When Your Career Choices Aren’t Panning Out

1388212391861_careerHow do you even plan for your career? This is a question that people think they know the answer to, only to realize when they venture into their first few jobs that they have no idea where they’re going. In fact, you yourself might not even have an idea if the job you have will be around for the months to come! The uncertainty is unsettling, and nothing could prepare you for it. The truth is: your career isn’t a straight line that you can simply coast along to. If you’ve been working long enough to realize this, you’re probably looking for that one secret formula of personal growth that will finally lead to your destination.

Why your career isn’t working out

Don’t you realize that everything—every challenge, activity, and task—that you put yourself through before you graduated was, to a certain level, predictable? From when you were young, your parents and teachers have always told you that the path you’re taking is the sure way to success.

So you just kept moving forward and earned achievements along the process, whether it be graduating with honors or getting into a prized internship by virtue of your admirable credentials. You’ve become so indoctrinated with this way of thinking—that you will get what you want if you work hard enough and keep moving forward—that it’s the only formula know by heart.

This may be a smart approach to getting a diploma, but unfortunately, it won’t always work if you want that dream career.

How to truly accomplish your dream career

Before anything else, erase any ideals or conceptions that you have about your dream job. Do not picture yourself with a  specific job in mind. Try this approach instead: think of what you truly desire, begin with a direction or a way that you truly want to venture into. From there, work backwards and create a strategy that will help you get to that point. In other words, create a strategy that will complement your desire and provide opportunities that will help you achieve it.

It’s not about what the perfect job is, but what is valuable and important to you. Like the values that you espouse, or your passion for travel, or an industry that you truly feel passionate about. After this, take a long and hard look at yourself, and reflect. What are your talents and skills that are consistent with your desires?  This is how you can create the path to your ultimate goal.

Instead of thinking of your dream job, plan your future by using the “Act, Learn, Build, Repeat” model as a way of building your future. Is it a model that will work? Yes, because it’s all about working your way backwards by picturing your goal and knowing what you truly desire. It’s been done before, and you can certainly get there with genuine passion and desire.