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Sometimes it just seems like there is no perfect "dream" career for us. You know, the one job that you love waking up for every morning and truly have a passion for. Or, sometimes, we simply just don't know what that path is.
Today, there are so many people that walk through life having no idea what their strengths, weaknesses, and even passions are. It's quite sad when you think about it.
Imagine going through your entire life, mundanely content, but never really excited or happy. You work an okay job, that you may hate or be indifferent about, but it isn't your passion. It doesn't excite you. Honestly, you've been so busy adulting that you have no idea what your passion actually is at this point.
Unfortunately, sometimes life doesn't give you a choice. Things get hectic and overwhelming, and you're so focused on getting through day-by-day that you forget what it is to understand yourself. By the time you recognize this, it seems too late. You've forgotten yourself.
Luckily, you can't truly forget yourself. You're still in there, just buried beneath the to-dos and hecticness of everyday life.
So how do we get it back?
It starts with re-learning yourself. This is the fun part because it usually consists of taking fun personality tests, performing tons of self-reflection, and focusing your attention on yourself from time to time.
What are your strengths? Your weaknesses? Your interests and passions? It's important to remember that, as you evolve, so does your personality. Therefore, some previous passions and enjoyments may not be so enjoyable anymore. This is perfectly normal, and essential for your path in life to evolve with you.
A theory of mine: The main problem with today's society is that many people walk through life evolving, but don't think to evolve their personality. Certain aspects of your personality evolve as you do. Other things, such as your creativity, passions, and learning experiences do not. These are up to you to focus some time on to evolve along with yourself.
Getting stuck in a position of evolvement without evolved passions can lead to detrimental side-effects such as I-hate-my-job, a mundane state of being, and normalcy (eek!).
So, take some fun online personality tests and do some research on your personality types. Some of my favorite personality tests include the Big Five Theory Test, the 16 Personalities Test, and the Personality Perfect Personality Assessment. Each one of these tests provides detailed insight into each individual personality type including strengths, weaknesses, and performance in life such as personal, professional, friendship, and even love.
Develop a passion for learning.
Now that you know who you are, you need to learn about your passions, the old and the new. But, where are you supposed to start? Why would someone who may have a stable and steady career bother to delve into the unknown and explore different avenues, especially when the current situation is working out just fine? Because, as humans, we should strive for extraordinary, not fine.
So, start by developing a passion for learning, instead of trying to develop a learning plan for a passion. How does one develop a passion for learning, you may be asking. Well...
- Find a few subjects (start with only one or two) that you find really interesting that you think you'd like to learn about. Try and make them more simple, such as things you already have basic knowledge of and enjoy.
- Research them and what you need to know about them to have a career in that field, even if you aren't aiming to switch careers at this point.
- Look into free online courses with no strings attached where you can audit the courses and turn in assignments. Most free online coursework websites allow you to phase out at any time with no repercussions.
- Take a few courses that you think you'd find really interesting. If you do, broaden your knowledge on it. If you don't, stop the coursework.
- Make it a hobby to take randomized online courses during your leisure time and learn about a variety of different subjects, techniques, and topics of interest.
No one ever said developing a love for learning would be easy, but it's definitely something worth doing. You don't need to stick to a specific area of study either, and that's what is so great about all these free course websites. Take a course in binary coding along with a course in farm animal veterinary care. Who cares?
Find an area that excites you.
Once you've taken a couple courses, you may start to notice a trend. Did you primarily take courses involved with marketing? Maybe you took a few in technology with a heavy focus on app development. Whatever your area, you should be finding a niche. An area of study that truly gets your gears going and one that you truly enjoy and make the effort and time for.
Now, you know your niche. Now you have the power to decide and delve deeper.
Do your research.
Now that you know your niche, research the types of careers in that field. Write down all of the ones that excite you and look into specific coursework in that area. Try and keep it somewhat narrow, such as five different careers that interest you rather than 20.
Some questions to ask yourself and to research:
- What do I need to know about this specific career?
- What coursework do I need to take to prepare for this type of career?
- What skills can I obtain that may not be required, but are still of interest to me, that can make me stand out?
Here's an example of the last question:
For example, I'm a creative writer and content planner. Content planning normally isn't a specialization. However, I've taken dozens of courses on Topic Generation, Blog, Article, and Book Structure; Content Development and Outlining, Creative Thinking and Innovation, and Content Marketing, all to create a truly unique service, tailored to my top skills as well as consumer needs.
I'm not saying that you'd have to create an entirely new niche to be successful or happy, but it's worth trying if you're still having a difficult time trying to find exactly what you're looking for. With my skills and experience, I can work in a variety of fields in the content writing and creative industries. That is what you should be striving for.
Make yourself an asset by knowing an array of different skills under the same umbrella.
Now that you've learned the fundamentals, put your knowledge to use. Put yourself in situations where you can utilize these skills, or start your own personal projects.
Maybe even create a free website portfolio (I use Wix) to showcase your work. Link your portfolio to your resume if you want so it's easy to find.
For example, when I first started learning marketing for my freelance services, I dabbled in affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, and digital marketing before I found what was best suited for me and what I wanted to, and enjoyed, doing.
I also learned a new appreciation for affiliate marketing and influencer marketing as careers. Before, I figured they were hobbies. But to be extremely successful at these things and to make a career out of them takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
To all affiliate and influencer marketers out there: I salute you.
Revamp your resume.
Now that you've taken all these courses, showcase your knowledge! Write up the courses you took and all the projects, even the personal projects, that you've been working on.
It may sound like it's pointless, but showing potential employers you consistently strive to learn and have a passion for this type of work can assist them in bypassing the fact that you may not have gotten a college education in the field.
Knowledge is more valuable than schooling.
Obviously, this isn't going to work for certain professions such as doctors, surgeons, lawyers, or other high-profile professions. However, it can help you to obtain a career in a field such as marketing (especially digital), technology, financial services, and community management (customer satisfaction).
No one ever said finding your dream career would be easy. No one also ever said getting there would be easy. If they did, they probably weren't as successful as they made it seem.
If you wanted an end-all solution, this isn't for you. This type of change doesn't happen overnight. It happens after hard work and dedication.
One of my passions is to provide motivation for you to succeed, not a short and happy end-all with funny quotes (though, I do kill it on the humor... just saying). Understanding that this is a process is half the battle. Getting through it is the second half.
I wish I could provide a solution that could change your life overnight, but it's simply implausible to do so.
However, I can promise that if you follow this guideline, you may find you're closer to your dreams than it appears.