Hopefully you read my last post regarding finding your passion and answered the questions. If you have, then you should have a good idea of what you want out of a job.
So now what?
You create a plan of action in order to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Networking and Research
If you came up with a specific field you want to work in, then start reaching out to people that work in that field. Ask them how they landed their job and what types of jobs are available.
If you don’t know anyone working in that industry, google the information or join a Facebook or Linkedin group related to that field to gather information.
Once again, this is important, so spend some time doing it. Get up an hour earlier, use your lunch break, stay up an hour later…make sure you put in the extra effort.
If you are currently working in your dream field, but not the right job, then talk to HR about the qualifications for jobs that you are interested in.
Write Down Your Action Plan
After you are done researching and networking, write down the steps you need to take to get to your dream job. Be as specific as possible. Either start from where you are and work forward, or work your way back from the end goal, but figure out each and every step that you are going to take to get there.
Writing this down and planning it out serves several purposes. It will keep you on track and always moving forward towards the goal. It also puts your destiny solely in your hands and will serve to motivate and keep you focused.
This plan is not rigid, it’s flexible. So don’t get discouraged if one of your steps doesn’t lead to anything or becomes a dead end. That’s fine. If one approach doesn’t work out, find another and keep trying.
Also, it’s flexible because at some point you may come across information that will change your end goal.
For example, maybe you found out your passion is helping others, so you want a dream job working for a non-profit. You decide to start volunteering a few hours a week at a charity that means a lot to you. Once you started doing that, your satisfaction with your current job went up and you decide that you are happy with the balance you’ve created in your life.
The end goal may change, but don’t sell yourself short. Don’t take the easy path to a less ideal job just because it requires less effort. Remember that you deserve to live the life you want, so put in the effort.
Also, when creating your action plan, don’t discount skills you already have in creating a path to where you want to be.
For instance, if you love animals and your childhood dream was to be a vet, but you are currently working as an administrative assistant. Maybe you could start by working in the reception area of a pet clinic or volunteering your administrative skills at a shelter, while taking a training program to become a vet tech.
Or if you are dreaming of being a wedding planner, you could start by asking friends to let you plan their events (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).
If you already have organizational skills, then do it for a reduced fee, as you’re gaining experience, but don’t do it for free. You still deserve to be paid for the skills that you already possess.
Depending on your end goal, some of your steps could be: applying to school, overhauling your resume, finding a group of people in the field to connect with, taking a certification class, reading a book, talking to HR to let them know you are interested in a specific job, research qualifications, set aside some money, etc.
Set a Deadline
You need to set a deadline of when you want to be in your new job. It’s fine if you don’t meet it, but having one will keep you motivated to always be working towards it.
If you are horribly undisciplined, and I’m speaking from experience here, then don’t just put a deadline on the end goal, put one on each step in your action plan.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Training
If your passion involves anything that means you will have to go back to school and get some kind of degree, start that process. Apply to a school. Even if you can only afford to take a few classes a semester, at least you are making progress.
And please, never think it is too late. There are inspirational stories of people in their 80s graduating from college. So just do it already!
If you need to come up with money for a specific training or certification, don’t cop out with the excuse that you don’t have any extra money. Make sacrifices to get it.
I have a very tight budget, but I needed to come up with $80 for a training I wanted. I realized that I usually blow that amount a month on eating out. So I didn’t eat out for a month. It was a small sacrifice for something that could give me so much more fulfillment.
Work Your Plan
Get started working on your plan right away. Don’t wait. Start working your first step either the day you finish writing it or the next.
Work your plan each and every day and eventually you will find yourself where you always wanted to be.
Don’t let excuses, doubt or fear hold you stagnant.
Life is meant to be lived, not to just exist.
You got this!
For more info on setting a plan: