Forget to be Afraid: 3 Steps to a Fearless Career Leap
The numbers vary, but some studies suggest that over 80% of Americans are not in their dream job. That statistic just makes me sad. Because we all know what its like to work in a job that isn’t our dream job. It can be exhausting, unfulfilling, even soul-sucking! So why would anyone ever do that? One of the biggest reasons is fear. Fear of leaving a secure position (no matter how much you hate it) to step into the unknown. Fear of financial loss or loss of our role-identity that jobs provide.
And then there is the little voice inside our heads that scoffs at the idea that we can work at something we truly love. Somehow this idea that work should not be enjoyable has become embedded in our minds. That our work should be serious business, not fun. Or the opposite - that fun at work = a foosball table and kegger Fridays! Some of us even have a subtle message in our minds that if we are having fun then we shouldn’t be getting paid. And what happens if we muster the courage to fight back and start dreaming about a career we could love? Here comes that sneaky little voice again that starts getting louder telling us we are not playing by the rules if we love our careers. I mean, come on, look around! Nobody likes their job anymore. It’s some weird badge of honor to complain about your job, your boss, your irritating co-workers.
But what if… What if you were able to find a career that you could fall in love with? What if you listened to that other inner voice? The voice that says, “Life can be full of hard work and joy.” What if that hard work could be your heart-work? Your real work? The work that gives your life meaning! Guess what? It can be done. Get so busy dreaming about your possibilities and working towards your dreams that you forget to be afraid!
Start with these 3 Steps for Your Fearless Career Leap:
Make a list of 10 wild and crazy dream jobs. The wilder and crazier the better. Has it always been your secret dream to be a trapeze artist? A truck driver? A therapy clown? Who are your role models and inspiration?
Take a look at your list and see if you can find a theme in any of the jobs you listed. Some might suggest a desire for freedom or adventure. Some are all about helping others. You might have 1 theme that is common in all of them or 10 different trends that emerge. Let it flow and see what you can come up with! (You can ask a friend, partner, spouse for help if you get stuck.)
Brainstorm a new list that has ways you can incorporate these themes into a new career path. Are there projects you can volunteer for at work or in your community that develop or hone these themes?
If the themes you uncovered are missing in your current work it might be time to brainstorm ways to reenergize or realign your job. If none of these themes are part of your work it’s a flashing neon sign that it’s time to make a change. Are there new skills you need to develop to make a career transition? Is it a little shift or a big leap? Time flies when you are having fun, but it drags when you are miserable. Take action today to start developing your new dream and make your fearless career leap!
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