What’s your dream job?
That’s a question that is very often asked in a job interview situation. There are plenty of great articles out there that guide you through crafting an answer when you’re interviewing. (Unfortunately, most of them recommend tailoring your answer around the job you’re applying for, which might be good during an interview process, but it’s not a recipe for long-term job satisfaction.)
For many people, their dream job would include things like …
- A chance to use their skills, abilities, and experience to their fullest
- Working for an organization that is doing something important or something that aligns with their personal values
- A salary that appropriately reflects the value they bring to the organization
That’s certainly not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. So how do you go about finding your dream job?
We’ve developed an online course called Your Dream Job Guide. Through the videos and tools included in that online course, we’ll help you to define a clear picture of what your dream job actually looks like and even develop a plan to start moving toward it.
There are three potential changes we discuss in the Dream Job course that are designed to help you discover your dream job. Each of these potential changes require different action steps, so it’s important to identify which option could fit you best, especially in your current situation.
In the current economic climate, mostly due to the spread of COVID-19, you may not be able to find your dream job immediately. In fact, that’s true most of the time. Very rarely can a person make an immediate job change that moves them into their dream job. Discovering and obtaining your dream job may take additional work on your part … and it may take several years. But we know this to be true: you’ll rarely reach your dream job if you don’t define what you’re looking for.
Potential Change #1: Change Your What
This is the change that you probably thought of initially when you considered your dream job. “Changing your what” means that you would leave your current job (and many times, leave your current organization) and find a different job (usually in a different organization). And sometimes, this is exactly what you need.
Changing your what is all about changing your environment. In the image above, we’ve depicted that by showing someone moving from a rectangle environment to a circle environment. Sometimes, discovering your dream job will mean you have to change your everyday working environment.
* In the Your Dream Job Guide course, we include a tool called the Vocational Decision-Making Matrix to help you to evaluate if it’s time for you to change jobs or not.
Potential Change #2: Change Your Why
The second potential change you could make to discover your dream job is to change your why. Changing your why is all about an internal shift in the way you think about and approach your job each day.
We’ve depicted this potential change as above: your environment stays the same (you’re still in the same rectangle as before), but your mindset is completely different (hence the orange colored head).
There’s an old story about three bricklayers who were working side-by-side on the same project. A person came along and asked each of them, “What are you doing?”
The first bricklayer responded, “I’m making bricks.” That’s a simple, accurate answer of what he was doing.
The second bricklayer answered, “I’m building a wall.” Interesting. This answer is also simple and accurate, but this bricklayer has a slightly larger perspective. Her “why” was a step larger in its scope than the first bricklayer.
The third bricklayer stood up, took a deep breath, and said, “I’m building the most beautiful cathedral the world has ever seen.” Wow. This answer was also accurate, but gave the third bricklayer a completely different perspective on what he was doing. And, his answer includes not just that he was a part of a larger building … but a building designed to point people to God—a higher calling, a higher purpose.
You may already be in your dream job, but you don’t see the bigger picture. You don’t understand how what you’re doing now is making a difference in the lives of other people or even in your own life.
* During the Dream Job course, we’ll guide you through a process of understanding and articulating the type of value you are designed to bring and the type of organization you’re best fitted to be a part of. These tools, among the others in the course, will help you to discern if the path to your dream job includes changing your why.
Potential Change #3: Changing Your How
By now, you’ve picked up on our naming conventions and may have an idea of what we mean by this potential change. How could you go about doing your current job differently so that it moves closer to being your dream job?
The scope of this potential change will be based on the amount of freedom you have in your current working environment to suggest changes to the way you go about getting your job done each day. Could you rethink how certain tasks get done? Could you reshape some processes or spend a larger chunk of your time on the areas that produce the most value or give you the most vitality?
Or, could you devote smaller blocks of time to addressing organizational issues that are technically outside of your current job description, but fall inside who God has created you to be? What do you think needs to be changed in your current organization that no one seems to be addressing? Could you block off 5 or 10 minutes every day to work on solutions? Could you block off 90 minutes on a Thursday afternoon to put a plan together on the changes that would need to happen to make your organization better?
Those are just two examples of how you could change your how. We’ve depicted the idea of changing your how by flipping the image of the person upside down inside the same rectangle environment. How could you turn your current job description on its head so it aligns more closely with your dream job?
As you gain trust and prove your value, this can lead to more freedom within your current role. In fact, we recommend you review your job description at least once per year in light of the value you’re bringing to the organization. This can lead to a refresh (or rewrite!) or your job description in your current organization. Sound too good to be true? It’s very possible when you consistently add value outside of your current job description by changing your how.
* In the Dream Job Guide course, we’ll help you brainstorm ways you can change your how and develop a plan to take small, manageable steps toward those goals.
What’s Your Next Step?
What’s next for you? Which of these potential changes is most likely to move you toward your dream job? Obviously, you can try out two of them (changing your why and changing your how) without having to look for a new job or new organization to work for. You could get started on those today.
Or, do you need to invest in the Your Dream Job Guide course? The course walks you through a more complete process of assessing your current situation and determining which one of these 3 options is the best long-term change that will lead you to your dream job.
Whatever your next step might be, you’re the only one who can take it. Your dream job is probably not going to fall into your lap. And even if it did, you might not recognize it without investing the time to discover what your dream job might be. You can start on that journey of discovery today.