Completely eliminate the following phrase from your vocabulary: “It is too late.” Live with how good it feels to change your perspective. It is never too late to have your dream career. It might be difficult to go after it. It might be one of the greatest challenges of your life, but if you desire it, it is never too late.
Dare to dream and dream big. Do you have a dream? Do you imagine yourself pursuing another path and working in a new career or field? What is it? How do you want to spend your days? If you already enjoy your career, how could you make it better? Brainstorm your ideas and think about these questions.
If you are spending an inordinate amount of time dreaming about another way to work, it is time to do something about it. You do not have to run right out and quit your job; in fact, please don’t. But there is no harm in investigating the possibilities.
Take a few moments to design your ideal life. Now match it with your real life. Doing the "wheel of life" exercise is great for this. With this exercise you can visibly see how close your ideal and actual life really is and determine how comfortable or uncomfortable you are with this match. Now, design your ideal day. What would have to change in your life so that you could live more dream days? What are you willing to do, how far are you willing to stretch to make it a reality?
Speak with those closest to you about your ideas and dreams. Ask them to come on the journey with you but be sure to listen to and validate their fears. If you choose to change careers it is likely that you will not be the only one impacted. Talk about the possibilities. Anticipate the obstacles and leave the discussion open. Allow your partner the chance to sit with it for a while and realize that although you may have spent the past 6 months or 10 years wishing you were doing something else, this may come as somewhat of a surprise to this person and you have to let him or her absorb it.
Listen to your intuition. What do you do well? What comes naturally to you? What is effortless? What is one thing you can do today to let your unique gifts a talents shine? What can you do today that will make your heart sing? What is holding you back? If you feel some fear about changing your situation, what is behind the fear? What is the worst that could happen if you decided to make a small change? Choose to do something today that would move you closer to your dream day or ideal life and see how that feels. If it works for you, take another step.
Now that you have asked a lot of the tough questions, answer this. Where do you want to be in terms of your career in 5 years? If you were to fully live your life purpose, what changes would you have to make? If you were doing the same thing in 5 years that you are doing now, how would you feel? What regrets would you have? Is that ok with you? If not, do something about it.
Evaluate the barriers that might be getting in the way of you making a change. Think about the role money, expectations, time, confidence, and guilt play into what you tell yourself. Now take those factors away and what do you hear? Imagine that you have decided to pursue your passions. What is the first step? Who could you talk to that could help illuminate this issue? What does it feel like to live in that space for a while? Pay attention to how that feels.
Create an action plan. If you have decided to stay in your current position, speak with your boss or supervisor and come up with a plan to help you get more invested in your work. Ask to work on a special project? Ask to find a way to use your strengths and experience in a new way. If you have decided to pursue a different path, identify the steps you need to take to make your dream a reality. My article on “Finding the Perfect Job for You” would be a great place to start.
If you follow these 7 steps, you will soon be on track to having your ideal career.