Sometimes your dream is with you in the present. Sometimes you look back and see your dream in the past, something you felt you lost. But what about your future? These tips will help you to discover what your dream for the future is. If these don’t feel like enough, we recommend that you take a look at our career passions toolkit for further support on discovering what your true dream job and passions are.
1. Take Different Contexts into Account
When it comes to dreams, context is important. You have dreams in life generally and dreams to do with your work life. The two contexts are aligned but it’s useful to try and figure out what your dream is in each separate context.
2. Define Your Purpose in Life
Those who seem to be happiest are those who believe that the purpose of their work reflects their purpose in life. They enjoy both their work and their life more if they feel that their work is meaningful.
3. Identify Your Passions
Think about what interests, hobbies, causes and subjects you’re passionate about. When we think about what our dream job is, it’s often connected to something we have a lot of passion for. Start identifying and outlining what those passions are now.
4. Look at What Energises You
When we enjoy doing something, it gives us energy. As we’re doing the activity, we feel energised no matter how we felt before we started. Start noticing what activities energise you and think about how you can weave them into your dream job.
5. Monitor Your Motivation Levels
Do you look forward to getting up for your day or not? There are people who get up every morning looking forward to the day ahead. They’re the ones who usually are closer to their dream and know they are. As Steve Jobs said, “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something”.
Try different types of work to find out what you like and don’t like. You can experiment by volunteering, getting a work experience placement, doing pro bono work, consulting in different sectors, shadowing people at work and so on.
Studying a subject is a great way to discover how passionate you are about it. You can take weekend courses or evening classes, sign up for workshops or attend seminars and conferences.
8. Ask Your Mentor
Your mentor can’t discover your dream job for you but, as someone who hopefully knows you well, they can tell you what they believe you’re passionate about and energised by.
9. Work with a Coach
Consider working with a career coach or a career guide. A good career expert will take the time to get to know you and the whole of your life, putting them in a great position to throw new thoughts into the mix and to give you feedback on your own ideas.
10. Share with Others
You don’t only have to discuss this one-on-one with a mentor or a guide. Talk with family, friends, colleagues and anyone else who knows you well about what you think your dream is and see what they say.
For more ideas on finding a new direction, see Career Passions toolkit and Self discovery toolkit.