The Dream Job Checklist
posted on May 21, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein
Introducing Megan Broussard, the creator of the career-lifestyle site ProfessionGal, based in NYC. If you’re a young female professional or entrepreneur with a craving to get ahead and a sweet spot for office style, Megan’s site is for you. Enjoy her career advice below! And be sure to connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Faceboo
We all want the same thing, right? To find purpose and passion in our day jobs, and preferably, not feel like it’s a job at all. Well, I’m going to play dream snatcher here and tell you the truth: there’s no such thing. Once you understand that, you won’t be plagued by disappointment when the job you applied for turns out to be nothing like Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex in the City fantasy.
Here’s what is real though: a dream job that fits you. Ladies, we’ve got to restructure our thinking on what it means to find the perfect job. It’s not a one-size-fits-all ensemble that you’ll love wearing at all occasions. In fact, rarely does any job tailor to our personalities and talents perfectly. It’s all about asking yourself the right questions in order to be matched to the job that complements you the most (much like a relationship or matchmaking service).
Here are the questions you should ask yourself to determine what it is you’d find true happiness doing.
1. What was your first love as a child?
One of my best friends made an excellent point at a low point in my career. About a year into my first job out of college, I was lamenting on the phone about what I needed to be doing with my life instead of what I was actually doing with my life. I had a cushy PR job, but I felt like my talents and passions were meant for something else. But, what?
She said to me, as comforting as a pint of cookies n’ cream ice cream, “Well, passions are often the first things we pick up as children. What was yours?”.
For me, it was writing. I would write books on any paper I could find and bind them together with bread ties. Do the same; think back. What was it that you always liked to do before you cared about money, location and the effects it would have on your significant other? That’s a great start to finding the perfect fit.
2. What do you find yourself interested in during your free time?
Now, think about the things you could read about all day, enjoy finally getting to on a Saturday or find yourself lighting up when discussing with friends over dinner. If there is something that interests you enough to keep doing in your free time, you should seriously consider the option of making it your career.
3. Do you want your manager’s job?
If you’re in the situation where you thought you already had your so-called dream job, but are now confused by the thoughts of regret that have entered your mind lately, a good question to ask yourself is, “Do you want your boss’s job?”.
Putting it clearly, your hard work is for one reason and one reason only: to get promoted. If the thought of doing the tasks that your boss does daily makes you want to hole up in your bedroom closet so that you’ll never have to be subjected to such agony, then maybe the job you have, the career you’ve chosen, or the industry in which you work is just not for you.
4. Are you proud to tell people what you do?
Most people, especially here in the good ol’ U.S.A., are proud to introduce themselves with their occupational title attached. To each her own, I say. But, if you do everything you can to avoid the topic or feel like you need to follow-up with a disclaimer or explanation as to why you’re doing what you’re doing, then this may be a telltale sign that you’re unhappy with your job.
Is there something that you always thought had a ring to it next to your name? Whatever it is. Think about it, play with it, marinade on it for a while and research what it takes to actually do it. You won’t regret it. What you will regret is never giving it a second thought and knowing for sure if it was your destiny or not.
5. Does the thought of Monday morning leave your stomach in knots on Sunday night?
I know this feeling all too well. There was a time when I first moved to New York that the thought of waking up to my devil of a boss literally gave me panic attacks. The only thing I could do to dull the pain on Sunday evenings was obsessively paint my nails and watch marathons of Keeping Up with the Kardashian. (Look, I’m not proud of it.)
If this sounds like your version of a Sunday too, one – know you’re not alone. You’d be shocked to find out how many of your peers feel the exact same way. And, two – start thinking about why Monday mornings make you want to drink an entire bottle of wine by yourself. Identify and isolate the problem. Perhaps it’s something you can work through? Is it simply your boss or coworkers that make you anxious? Or, is it something bigger like the daily duties your given – for example – the amount of presentations you have to give if public speaking isn’t your thing?
The former can be addressed and may not have anything to do with your choice of career path. The latter, however, may be a real problem. Do some introspection instead of dusting your concerns under the rug, and you’ll be taking a huge first step into the direction of a happy work life.
There are some twenty-somethings out there who will read this and say, “Rubbish! I’m living proof that I love everything about my job and am doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.” And, to them I say, you’re lucky. As for the rest of us – the majority of young women out there – at least we have the guide above to keep us hot on the trail to finding what’s best for us – not what the likes of Carrie, Girls or even Sheryl Sandberg says is right (though, she does make some great points).
Thanks for sharing, Megan!
Was this helpful to you? How do you define your dream job?