Abraham Lincoln said: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be .”
No-one else is responsible for your happiness but you. If you wait for a fairy godmother to come along and make your life and career perfect you could be waiting a long time… Make it your business to be proactive about working out what you really, really want and do everything you can to make it happen. Stop dreaming and start doing – don’t waste your potential through lack of action.
Start by thinking about what you want to look back on in your eighties or nineties. Include family, friends, lifestyle, where you’ve lived and what you’ve done both in and out of work.
Consider what your career values are (things like security, autonomy, challenge, type of organisation, culture, impact on decision making) and rank them in order of importance. Think about what your ideal working scenario would be – it may well not be one job but could include project work, part-time work, home working or working for yourself. Don’t be put off by practicalities at this stage. Go for your ideal. If you don’t start with your dream, you’ve no chance of getting near it!
Then think about the steps you need to take to move toward this. You only need to take the first one now, maybe starting to research, talking to people who can give you advice, learning different skills or gaining some additional experience. Make them specific and measurable and set yourself some timescales. Think about what people in your life can support you to achieve them.
Discovering and pursuing your ideal job is the one of the most practical steps you can take toward a fulfilling and genuinely successful life – go for it!