Fun fact: 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work. If you are a part of the 47.7% that loves your job, congratulations—and reading this article is probably not going to add any value to your life. Wait, wait, wait—I take that back, you can pass this information on to someone you love.
For those that don’t like your current career—I have good news! There is never a dead end. Three questions can help us forward to transition to the position that will make us excited to wake up every morning.
Question 1: What is your dream job? The act of clarifying our goals is one of the toughest parts of the entire process. Where do we want to go? First, we will want to spend some time looking at jobs online (and possibly taking a career assessment). When looking at job posts, we should be reading the requirements for the positions, and we can pretty much ignore the title. The title is just the bow on top. The big question is: What is the daily existence like in this position? That is where we want to be looking, and this is what will bring us joy in the long run.
Question 2: What is the path that will take you there? So, the dream job is in sight, and we have printed off the job description. Post this on your refrigerator or somewhere where you will pass by it frequently, this printout is now a checklist. Put a little box next to each of the job requirements, and put x’s in them when you have had experience in that area. Chances are that you have some of them now (or possibly all of them). Go ahead! Get that pen out and cross those off and add them to your resume and cover letter.
Question 3: What is the first step toward this career? A simple small step that will get us moving and having little wins is vital in the dream job process. Pick one off this list to start. This will help build momentum:
- Read an article or watch a YouTube video that relates to this position.
- Interview someone in this field.
- Look at different training and education that fits this position.
- If you have time volunteer somewhere where you can build skills.
- Work with a career coach to help you design and launch a successful transition plan.
These questions will put into play a process that will push us towards our dream job. We all land in a place where we are not supposed to be at one time or another, but it is our responsibility to get where we belong.
Ryan Nausieda Ph.D. teaches and manages communication at a community college. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and son, where he drinks good coffee, reads, writes, meditates, and runs.