In this economy, thinking about your “dream job” may sound like a waste of time. “Forget about a dream job,” you might think, “I just need a paycheck!” Whether you are job hunting or in work that you desperately want to escape, you may be tempted to take any job to get out of your current situation. While it’s true that at times it makes sense to take a less-than-ideal job to bring in some money, you don’t want to get stuck in a dead-end, poor fitting, soul-deadening job. The key to finding work you love to do is persevering in the pursuit of your dream job despite the obstacles. The payoff can be huge!
Three “Secrets” for Finding Work You Love
1. Develop a clear vision of your dream job. Take some time to write a description of the work you think you would love to do. What are you doing each day? What is your work environment like? What are you accomplishing? How do you feel when you are doing this work? Why do you feel this way? (If you have difficulty answering these questions, you may need to do some career planning work to clarify your vision and job target.)
Learn all you can about the field: read about it; check out the website of its professional association; see if there are YouTube videos that show people doing this type of work. Visit people who do this job (so you can see the environment) and talk to them about their work (a.k.a. “informational interviewing”). Mentally try on the job; see yourself doing it. Create a clear picture of how this work would look and feel to you.
When your dream job becomes “real” to you, your desire to pursue it will deepen. Desire creates drive, which provides the motivation for doing the not-so-fun stuff you’ll need to do to attain your dream (while you are working at your less-than-ideal job). In addition, while you are learning about your dream job, you will be making contacts that can help you get into the field, and may even find out about job openings that you will never see advertised on the Internet.
2. Identify the unique assets God has given you for your dream job. A true dream job will utilize your God-given strengths. Most people take their most special abilities for granted because they come naturally to them. They reason that if something comes easily to them, it must not be that special. Anyone must be able to do it, they think. Not so! Take an inventory of the skills you have that you really enjoy using (whether at work or in leisure pursuits). Ask people you trust what strengths and abilities they observe in you. Knowing your strengths not only can help you clarify your vision of your dream job, it can also help you market yourself to potential employers. You will stand out when you are able to describe your special abilities and how they will be an asset to the employer.
3. Realize that perseverance is a necessary part of attaining your dream job. Many of us may daydream about our lives magically (or supernaturally) changing, with our dream job handed to us without any effort on our part. So why doesn’t life tend to work this way? Why doesn’t God give us our dream job-our vocational calling-on a silver platter? Bottom line, it is because without expending the effort to attain the job, we would not be prepared to do the job.
Landing your dream job will require doing unfamiliar and uncomfortable things when you would rather hide in your comfort zone. Success will demand that you do the tedious things when you’d rather have fun. It will call for maintaining hope in the face of uncertain outcomes. The price of finding work you love is perseverance, faith and the willingness to take necessary risks. And these, of course, are precisely the qualities of a “winner”…and of a mature follower of Christ. God loves you too much to allow you to take shortcuts. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). In a world full of people taking the easy path, you will stand out when you are willing to do the hard things. Your faith will provide the fuel to persevere, “for nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:37).