Before you can land your dream job, you have to know what it is.
Think you’re the only one unhappy in your career? Think again. In a research survey conducted by the London Business School, 47 per cent of individuals surveyed said they were unhappy in their current job and would like to change careers. Despite such a significant number, research shows that most people are too scared to make a career change, and if they do, they typically wait 1–2 years before taking the leap.
This raises the question: In a world where so many individuals are creating something new and pursuing their dream jobs, why are so many afraid to take the plunge?
The answer could be that they just haven’t figured out what they want to do.
If you’re struggling to find your passion and figure out your dream job, here are 10 simple exercises that will help you discover it.
Take a moment to sit and think. Find a quiet place, close your eyes and ask yourself the following question: If you could do anything, what would it be?
If you’re struggling to think of something specific, try visualising your ideal work day. What does it look like? Where is it – indoors or outdoors? How many people are around you? Start to piece together your dream work environment and create that image in your mind. It will start to lead you down the right path.
2. Know your strengths
It’s time to grab a notebook and pen and jot down your strengths. These can be job-specific specialties, personality traits or special skills you possess. Most people fall into their dream careers because they possess the right skills or attitude to do the job. By highlighting all the things you’re particularly good at, you can start to see how you might apply them in the workplace.
3. Know your dislikes
Now, turn the page and make another list. This time you are listing all the things that you don’t like in a job. You could include aspects of a company’s culture, specific job tasks or even managerial styles. It helps to use your past work experience as an example. What didn’t you like about your previous roles and what don’t you like about your current role? Try to be as clear and honest as you can. Once you have a list of everything you don’t like, you can start to narrow down all the things you do.
4. List your hobbies and interests
It’s time to think about what you like doing in your spare time. Do you have any hobbies or interests that could develop into a profitable business? Perhaps you love photography or writing, or you like making costume jewelry. Perhaps you love planning parties? Cooking? Or maybe you love talking to people and the idea of starting a podcast has always interested you. Whatever it is, think outside the realm of traditional careers. There are so many ways to turn your interests into profitable ventures, it just requires some thought, a plan and a determined attitude.
5. Create something new
Sometimes you just have to jump right in and start something. Let your creative side loose and see where it takes you, whether it’s a blog, a poem, a piece of art, a piece of furniture or redecorating a room ‒ you name it. Create something new and see how it feels. It doesn’t matter what it is ‒ just start!
6. Speak to your friends
Sometimes those closest to us can see us better than we see ourselves. Start a conversation with your most honest friends and ask them what job they think you should be doing. Their answers may surprise you.
7. Think about who you admire
Take a moment to think about the people you admire the most. It may be someone you know personally or someone in the public eye. It can be several people. Ask yourself: Why do you admire them? What have they achieved? How can they inspire you in your own career?
8. Go on a holiday
If you’re stuck in a routine and your job is getting you down, try scheduling a few days off and take a short trip. You don’t have to travel far, but sometimes removing yourself from your routine and giving yourself room to breathe can be exactly what you need to figure out what you really want to be doing with your time (cue Eureka moment).
9. Take an online quiz
When all else fails, head to the internet. Seriously. There are several online quizzes and surveys that you can take to help you figure out which career you are best suited for. At the very least, you may learn something new about yourself.
10. Muster the courage
The toughest part about making a career change or pursuing your dream job is mustering the courage to take that first leap. A career change can be daunting, but if you wish to figure out your dream job, you need to commit to making it happen. Once you muster the courage and make the decision to try, you’re halfway there.
It may take a little time and a few career changes to figure out your dream job, and that’s OK. With each new experience you have, the easier it will be to figure out what is important to you in a job and what is not. After that, you just need to pluck up the courage and make it happen.