“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.” ~ Michelangelo
How often do we set our sight on goals that we feel confident we can achieve? What are we missing when we do?
This month I am thinking about youth and dreams. But dreams are not just for the youthful. You may be starting early in your career and your dreams are evolving. Or you may be further along and some dreams have dissipated, but you feel others looming…and time is getting shorter, but you still have much to give.
How do we define our dreams? How do we convince ourselves we can achieve them, regardless of our stage in life? I’d love to help you identify and start on a path to your career dreams. Drop me an email, give me a call or sign up for Defining Your Next Career Step. Let’s explore what your life could be and get you going in that direction.
Recently, I helped my niece move to a city 1500 miles away from home for her first professional job. When she made the decision to move to this particular city, she knew no one and she had not yet applied for jobs. She had, however, done research on the cost of living, job opportunities, lifestyle and culture. She had made a list of things that were important to her and then sought out the city and state in which she would be most likely to fulfill those dreams.
I had a great deal of confidence in her ability to find the right job in that city but must admit…I would never have done that for myself! When I started my professional career, I had a known job, moving costs covered by my employer and a spouse who would be joining me. Of the job offers I had, I had chosen the one that would best suit a two career family. All of those seemed to take the risk out of moving 1000 miles away from my hometown.
Things turned out nicely for me in my life and career. I really have no regrets. But what if I had dreamed bigger, stepped out in faith with confidence, taken more risk? What more was possible?
Why do we shy away from risk in our careers? I’ve seen many stay in a miserable place in their careers rather than take a step towards something more satisfying. Yes, it’s scary to step out. And there are times when, because of obligations to others, we must choose a less risky path. But some of us stay put even when we have options. Why do we do what others want us to do rather than what truly has the potential to realize our dreams?
It could be lack of clarity. I often speak with women who want to chart their career plan, but when I drill down with them, I find out that they’ve not really defined for themselves the characteristics of their dream career.
When we have the dream, what keeps us where we are? Fear of the unknown is the easy answer. That fear can be minimized if we just explore options and consider plans that could go with those options. Sometimes, having a plan with the first small steps can take some of the fear away.
When contemplating your dream job, consider:
What would my ideal workday look like?
If I could take away all the risks, what would I choose to do with my career?
If I were 80 years old, what advice would I give my current self?
Big dreams start with small steps. In the case of my niece, her first step was to look at a map of the United States and consider which state she’d like to live in based on her current knowledge. After she’d narrowed it down, she deepened her research. She visited the city, then started applying for jobs. Now, she’s employed in a job well suited to her and looking forward to realizing her dreams.
Defining your dream job is key to achieving it. If your dream is still evolving and you would like support in defining it, my virtual workshop, Defining Your Next Career Step, begins March 20. Click to register.
Dream big…then take small steps to do it.
Defining Your Next Career Step: virtual workshop starting March 20. In this workshop you’ll gain clarity on how your personal desires and strengths can align in your career. Create your career vision that will set you on a path to achieving it.
Workshop for companies or departments going through change: “Taking Command of Your Stress Response” – If your company or department is struggling with low morale or incessant change which is impacting productivity and employee satisfaction, contact Susan for more info on this half day workshop. They will come away energized with new tools to use in and out of the workplace to enhance well being.
Susan Hodge created Women Leading Together in order to provide one-on-one executive coaching, seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling professional lives. Visit our website for upcoming programs, articles, and resources to advance your career.
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Spring Workshop: Defining Your Next Career Step virtual program starts March 20, 2019. Click here to register.
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