Career Planning: Part Two – Dreams

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Lets be honest.

When you were a child and you told your parents you wanted to be a firefighter or an astronaut when you grew up, how many of you were aware of the work it would take to get there and the likelihood of that wish occurring. I’m not saying I haven’t been there as well. As a five year old I told my Grandmother I was going to be a ninja when I grew up…who knew? 🙂 Now some have changed their minds as they’ve gone along or have completely transformed into a different ideal version of themselves, that being said is that dream still there in the back of your mind? Have you started to ask yourself what if?

In order to better prepare for our possible careers it is always good to be fully aware of what our expectations of ourselves are before we start. If you’re trying for your dream be it an award winning novelist, a research chemist, or a architect here are a couple things you are going to want to understand about going for your dream.

  1. Time – No matter how many contacts you think you have; to make your dream job come true is a full time job in itself. Now most people work 40hrs/week minimum nowadays in full-time work and at the end of the week you may not have the energy to devote to what you love most. Try simplifying your schedule to better make time to work on what you want to, not just what you have to.
  2. Sacrifices – Let things go. When it comes down to it most of us do things that are counter productive to our dreams. For example a college athlete wanting to be an Olympian but skipping training for a night at the movies is undercutting their own legs. Every time you think about doing something try to say to yourself “Is this action aligned with my dream?” If it’s not, steer clear. Some habits may be difficult to let go of but if you’re committed to the best life you can have you will have to sacrifice some comforts, distractions, and habits.
  3. Energy – Creating your dreams is comparable to building a Universe around yourself. It’s going to take a lot of work and energy. You are going to have to learn how to align all your ideas, actions, and behaviours while understanding that your dream won’t happen all at once. Be patient!
  4. Challenge – Anyone who says going after your dreams is easy is lying to you. It will require the focus of every waking moment in order to achieve your dreams, especially your dream job. It will take negotiations, modesty, and occasionally doing something you really don’t want to do, but by keeping your sight on the end goal you will creep closer and closer to that dream job.
  5. Mistakes – Accept the mistakes you make whether they are tiny unavoidable ones or gigantic inescapable ones. You are not perfect. Vince Lombardi said “We will strive for perfection. In fact we are going to relentlessly pursue it. We will not reach perfection, but on the  way we will become excellent.” No ones journey to their dream job is ever the same so you are likely to make mistakes, miss opportunities, and follow the wrong person, but as long as you learn, adapt, and re-apply yourself a mistake is simply a step up the ladder to you dream.
  6. Life isn’t fair – I hope you have a good sense of humor because being able to laugh at yourself will get you through all the times when things just don’t go your way. You can afford to not take yourself so seriously, trust me, it will reduce your stress level and make your life more fun. When you screw up, so what, it happens. Just get up try again or try something different. You will never be handed your dream job. You will have to work your butt off for it, and if your prepared to do that then you’re on the right track already.
  7. It’s just you – Your dream job is just that…yours. No one else will understand completely what it is you are trying to achieve. Try not to search for other people’s approval or acceptance because in some cases they just won’t get it. If you have support hang on to it, but if you’re going it alone find strength in the knowledge that you’re making your life better.
  8. It’s all worth it – Whatever your beliefs, we only this this life once so go for it. The feeling of envisioning a life for yourself and then seeing it through to fruition is an indescribable triumph over every obstacle you will face. Life will occasionally knock you down, but it will also throw you a lifeline…look out for them.

Tune in next week: When preparing for a war you need to ensure that you have the necessary resources, allies, and plans to ensure victory. The same applies to planning your career.

 

Kelly Skidmore

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Career Planning: Part One – You!!!!

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When we start high school our teachers and guidance counselors tell us if we don’t know what we want to do by the time we graduate we’re in trouble. Here’s where we set to the record straight. Nowadays the average person has had between 10-15 jobs by the time they’re forty and has changed careers 7 times. O_O WHAT!!!

Now when we consider average teenagers cycle through different seasonal jobs and are usually in the same job for under a year the 10-15 jobs doesn’t seem so inconceivable, but 7 careers. That’s a lot of learning new skills and potentially explains why many of the students attending college and university programs are in their early 30s-late 40s. And wait, there’s more…70% of first year students change their major by the time they hit second year, so why are they pushing an unexperienced 18 year old to make such a pivotal decision.

As a student the first thing you need to consider about what you want your career path to be is how successful you can be in that career and whether it will meet your financial and social means. A great way to predetermine what skills, assets, or values you may possess to fit you in to a good career is to take a career quiz. There are many available online for free, or professional ones with more testing parameters for a small fee, which can demonstrate your abilities, how you like to work, and what kind of work you like. It is always better to get an idea of what a job in a particular industry requires both academically and psychosocially.

Try the tests on the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities to get a decent idea of where you will best be suited to work. http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/postsecondary/careerplanning/program/wizard.html

Tune in next week for Part Two: Dreams are important but…

**Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/. Accessed May 23, 2014. Last updated 2014