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Get Closer to Your Dream


Many of us have a dream job that is just that: a dream.  In my last blog, we looked at ways in which you could make your dream job a reality.  This involved closely examining the barriers you have put in your own way (your “buts”), doing some research about the dream and finding out what the transition would entail, visualising yourself doing the job and working out what you need to do financially.

I would love to hear if you have explored your dream job and now feel that it might be something you could work towards?  Let me know if you have!

However, if you haven’t, then I made a promise to get back to you with some ideas for how you can move closer towards your dream and listen to what your dream is telling you.

Something I have come to learn about dream jobs is that they are usually very far removed from your current job.  I have worked with the lawyer who wanted to be a wedding photographer, the head of HR who wanted to work in fashion and the accountant who wanted to be the lead singer of a rock band.  There are a couple of reasons why the dream job is so far removed and these can help us to analyse what the dream job is telling us about our current career.

Let’s take a case study of one of my former clients and call her Anna.  Anna was a busy Head of Marketing working in the banking sector.  Her dream job was to be a fashion designer.  She had studied fashion at university but gone into what she saw as a more “stable” profession.  Fashion was still her passion but very much a hobby and not something she saw overlapping with her professional life.

She came to work with me because she felt a bit stale in her current role but couldn’t quite put her finger on why.  She knew she had to make changes but she didn’t know what changes.

As part of her Discovery phase in coaching, we examined her dream job for clues.

Looking for clues

Looking for clues usually starts with asking two questions:

  • What is it specifically about your dream job that is attractive?
  • If you visualise yourself in your dream job, really put yourself in those shoes, how does it make you feel?

Anna said that it was the creativity and lack of structure that she found attractive.  Also, being around people who shared the same aesthetic values as her own.

When she visualised herself in the role, she felt liberated and free, with the time and space to really focus in on one thing that she cared passionately about.

What can we learn from these two short questions and short answers? 

Anna wanted to move towards a more creative environment with people that share her aesthetic values.  She wanted to move away from a structured environment which was fast-paced and in which she never had time to focus.

So the dream job can tell us what we want more of (towards) and what we want less of (away from) in our career.

All or nothing thinking

Another barrier we put in the way of pursuing our dream job is our practice of all or nothing thinking.  This is when people say “well, I can’t be a fashion designer, so I’ll just stay in my current role”.  But what other options could Anna explore in the space between?  Here are a few:

  • Explore marketing roles in more creative industries, possibly even fashion, thus taking her transferable skills into an arena that is more in line with her passions.
  • Explore jobs in an environment that would offer more opportunity to slow down and think with less constant people interaction (Anna is an introvert). This could be within marketing or considering a new profession.
  • Get a side hustle.  Anna had already expressed an interest in working part-time.  Perhaps on a 4-day week she could spend some time setting up her own business aligned to fashion / creativity.
  • Leisure time study.  Another avenue would be to retrain or do some personal development in her leisure time that is more aligned to her dream.

What can you do now

I hope this has given you some ideas of how you can break down the elements of your dream job and use them to inform whether you can make changes in your current career that move you towards it.  Why not have a go at exploring a bit further:

  • Ask yourself "what is it about my dream job that is so appealing?"
  • Picture yourself in your dream job and tap into what you are feeling.
  • Make a list of elements of the dream job that you would run towards.
  • Make a list of elements in your current job that would run away from.
  • What is this telling you?

Oh and as for Anna, she is now working 4 days per week in marketing for a high end retailer and she makes and sells jewellery as her side hustle.  Happy days!

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