As I enter my 40s I realize that the words “dream job” mean different things to different people. Through my personal experience I’ve found the following four things have really helped mold my career into my “dream” career and allow me to find success at all different levels.
1. Become the type of person you want to have working for you. After arguing through review cycles and even being fired at one time in my life, I’ve learned that this nugget is probably the most important thing you can do to find or create your dream job. There are so many things we do on a daily basis that become our habits. Many of these are good habits, but quite a few are bad. If you constantly think about being the best employee, manager and entrepreneur you can be, you’ll attract others to work for you and report to you which will increase your value in the company.
2. Develop skills in which you are naturally gifted and take them to a higher level. How many times have you sat in a review at work and listened all the things you need to “improve”? You may have even been encouraged to take training that targets those weaknesses. Develop skills and talents that come naturally to you and become an expert in those areas so that you are the go-to person.
3. Money isn’t everything, but it can certainly help you be less miserable. The best way to get your income where you want it to be is to set expectations with your manager and understand what it takes to get there. One thing that has been a huge win for me over my other colleagues is actually asking for promotions and raises. I find out what it will take, document those actions with my manager and then perform them. I know a lot of colleagues that do this as well, but they never ask for a promotion so they never get one. Although we have the same job, I would guess I probably make about $20k more than some of my colleagues due to this very reason.
4. Use negative feedback to change your course not your destination. Many times a manager may have given me feedback that made me feel like I wasn’t worthy to have the position I did or that I wasn’t qualified for management, etc. You have to grow thick skin and learn to change your course in order to improve performance and work through difficult people. Don’t forget your ultimate destination or let others make you feel like you can’t succeed.