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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
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:
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
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
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:
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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