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I recently spoke to a friend who knows she wants to make a change in her career, yet is struggling to decide what she wants to do. We talked about how she could figure that out. I think the best place to start is figuring out what you enjoy doing. This is key because you spend somewhere between 40-60 hours (maybe more) at work. You must discover what you enjoy doing and what you are good at. If you have read my book, Dream Catchers: How to Get Your Dream Job in any Economy, you may recall that the first three steps focus on getting your mindset correct and clarifying what you really want to do. I will share an abbreviated version of the three steps to get you started.
Step one is to take one hour alone—your Golden Hour—writing down all of your strengths. You must be away from all distractions—no cell phone, no email or computer, no music, no other people. Just you and God. All you need to do is find a place to be alone with a piece of paper and a pen. Write down all the things you are good at, your list of strengths. This practice does a couple things for you immediately. It reminds you of how gifted you are and that you are special. Second, it helps you think positive thoughts about yourself.
The second step is to list all the things you enjoy doing. These can be typical work-related items, like working with spreadsheets (not one of mine), presenting in front of a group, or writing for the company newsletter. The list should also include non-work-related things that you enjoy doing, such as reading, working outside in the yard, or playing with your children. As you create your list, you may rediscover some things you forgot that you enjoyed. Make a complete list.
The final step is to take these two lists and create a description of your Dream Job. Write it out in great detail, and develop an example of what you would love to do. It is a fun exercise and gives you clarity on what you want to do. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it is just a starting point for getting clear on what your life’s work might be. I suggest writing it out, leaving it for a few days and coming back to it to finish it up. This third step can boost your job search because you get a clear understanding about what seems like the perfect job for you.
In a nutshell, I recommend figuring out what you enjoy, what you are good at, and then developing your definition of your Dream Job. Why not start right now? Grab a piece of paper and pencil and start dreaming.