today? Take into account your hobbies and extra curricular activities. By making a full assessment of your skills, strengths and abilities you’ll be able to better understand what positions would be best for you.
Take Responsibility for Your Own Professional Development. We never stop learning and it’s easy to get bored if we aren’t given new tasks. One mistake many make is to expect that it’s our boss’s job to make us better - It’s not! Step out on your own to learn a new skill, increase productivity, or just ask for more challenging tasks. The only thing you should consider before taking this step is to master your current duties. It would be silly to ask your boss for more challenging tasks if you are still challenged at tasks already assigned.
Be Open to Criticism and Consider the Source. I purposely didn’t use the term “constructive criticism” because many can’t tell the difference. I have quite a few clients who feel they shouldn’t be told or spoken to in a certain way, but often we are upset with the message so we blame the messenger. If you are truly trying to better yourself you’ll review what others are telling you about your performance or productivity at work. Once you’ve taken the time to listen, consider the source. There are times when malice or ill intent is part of criticism but it takes a critical listener to know the difference.
Find a Mentor Or Accountability Partner. How many times have you mentally promised yourself you would go back to school, apply for that promotion or join an organization but not follow through. The best way to combat this is by having someone who will hold you to your goals. I’m not saying you need a boot camp instructor who’ll force you to “get down and give them 20!” but you need someone to talk things through and hold you to your word. When I suggest a mentor, some of my clients get freaked out. They picture someone who will reject their ideas and talk down to them (if you are in that type of mentorship - Get out! NOW!) A mentor should be someone who helps you process your ideas, gives advice based on their experience but doesn’t force you to conform to their way of thinking. They should be someone you trust, has a proven track record of what you consider successful and has time to meet with you for 2 hours at least 4 times a year. If finding someone like this is out of reach, find a friend who you trust won’t repeat your conversations, is nonjudgmental and doesn’t over talk or insist you do what their cousins, mothers, step-dad did. Someone who’ll agree to be your accountability partner and will tell you the truth.
Doing these 5 things should put you in a place where you are able to create the position you have always wanted. Maybe it’s the job you have now, but doing more of what you do well. It could manifest in the promotion that comes, after you’ve mastered your current job duties. You may also find that you are in the wrong field all together, and if that is you… remember, it’s never too late to change! TDJ Consulting can help you make the leap to a new job or career field. Visit us at www.TDJconsulting.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be more than happy to help.
I wish you the best in your job search!