10 Insights for Discovering Your Dream Job
What’s keeping you from loving what you do? In the U.S., 84% of workers say they’re not currently in their dream jobs. So what does it take to be one of the 16% who love what they do?
To explore this topic, University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education (UWPCE) put together a Career Insights Event: Discover Your Dream Job, where a panel of entrepreneurs and a career consultant offered advice and shared stories about how they found satisfaction in their careers.
The panel featured Bill Messing, founder and CEO of Ripl, Kim Obbink, executive creative director and vice president of digital services at Filter Digital, Bryan Pape, founder of MiiR, and Terry Pile, author of Changing Careers After 40 and owner of Career Advisors. Graham Gill, principal of Mind the Gap, moderated the event.
Here are 10 insights from the discussion that may help inspire you to live your dream.
- Understand what energizes you. When you think about the various things you do from day to day, how do you feel? Which of those things energize you, and which do you find draining? What gets you excited? If you’re not already clear about what your passion is, spend some time exploring. One way to learn more about your preferences is through formal personality analysis systems like Insights Discovery.
- Take steps to validate that your dream job is in fact your dream job. Sometimes after people take a new job, they discover it isn’t the dream they thought would be, because the actual day-to-day work has a different scope than they thought. Before changing jobs, talk to people in your target role. If possible, test the waters while you have your base. Taking precautionary measures will help you resolve any fears you may have about entering a new field.
- Be open to change and serendipitous events. New opportunities have the potential to become catalysts that help you attain your ultimate goal. When you’re open to change, you increase your potential to discover a new path or see signs you weren’t already aware of that could lead you to your dream job.
- Remember to be retrospective. Transitions are more apparent in hindsight. Consider the turning points in your past as a way to determine where you want to go next. Being retrospective helps you grow.
- Create a plan and put it into action. Once you’ve discovered your passion and prepared yourself to transition careers, create a plan and put it into action. This is perhaps the most crucial step because choosing not to act is counterproductive to achieving your objective.
- Be calculated about your transition. Rather than diving right into a new career, it may make more financial sense to transition gradually. You could keep your day job or work part time and volunteer in your target field during your free time until your budget is where you need it to be before completely switching careers.
- Find your tribe. Don’t underestimate the value of working with people you enjoy. If possible, choose to work with like-minded individuals whose passions align with yours. Some people find it’s who they connect with from day to day that feels most satisfying. If you can’t choose who you work with, at least build a support network of individuals who give you that same satisfaction.
- What you bring to the table is up to you. The job and its external factors aren’t all that goes into making or breaking your dream job. Think about how your attitude and expectations factor into the equation. Choosing to create a positive environment and setting reasonable expectations goes a long way.
- Keep moving forward. Stay on the lookout for new opportunities to learn and grow. The path to your dream job doesn’t end when you attain it. New developments may change your interests and passions over time. It’s important to ask yourself what’s next.
- It’s never too late to change careers. People can discover what they love to do at any age. Once you’re clear about your passions, are well prepared and have a plan of action, then your dream job is within reach.
For additional information about these 10 insights and more, watch exclusive video footage from our Career Insights Event, and check out The Path to Your Dream Job: Nine Steps for Success.
UWPCE events feature career-related panel discussions, open houses, portfolio shows and more. They are free, informative and great places to network. Watch for details about upcoming events by checking our website at www.pce.uw.edu or by following us on Facebook and Twitter. For video highlights of past events, visit the UWPCE YouTube Channel.