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Be Successful - Discover The Career of Your Dreams
Step 1. Discover
With all things usually having a proper order, it's usually best to start with the beginning, which in this case, is figuring out what in the world you want to do!
Much of my experience in coaching clients into careers they love, is helping each person to discover what it is that they want to do. The trickiest part is always getting past the limiting belief that there are "too many" things in the way. The kids, the house, the lover, the spouse, the car, the health. There are some many things that we put in front of our chance to succeed.
So in this first step, I encourage, NO! I CHALLENGE you to write down FIVE careers that you have always wanted to have, if there was NOTHING in the way of your path to achieving that type of employment or in creating it for yourself.
Do this now, even if you only jot down a couple of ideas. What comes off the top of your head when you think about what you would be doing for employment right now, if there was nothing stopping you. Would you be an acrobat? An astronaut? A teacher? A multimillionaire who ends world hunger? Keep in mind that things like "silly", "weird" or "someone wouldn't like that" are all limiting beliefs. Who cares if it doesn't make any sense, if you want to do it, that's the only factor that counts.
Step 2. Recognize
Another common problem that rears it's little head along the path to career fulfillment, is not taking the time to list what you're good at. I think my favorite clients to help out in this sense, are stay at home moms, housewives and other forms of domestic goddesses.
They all have countless and over-valuable skills that are necessary in almost every industry in the world, yet most of the time when I ask the question, "What are you really good at?" - they all say, "Nothing." or something to that effect.
We are ALL good at SOMETHING! In fact, I'd be willing to bet my chair that you're probably good at more than 50 things. And I don't just mean you're "okay" at some things, I mean there are AT LEAST 50 skills that you have mastered in your life that are valuable in any career market. In the case of being a home-maker, not only do you have to be determined, patient, detailed and reliable, but you also have to have great organizational skills (even if you're a messy mom!). Running a home, with or without kids, is like managing a fast paced diner, it takes a lot of prep, a lot of improv and a lot of heart. If you do have kids, you get extra points on the improv skills!
If you're a man who formerly worked general or specialized labor positions and due to an injury or other life change, you aren't able to utilize your previous skills, that doesn't mean that you have no skills left. In fact, the depression that commonly comes along when a man loses his ability to do what he is most good at, is actually quite a great tool that can be used to help you develop that keen eye and vivid memory to help you cultivate the perfect career as a Consultant, Estimator or Contractor. Seriously, not only do we not lose any part of our mental faculties when we physically injure ourselves, we actually gain in our cognitive abilities. Think about the famous comic book hero the Dare Devil. He lost his literal sight, but then he gained amazing skills using his other senses. And truthfully, the only difference between him and you is the motivation you allow yourself to have. Regardless of if you are a man or a woman, regardless of what kind of injury you received or what state of health you are in, there is always something you are still good at that can help you find a career that you love, and not just any job that will take you.
I can tell you from experience, that in most cases, regardless of the job, you don't need to have very many skills or experiences. The only two things you truthfully need are CONFIDENCE and Rapport. Though the point to this exercise is to RECOGNIZE that you DO have skills already and they are worth your recognition and the recognition of your future employer or clients.
Step 3. Explore
Now that you've taken the time to create a short list of careers you would really like to have or business you'd really like to start, then followed by making a list of the skills you already have, it's time to get out into the world and explore. By doing so, you will uncover your options and find out what kind of mettle you're really made of. Which can help build up resilience for those you that need it most, and knowledge for those of you whom are less intimated and more just seeking direction.
Now, in order to complete this step, you'll need to have followed the first two. So if you've just been reading up and until now, go back and make the two lists. It only takes a few minutes, really.
Now, for example, if you wanted to be a Multimillionaire, you now want to make a mindmap of the steps that you would need to take in order to become a millionaire. In this mindmap, you are going to continue in the mind frame that you have no limitations. If nothing were in you're way, what steps would align you most with you're path and help you achieve your goals?
The most common ways that everyday individuals raise their status to millionaires, are:
- Becoming a Politicians
- Writing a Best-Selling Book
- Producing a Box Office Hit Movie
- Inventing a Product That Changes The World
- Being the Inadvertant Victim of a Scam or Accident
Now, the chances are, you probably don't have a hefty inheritance to look forward to, and I doubt you want to become a victim just to become a millionaire, so we can safely cross those off the list of avenues that would be easiest for you to achieve your goal. The rest are ripe for the exploring!
Do you have an interest in writing or videography? Work with what you have around and what you can bring in around you to get your first book or movie together. It doesn't have to be fancy, high tech or any sort of masterpiece. The point of this is to dive in and get wet, try it out and uncover where the difficulties are and what captures your attention the most. If you think you could hack it as a senator, then run! If you've got an idea for an invention, make a prototype or demo model (even if it's just out of styrofoam!). If it's a movie or novel that steals your attraction, then write out a plot and create some characters.
Step 4. Plan
(Create goals and a mind map of the steps you need to take to continue discovering or to gain employment in your dream career)
Once you've followed the above three steps, you will have enough information and experience together formulate a plan that can take you to your dream career. If you've reached this step and you haven't yet followed the above steps, remember to bookmark this hub so you can come back later to really make your plan.
Now, here is where your previous hard work comes into it's best use. By laying down the careers you would most like to have and the skills you are most good at, you now have a blueprint of what practical career paths are available to you. If you've always wanted to teach or help people, and you've got great organizational and improv skills, you could easily follow the path of a career Motivational Speaker, Coach or Executive Assistant. Or you could start up your own after-school educational-play program. The possibilities can go on and on depending on your preferences and how much you allow yourself to be open and accepting of them.
By getting out and exploring some of the options you created from your list of "I want to do's", you should have had a chance to see what sort of effort it takes to labor through even a light version of that career. If it was making a movie, then getting some basic equipment, writing a short script and producing the film - are all extremely challenging in their own ways, but are also extremely rewarding when the end result is finally cut and copied. With writing, it's getting that first novel out. For some this can take decades to do (ex: J.K. Rowling) or it could happen in less than a few months if you're inspired. If you really love cleaning and organizing, then you might have tried out working for a cleaning company or maid service and found that you either really loved being able to be so spic and span all day, or you found that you just can't stand a job where you clean other peoples toilets.
No matter what you discovered about yourself through the Discover, Recognize and Explore processes - it's now time to form a plan. You're plan will be made of up FIVE main parts:
- What Career You Want or Business You Want to Start
- What Skills You Already Have and/or Need to Get
- What Actions You Need to Take
- What Resources You Need to Attain
- Approximate Date of When You Will Achieve Your Goal
Narrow your choice of careers down to one of the ones on your list (Remember that you are NOT limited! You can always try out another option after this one). Write down GOAL: X to become a (you're chosen profession here). or X to start a (your chosen business).
Then take a look at the skills you have and circle all the ones that fit your chosen career path the most. If you want to become a restaurant owner, and you have years of management or culinary skills, then circle those ones. If you'd really like to get into law, and you've been told you're a great debator, then circle them too. Make a new list of these circled skills, then do some research about what other skills are necessary for a person to become successful in your chosen industry or profession.
If there are many skills you are missing, then they will be the first ACTIONS that you need to take. Whether it's working under someone who is already following the path you'd like to follow, or going back to school for a while, those are the actions you need to list. If you want to become a famous tattoo artist, then you'll need to become an apprentice. If you want to sell fine art made out of recycled metals that you welded together, then you need a welder and some metal to get started! I wanted to become a mechanic, but few shops would hire a "girl", so I figured out what tools I needed most, printed up some business cards, posted ads on craigslist and wal-la, I had customers and clients who didn't care about my gender because their vehicles were always well taken care of. The only skills I needed were confidence, openness, persistence and an aptitude for mechanics - all of which were naturally mine.
The first actions I had to take to get there, were to make business cards, get some tools, advertise and answer emails. Shortly after I also had to get more tools, a business license and a more fuel efficient truck. They were all pretty much basic actions. After things were steady, and I neared the tax exemption line in my state, I started getting things in order for taxes and saving money for maintenance expenses. Not once did I hold back because I didn't:
- Have the proper education
- Have all the right tools at the right time
- Have any credentials to vouch for my knowledge
- Have any customers to pay me in the beginning
- Or even have access to regular daycare! (That's right, I started went to work as a mobile mechanic in the evenings, on my partners days off and when my mother could watch the kids for me, and I still made enough money to cover all the bills and then some!)
If you act like there are no limitations, you soon begin to see through all the imagined limitations that are in your world. That plows the way for the only true limitations to face you - TIME and MOTIVATION. If you really want to do something, there is nothing that can really stop you. Remember what mom used to say?
"If you put as much attention into this... as you put into goofing off..... You'd be finished already!"
This is the same thing. So get your actions written down and don't worry about any limitations. If you need to go back to school, then put down "check out colleges" as an action. Don't worry about what it would cost, just call up some colleges and see what you're options are. Just don't forget to write down your other options for learn as well - self-teaching, vocational classes, certifications, apprenticeships, internships, volunteering, etc....
Once you're done with your ACTIONS list, it's time for your RESOURCE list. Do you need:
- Business cards?
- An advertisement?
- A Better Video Camera?
Money is an obvious one that most of us need, though I would suggest to leave it out of this list. The less we think about how much we will need to spend to get our resources, the less anxiety will rise up about that procurement. Not to mention, you don't always need money to get what you want or need. I once needed a good vehicle for my painting company, so I traded an old industrial drill I rarely used, for a cargo van. Later I traded that same van for a sleeve tattoo - so your options are ALWAYS open. So fill this list up with the resources you need to complete your actions.
After that, you need to Set The DATE. I'm serious here, you need to pick a firm date on your calendar of WHEN you will have already achieve your goal. This date will be approximate, in that you will most likely have achieved it within a few weeks before the actual date. Now, here is the tricky part - you want to seriously consider how long it would take you to go through all of these steps, and within your best judgement and without thinking about a bajillion limitations, put your finger on the best date. Today is April 28th, 2012 - if you want to write a novel and become a best selling author, then set your date for April 28th, 2013. Most best sellers are between 150,000 and 250,000 words, that gives you a minimum 12,500 words per month, which is more than do-able, just ask the Nano-Wri-Mo writers who write over 50,000+ word books in a month EVERY year just for the FUN of it. So a year is reasonable. It's not way out there in the future, but it's far enough out to let you organize and separate the steps down your path and keep the task from seeming to overwhelming.
So now your plan should look similar to this:
Chosen Career Option: Multimillionaire
Achieved Skills: Persistence, Creativity, Invention Idea, Styrofoam, etc...
Needed Skills: Negotiation, Financial Planning, Business Administration, Marketing, etc...
Actions: Take a Financial Planning class/course, study the art of Negotiating and put it into practice in my daily life, take a class or study up on Business Administration, create a Model out of my Styrofoam,
Resources: A sharp Knife to cut and shape the styrofoam with, a Sketch Pad and Pencil to draft what the model will look like, Phone Numbers or Emails to educational programs or institutions, get a Daily Planner (with a CALENDAR!).
Date: April 20, 2013
Get Help When You Need it!
The path to becoming a successful person at any level, requires that we all admit there are times when we need help. Don't be afraid to get it.
Step 5. Implement
Take ACTION! Get your resources, gain your skills, follow your steps and ACHIEVE your goal(s)!
Step 6. Success!
If you're now at this module, you should have already achieved your goal and discovered a career that makes you happy and provides for all your needs. Congratulations! Take some time to let us know in the comments what your plan looked like in the beginning, how long it took you to succeed and what actions you took to achieve your goal.