Hallie Crawford

Article Summary:

Advice for choosing a career path that is ideal for you.

Choosing A Career Path

One of the things that I like to tell my career coaching clients is "Dream first." This is vitally important to discovering what you were meant to do with your life, what you "want to be when you grow up." And yet, so few people allow themselves the necessary freedom of unrestrained and expansive thinking!

One reason for this may be that we have been trained all our lives to follow orders and rules, and as a result, tend to let process and procedure dictate our behavior. But if we're forever waiting for approval or instructions on what to do next, how are we supposed to think creatively and out of the box? It's no wonder that sometimes when we try to think for ourselves, without a specific process, we can come up empty-handed and/or confused.

Remember that this is your life, your future to shape and mold on your own. No one can take that away from you - not your employer, not your family, and not even society. So if you feel unsatisfied in your current career, are dying to explore new territory, or have a secret wish to do something entirely out of your comfort zone... just go for it! Try it out and see where the experience leads. You only live once and believe it or not there are ways and means around every corner to help you get where you want to be. One of my favorite quotes is "The greatest risk in life is not taking one." And finding out exactly WHERE that place is, where you want to be, begins in the hollow of your mind where dreams and fantasies take shape.

So, what's your dream? What did you want to do as a child? What's your vision of the perfect career, the kind of job that makes the best use of your talents, skills and strengths? What would be the job for you that "doesn't feel like work" because it's something you're naturally good at and enjoy doing? Try the exercise below as a way to explore the possibilities - it's a great first step toward taking the plunge and making the move to a more satisfying career.

Career Seekers Brainstorm: What's Your Dream?
Take some time to think about/write down your responses to the below questions. The purpose of this exercise is to let go of the pressure, realize that the answers lie within you... and the future can be anything you want it to be. With this brainstorm, we will attempt to figure out what that future is. Have fun and let the ideas flow.

1. What's the one thing that drives you to get out of bed each morning and face a new day?

2. Recall your proudest moments in life. What were you doing when these took place? What gifts or talents of yours manifested themselves at such moments?

3. If you had a secret superpower, what would it be?

4. What's your daydream of The Perfect Job for you? What are you doing, exactly? Which tasks do you take care of yourself, as opposed to the things that other people will handle?

5. Is there someone in life who you admire, look up to, or even envy because you wish you had the life/career/experiences they have? What do they do and what part of that do you find attractive?

6. Which parts of your current job do you dislike, and why? What would you want to have instead?

Congratulations! You just took one necessary step in creating a life and career that fulfills your wildest dreams. All the best for a rewarding and fulfilling career doing what you love.

Hallie Crawford, MA, CPCC, is a certified career coach and the founder of Authentically Speaking, a career coaching organization that, for over 5 years, has helped people find their passion and turn that into a career. Hallie?s mission is to change the way people feel about work - from just a paycheck to a fulfilling endeavor that is an extension of their purpose.

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