Are you waiting for that dream career?
Are you waiting for that dream career to give your life meaning and purpose?
Are you frustrated that you haven’t quite figured out how to make that dream career happen?
Start where you are!
If that little piece of advice seems overly simplistic, stay with me for a bit because those few words carry a secret clue to success.
When I was dreaming of a career as a writer I saw myself sitting in a large office with French doors that led outside to a blooming garden. My desk was mahogany set in front of bookshelves filled with some of the world’s greatest books. A cup of tea was on one corner of my desk and scattered across the top were pages of my latest in-demand manuscript.
I could see it. I could feel it. I just couldn’t seem to actually write anything while I was waiting for it to come into being!
In case you’re wondering . . . . I am not writing to you today from that room in the vision of my dream career.
Nope. Not at all.
I am sitting outside my kitchen looking at the tops of the trees outside my window pecking away on my laptop while noticing the dust bunnies on my dining table.
But I’m writing. And, in my own way, I’m living my dream career one day at a time.
What I realized was that my dream was not about the room of my vision but about writing – the act of writing – not my idea of what it meant to be successful at writing.
So I started where I was – as an information technology director in a large global company. I started writing there. I wrote memos, speeches, and operational manuals – even a script for a video for a divisional event.
I chose to see that it was the writing that was the important part and that I was already doing that where I was. And just that little shift in my own mind allowed other opportunities to come my way. So when I was asked to write a speech for the CEO I said ‘yes.’ When I was asked to create a video for a divisional event I said ‘yes.’
‘Yes,’ as it turns out, became my new favorite word. And my ability to say ‘yes’ to opportunities brought me greater career success and moved me further along toward my writing dreams.
So, whatever your dream career, I invite you to start where you are now to begin to make those dreams a reality…
And here are 3 ways you can do that:
1. Remember your career or job is not YOU.
If you can remember that then you can also remember not to take your career or job so seriously. It is one expression of what you have to offer but it is not YOU! So you want to be professional, make your deadlines and commitments but do it knowing you are so much more than what it is you do for work. If you can do that then the burden of having the absolute ‘right’ career or job gets lifted and, instead, you can find ways to succeed regardless of where you find yourself. And you can trust that you will navigate your way to the best work that fulfills you, one day at a time.
2. You want the ‘do what you love’ career. Everyone does.
But almost all successful people didn’t start out doing what they loved. Many started out in jobs not at all fulfilling. But what they did do was take the opportunities that came their way. They said ‘yes’ and, along the way, learned more and more about what they wanted and what they had to offer. And they made connections with other people that over time created a networked tapestry that helped them make their dreams come true.
3. Find yourself a mentor.
Look around you and see who in your company or even in your network of friends and associates is doing what you would like to do and ask that person to mentor you. A mentor can guide you and help you develop both personally and professionally. And that is really the journey of life – it is the opportunity to learn and grow so you can give your gifts and talents to a world much in need of them.
So start where you are.
Make that your mantra for today and every day. And in that powerful exercise of presence you will find the path forward.