Want to know how to find your dream career? Here’s the simple answer: process of elimination. Does that mean that you have to try out every job before you find your dream job? Fortunately, no. Let me explain.
Feels Like Chaos
I meet with so many people who believe that their dream career is somewhere out there waiting for them to stumble upon. The one and only. Similar to the perfect partner. Not to take the romance out of it, but many times it’s what I like to call ‘chaos theory’.
Chaos theory goes something like this, there are many jobs out there in the world and there are so many paths one could go down to reach just one of those jobs. On top of that, everyone seems to have their opinion: mom, dad, uncle Phil, and your friends. But that doesn’t make it any easier for each individual to carve out their plan and make their unique stamp on the world.
Clusters Help Narrow the Choices
Most likely, there are many jobs that would be fulfilling and perhaps meet all your ‘dream career’ criteria. Most people usually cluster around a certain interest, but then many jobs within that cluster would most likely satisfy you. So, most of us have an idea or ‘hunch’ of what we’d like to pursue. We arrive at this place usually by process of elimination.
For example, I like the arts because 1) I don’t like business, 2) I can’t do math, and 3) I don’t want to look at spreadsheets all day. Many times by excluding certain areas we know we wouldn’t like, lead us to this cluster of similar jobs. Maybe it’s non-profits. Maybe it’s business. Maybe it’s event planning or working with animals.
Try It Out
Out of this cluster, we tend to eliminate by trying it out. How do you know if you haven’t experienced it? Rarely have I seen someone know exactly what they want and then all the stars align and that’s exactly what they end up doing until the end of their career (… and everyone lives happily ever after). Now some of you know what you wanted from an early age, but, even in this case, you have to navigate a lot of bumps and surprises to get there.
Finding your dream career is going through the messy process of trial and error. I’m not sure anyone escapes the hard lessons from the ups and downs when pursuing a lifelong dream. However, there are always the things that weren’t anticipated that lead us to the next right thing.
Find Your Dream Career
My recommendation for finding your dream career then is to follow these three tenets:
- Trust yourself and your instinct of knowing what you like and don’t like.
- Eliminate as many jobs as you can.
- Don’t let fear get in the way of telling yourself you are worth it!
So many times, something holds us back before jumping in with both feet. It’s fear of failure, maybe even fear of success. Or you doubt that you will like a certain job OR doubt that you will make the difference you once thought you would. If I’ve hit home, you’re not alone! Consider a career coach or other professional to help you move to the next phase of your journey in a structured way. You’ve already started this process of elimination which means you have the courage to take the next step towards a dream career. You just need to find and tap into that courage.