Strategies for Success: Finding Your Dream Job
Welcome to week five, my favorite week of the term! During week five, I love digging deeper with my students and learning about their future plans and the motivation that will help get them there. Nothing excites me more than hearing about my students’ futures and how I, as a success coach, can help them achieve their dreams.
At some point during our childhoods, all of us have spent time wondering what we'll be when we grow up. Constantly saying to ourselves, “When I grow up I want to be...” I don’t know about you, but I wanted to be everything under the sun. I wanted to be a doctor, but it turns out I can’t stand the sight of blood. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I can’t bear to see an animal in pain. (And again, blood!) I even wanted to be a famous musician, but I only lasted through band until the 8th grade.
Even though we think of this as something only little kids do, it doesn’t have to stop when you "grow up" and try to choose your dream job as an adult. One of the most important things you can do as you think about your future, is to evaluate the pros and cons of your dream job. This can be as easy as writing down your thoughts so they're right in front of your eyes.
I suggest the following strategy:
1. Take out a piece of paper.
2. Draw a line down the middle of the page.
3. Write “pros” on one side.
4. Write “cons” on the other side.
5. Think of everything and anything that you may like or not like about your dream job.
Now see which side is longer than the other—do you have more pros or more cons? Is there anything that stands out to you that you didn't consider before? Maybe you thought about something new that you would either like or not like in regards to your dream job. Really looking at what you like about your potential career and what you don’t will help solidify your decision and prepare you for what lies ahead.
During my undergraduate classes, various professors prompted the class to take what's called an interest inventory. An interest inventory is a self-assessment tool used in career planning that gauges your likes and dislikes on a variety of activities, objects, and types of people. The idea is that people who are in the same career (and satisfied in that career) will have similar interests. This week, try taking an interest inventory to see what your strengths are, and what careers best suit your likes and dislikes.
Keep in mind that you must be willing, committed, and absolutely determined to discover what you love to do in order to achieve it. Evaluating the pros and cons of your dream job and utilizing tools such as an interest inventory are just a few things that can help you select a career—so make sure to talk with your success coach about your future plans and what steps and motivation you need to get there.
And remember, if you do what you love, then you'll never work a day in your life!
Sarah is a success coach with Ivy Bridge College, and contributes to the weekly Strategies for Success column for The Bridge Blog.