I spent A LOT of years flip-flopping between different career paths, industries, and have a long slew of random temporary jobs on my record.
It took me a while to figure out what my dream career is, but more importantly today, I want to talk about how I achieved it. I currently work in government finance which is probably the furthest idea of a “dream career” for most people, but it is for me. And there are many reasons that I will go into in another episode (I already have it schedule).
I firmly believe that everyone’s dream career should be different. We all have different skills, interests, and goals and so today I wanted to break down the 4 ways I was able to achieve my dream career.
1. Create A Side Business And Form Hobbies Outside Of My Dream Career
You are not your career. I firmly believe that one of the ways I am able to confidently achieve my career is that I was able to outsource a certain set of skills, interests, and passions to other parts of my life.
The first way I was able to achieve my dream career was not to have it be my end-all, be-all answer or even my sole purpose in life. Of course, my career is a massively meaningful part of my life, I enjoy it every single day, but it’s not who I am or all I have to contribute to the world.
When I first started off the path of career planning, it felt so incredibly overwhelming. But one of the breakthroughs I really had was only choosing to focus my career on a segment of my skills and interests instead of all of them.
By using my Work Life Money formula (which I talk more about in this podcast episode and what WLM was based on), I decided to create a side business to pursue certain passions and find my dream job for a specific life/skill set. I am now working my dream job in my 9-5 in government finance and my dream job in creating Work Life Money and hosting the Money In Integrity podcast. I love what I do, I get to work on really cool projects in my 9-5 to do this my business could never do (like manage contracts/projects up to $500K). I also love public service and can not see myself leaving for a very long time because I truly believe that being a part of something that’s bigger than me, and will outlive me. However, at the same time, my 9-5 doesn’t allow me to fulfill my creative side. I love writing, podcasting, and helping others through coaching which are COMPLETELY different skills.
Creating a side business has allowed me to achieve my dream job in my 9-5 and actually be better at it. Because I’m not wishing I’m doing something else; I get to do that creative stuff on my evenings and weekends and I look forward to it. There are also pros and cons on both sides, managing a creative side business is great at times but it’s also very volatile and overwhelming at others. It also doesn’t allow me to use my analytical and project management skills a lot (it’s only me here!) so I love that I still get to do that at my 9-5.
Creating a side hustle/business alongside your 9-5 can be a great way to achieve your dream career, whatever that may be, either full-time entrepreneurship or excelling at your 9-5 because like me, now have a creative outlet.
If you are looking to start a side business alongside a full-time job, I recently did a 3 part series on how to choose a side business (using my TNT formula), how to balance it with a 9-5, and the mistakes to avoid. Check it out here!
2. Learn To Confidently Market Myself
I’ve always been a good student. I can study for anything and I’ve always gotten those accolades that marked me as a high achiever, but something I’ve struggled with was being able to communicate and take ownership of those achievements.
Not one person in my entire has ever said to me “if you don’t have confidence, you won’t succeed” or actually encouraged the development of confidence without it being tied to a presentation that I was being graded on.
One of the biggest turning points in my career that has allowed me to achieve my dream career, now and in the future, is to learn how to confidently market myself and tell my career story for any career change. This is something I really develop with my clients now as a Career Mindset Coach.
When I first starting developing my career confidence, I thought the answers would be found in the words and phrases used. I used to seek them out as if it were a treasure hunt…if I could just find the perfect thing to the side, the perfect “power pose” or technique or resume format/structure, I would be able to get my dream job.
And yes, those types of things are important, but they are not the most important part of achieving my dream job. A LOT of achieving my dream job has been about confidence – especially for jobs I felt unqualified for. Yes, education, experience, and skills are hugely important in getting a job, but I learned that to get my dream job, I would also need confidence. There are LOTS of people with the same education, skills, and even similar experiences as me to an extent. But what I needed to bring above everyone else was my ability to market myself.
And this is what I extensively work with clients on now because as a high achiever, you can definitely get a job as you are and with the free career resources out there (a lot of them are available on worklifemoney.co!), but to achieve your dream career, you need confidence and the ability to market yourself.
If this is something you are currently struggling with, make sure to book your free Career Clarity Call to see if my Career Confidence Coaching program is the right fit for you!
3. Master the Art of Career Change
One of the biggest reasons I’m so confident that my current job is my dream job is because it allows me to live my dream life at this stage of my life.
However, I still feel the same way in 10, 20, or 30 years? Will I still be podcasting? Will I still be in government finance? Only time will tell. To be honest, I’m not very confident in what the future holds, and the ability to know and lean into that allows.
I firmly believe that your career can and should change as your life and priorities change.
So the truth is, my dream career probably will change someday. And the reason I know I will be able to achieve it is because I’ve learned how to master the art of career change by extracting different parts of my career past to create a marketable personal brand and change careers anytime I need to, or anytime I want to.
It’s scary to achieve your dream career because anything can happen in the world, but once you know that you can change careers and master the art of career change, you will be able to achieve your dream job for any stage of your life.
4. Stop Consuming Career Advice
Lastly, the final way I was able to achieve my dream career was to stop consuming career advice and start implementing it alongside personal growth.
It’s tempting to only rely on career advice found on TikTok on Instagram and think that hearing it once will be the magic answer to all my career problems. I have been there and done that, and with the internet, you can really go down this black hole of research and career advice.
However, consuming career advice and implementing it are different things. Consuming is easy, it’s comfortable, you can feel quite “accomplished” by scrolling through Instagram reels with quick fixes and thinking “this is it, this will get me my dream job.” However, as I mentioned earlier, this type of advice does work to an extent, it can get you a job, a good job, but to reach your dream career, it will take more than that. It takes true growth and confidence.
It’s important to execute career advice, but it’s not a one-and-done type of situation. It takes practice that involves A LOT of repetition. The analogy I like to compare this to is learning a new language. Learning a language involves a lot of repetition and practice. Your language confidence can also vary when you are practicing by yourself in your bedroom, in front of a class or in front of strangers in a foreign country. It’s the same with career confidence.
So instead of trying to find new “career hacks,” I really focused on the personal growth skills in being able to execute them well.
My career has taken many forms over the past few years…. and something tells me I’m just getting started. I’m so proud to achieve my dream career so far and am so excited for the future dream careers I will achieve! If you are looking for help with truly achieving yours, make sure to book a free Career Clarity Call with me to make it happen now and in the future!