What did you want to be when you grew up? Every child had a dream of becoming an astronaut, a teacher, lawyer or some other dream career. Life has a way of interfering and most of us failed to follow through on those dream careers. For many, the dream career evolves and changes into something different than those innocent ideals of childhood. However, if you are in a dead-end job and still dream of something special, you can take the steps necessary to live your dream.
Look for Unexpected Opportunities to Further Your Dream Career:
I had to return to the workforce due to a divorce and the need to support three children on my own. I found employment as an office manager of a local sign manufacturing company. I truly enjoyed the work. It was easy enough and I found many ways to improve upon the office procedures. One of the contracts the company had was to replace the 500 New Mexico Historical Markers that were scattered across the state. These markers had always intrigued me. The text on these signs is short due to space limitations and each one tells a part of the history of New Mexico. I always wanted to know more about the stories behind each of the markers. Now, with my new position, I had access to every single historical marker at my finger tips, and the internet to provide me with those missing details.
I approached my employer with a proposal, “Phil, we have the information to create a great guide book here.” As Phil had always wanted to author a book as well, he eagerly agreed to the project. I wrote the book while he provided information on the signs and their exact locations. It took over a year to complete the book and I was so proud to be listed as the co-author on it.
This book credit has propelled me into the realm of professional writer and has opened the door to opportunities to further my dream career of being a full-time freelance writer.
Be Prepared to Sacrifice for Your Dream Career:
To survive economically as a full-time freelance write, I have to make $2,000 per month. There are several avenues to make this type of money freelancing and some are much more preferable than others to me. One site that I write on regularly pays $15 per article. To make my $2,000 per month, I have to write between 6 and 7 stories per day during the five day work week. This is simple enough and keeps me afloat financially. I can usually finish the must dos before noon and then work on the want-to-do’s. The kicker is, I really hate working on that one website. It’s very confining and structured which steals most of the creativity of the writing process. The thing is, once I have completed my scheduled articles for the day, I can switch over to the more fulfilling but less lucrative projects that will eventually replace the revenues of the must dos. I love that I am currently a full time freelancer making the revenue that my family needs to stay afloat and have the ability to see the end goal of writing what I want in the near future.
Educate Yourself about Your Dream Career:
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 12. However, I was not interested in pursuing a college degree. I actually felt it would stifle my creative style. Whether that is true or not, I do not know. I do know that I read every book I could get my hands on about writing for publication. I read about query letters, formatting articles, and book proposals. I experimented with query letters, sending out several and receiving positive feedback on some, form letters on others, and even a few scattered go-aheads for other publishers. I would have probably succeeded sooner by going to college. The key is, whether you go through the formal education or study your own way, read about and learn everything you can about your dream career. If there are educational requirements, such as a degree to become a Registered Nurse or teacher, then go get that education.
We all have family obligations, and things we want to do yet we get stuck in that rut. It is so easy to get up and go put in your day and live pay check to pay check. When you find yourself stuck and wishing you could do something different, blow the dust off of your dream career. Make a list of things you need to do to get from where you are to where you want to be. The biggest challenge of all is to not let anyone hold you back from your dream career, including you. Fight for what you want in this life and you will be living your dream career.
Read more from Sharyl Stockstill:
Superbowl Sunday: Its Better than Christmas
Of Rattlesnakes, Ladders and Mothers