Remember when you were a kid taking a road trip vacation with your family? ‘Daddy, are we there yet?’ was said by more kids than probably anything else other than ‘I need to go to the bathroom.’ Now, fast forward to your life now. You might not have taken any road trips recently. Neither have I, but it got me thinking. You and I are on a different kind of journey with our careers. Are you there yet?
I was recently reading about a website that Disney developed for brides to create the wedding dress of their dreams. They say that lots of women dream about their wedding. What about dreams for their career?
I know I’m living my dream career. You can too, but first you have to create your own dream. What do you love? I love selling and working with salespeople to develop their skills. If you don’t know what you love, start by thinking about what you’re good at doing. Often what you’re good at brings you joy. If not, think about when you were most happy at work. What made you happy? Was it working with other people? Maybe it was working on projects by yourself. Maybe it was fixing things or problem solving. Maybe it was motivating people. You have to know yourself and what makes you tick to create your dream.
Next ask yourself how you can incorporate what you love into a job. I knew that training and consulting existed and that’s what I wanted to do. Don’t limit yourself. I had no idea at the time 11 years ago that an entire speaking industry existed. Once I learned about it, I began submitting my presentations for consideration. That’s how I grew my speaking business. If you don’t know what jobs exist that tap into your joy, ask around. You probably know people in Human Resources. If you don’t, ask people you know. Someone will connect you. Go to the library and do research.
Here’s where it will get tough. Your dream job may require change. Leaving even an unpleasant situation is going to be very, very hard. Even a tough situation is familiar. The unknown is scary. I distinctly remember my business situation. I was at a business dinner and I remember thinking to myself, “If I stay here at this company, my spirit will die.” I couldn’t live with that, yet I really didn’t want to leave. I had to. A day later, I strategized with my husband about what I wanted to do. Here’s what I did to make sure I left.
I made a public announcement about my leaving. I knew once it was public that there was no turning back. I called a friend, one who I respected enormously, and told her that I was leaving Corporate America to work for myself. My friend was stunned. She said, “I never would have thought that you would leave in a million years.” Funny thing was that neither did I. But telling her made me keep my word. I left to the shock of many at my company.