What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is probably a question you heard frequently as a child and I am guessing you could answer quickly and confidently with so much enthusiasm that you were destined to be a pop star, a footballer or even an astronaut.
Me? Well my ambitions were a little smaller. My dream career consisted of being a dancer, and if that failed I was sensible enough to have a backup plan … to be a teacher. But I am no Michael Flatly, that dream quickly faded and as for being a teacher well I found out that teaching teddy bears in your room as a child is nothing like the real thing.
My point being we don’t all achieve our childhood goals. There appears to be an age sometime after leaving school, college or university where we are just expected to know what to do for the rest of our life. Apparently 30% of us are the lucky ones who find that dream career but what about the rest of us that just ”fall” into a career.
I am a strong believer that it is never too late to find that perfect career.
So where do you begin if you’re part of the 70% who haven’t yet found that perfect career?
You’re going to start by making a list; so get out a pen and paper (tablet, phone or computer optional but I definitely prefer the old school method.)
We’re going to break the list into 5 main points:
1) What would you do if you didn’t have to consider a salary or money?
Okay so this might seem far-fetched but we need to start big and work our way backwards. (If you said your current job then feel free to stop writing – you’re done!)
2) What are your strengths?
A typical interview question but remember this time you aren’t here to impress, so be honest! Are you a good communicator, technical minded or organised? Write down all the strengths you can think of and there is no need to be modest here.
3) What are the musts for your next career?
These are your non negotiable’s; people use them when dating or finding a house so why not transfer this method to your career search (for example flexible hours so you can pick up the kids from school or the ability to work from home)
4) What do you love about your current or last role?
You might have to really think about this one but do try and get at least one thing, whether that be the great team atmosphere, or the convenient location.
5) What don’t you like about you current role?
This one is probably much easier and these are the things you are looking to avoid in your next position (for examples long hours or high target that are achievable)
Now you’re done with your list take some time to reflect on your answers, you have unconsciously put together the essentials of your dream career – all you need to know now is what it is called.
You need to start piecing the puzzle together and the best place to start is the job boards. Forget your usual job search and instead search for the keywords you have just listed and start reviewing your options. This will be a list of jobs that fit your requirements and could be the start of something exciting! Whether you need to retrain or restart for your next steps you have just started the journey to a career that suits you – your dream job.