Are you at a career crossroads and wondering which way to turn? Maybe you started out in a career and it isn’t living up to your expectations, or you feel ready to take a leap of faith and turn a hobby into a full blown career. Perhaps you have a few ideas of what you would love to do but can’t decide which one would lead to your dream career.
While it may seem overwhelming, it’s definitely possible to discover, find, and succeed in your dream career. Understanding your unique personal and professional strengths, combined with the confidence to pursue your goals, means that you can take action to make your dreams a reality. Read our complete guide on how to discover and find your dream career, including:
What is a dream career?
How to find your dream career
What is a dream career?
A dream career is one that is ideally suited to your talents, passions, and goals, leading you to both happiness and fulfillment in life. Whether you’re a fresh graduate or a seasoned professional, finding a job that is fulfilling, meaningful, and that you actually enjoy is pure gold.
Changing fields or studying to gain new skills may be needed to set you on course for your dream career, but the rewards for your efforts will be well worth the time. While every individual will have their own personal dream career, the process of researching, identifying, and pursuing your dream career is pretty much the same for everyone.
According to a recent global study by Remitly, the top five dream jobs in order of popularity are Pilot, Writer, Dancer, YouTuber, and Entrepreneur. “When I grow up, I want to be a pilot” topped the list across 25 countries, including the USA, England, and Australia.
How can I find my dream career?
Sharpening your focus on what is important to you and what you are good at will enable you to identify your dream career and then create a plan to achieve your goals. Here are some steps you can try:
1. Identify your passions and talents
Start by exploring your strengths, in terms of what you are good at, as well as what you are passionate about. If you can find a role that blends both of these factors, it’s a winner! Also, reflect on your values. Determining what exactly you care about can help you identify what motivates you.
Here are some starter questions to help you answer the question “what is my dream career?”:
What do you love to do?
What are your talents?
What fulfills you? Power, money, continual learning, innovation, helping people, recognition?
What job would be a good fit for your life?
2. Research your dream career
Once you have explored the areas outlined in step one and created your dream career list, complete some research on job positions and companies that are aligned with your findings. For example, if you have a passion for food and great culinary skills, your dream career could involve becoming a chef.
- Consider your personality type when making decisions about your dream career.
- The Myers-Briggs test is one tool that professionals use to help them find a role that aligns with their personality type.
- Be afraid to ask for support. You may encounter challenges while pursuing your dream career.
- Family, friends, mentors, or a career coach can help you overcome these obstacles and stay motivated to achieve your career goals.
3. Establish your goals
Create some short- and long-term goals, then map these out, and measure your progress toward your dream career. This will help you remain motivated and on track for success.
Short-term goals could include developing your network, securing a mentor, or beginning a professional certification. Long-term goals could relate to your career advancement in the next five or ten years, salary growth, and continued professional development.
4. Education and training
Check out any education or training requirements for your dream job. If you aren’t actively pursuing these studies, then find out which colleges and universities can help you secure the required certifications. If your dream career is based more on practical experience, try to secure an entry-level role, volunteer work, or an internship to get a foot in the door.
If you have registered or just started education or training for your dream career, then include this information on your resume. Make sure you highlight education as “In progress” or an expected completion date and be clear that any experience is voluntary work or an internship. These approaches will help you target your resume to your dream career.
There are many benefits to professional networking. Building mutually beneficial relationships with other industry professionals can provide you with valuable industry insights, allow you to connect with a mentor, and even hear about upcoming job opportunities.
Your education and training is likely to expose you to experienced professionals and industry experts, so this is a great place to start to build your network. Research by the US Bureau of Statistics and Yale University, found that a whopping 70 percent of all jobs are found via networking.
6. Apply for your dream role
Once you have built up the skills, experience, and education required for your dream job, take the plunge and start applying for job openings. It may seem a bit daunting at first, but just go for it! Don’t be deterred if you get a few rejections, that’s inevitable and no reflection on your suitability for your dream career.
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Your dream career should play to your strengths and talents, align with your goals, and lead to high levels of happiness and fulfillment in your life.
Understanding your passions and strengths is the first step. Ask yourself if you had no need for money, what would be your dream career?
Create your dream career list, conduct research on career paths that align with your findings, then define short- and long-term goals and actively track your progress.
Pursue education, training, and networking relevant to your dream career as this will help you progress toward your goals.