How to balance your dream job with your current one
It’s no secret that there are many people in the workforce who are fully entrenched in jobs they don’t want to do. Reasons can vary wildly for why this happens, but for the vast majority, it’s likely to relate to finances. Dream jobs are great in theory but the immediate necessity to earn enough to live on now, tends to trump everything else. Unfortunately, after a number of years, additional life responsibilities and familiarity with the backup career, the dream job for most of us remains a luxury and forever out of reach.
Now, cut to a more positive alternative. If you don’t intend on making this the end of your own personal story and are embarking on making your dream a reality, you’ll be glad to hear that there are indeed ways and means of doing this. Here are just a few of the tips you’ll need to keep you in good stead for the journey ahead.
Appreciate your current job
Perhaps not what you were expecting to kick-off with but in my opinion this is a vital step in the goal to transition. Whether you absolutely detest your current job or are simply thoroughly bored by it, never lose perspective on what it has enabled you to do thus far. From paying your bills to teaching you the art of perseverance, it’s never wasted time. It should be afforded a certain amount of respect, if not gratitude, for what it has already provided you with.
Set outcomes for your current and dream job
Whether you’re working to a schedule of months or years, know exactly what your intended outcomes are for both areas of your life. This limits the confusion to yourself and those closest to you, who hopefully will act as pillars of support if need be.
The mistake some people make is wallowing in the idea of how much they dislike their present circumstances when ultimately that effort should go towards planning the route out. You have to have an extremely clear idea of what you’re aiming for, no matter how small or grandiose, and make sure both plans are as synchronized as possible to meet your ultimate needs.
Set and maintain standards
In order to have balance, it helps to remain faithful to the standards you have around these two areas of your life. This typically means that you dedicate the same level of conscientiousness that you have in your day job, to that of your dream job. You treat meetings, commitments, and challenges all with the same level of importance and don’t give up or give in because one isn’t yet paying your bills.
Day jobs can be tiring and working full time will easily sap some of the energy you’d love to flood into your dreams. Don’t give up though, allow yourself breaks when the pressure gets too much and don’t constrict yourself to arbitrary deadlines for success.
Be aware that from day one you will need to make sacrifices. It may be missing out on social drinks one evening, using some of your annual leave or even refusing a promotion because of the extra work it would involve. Be clear about your goals and even if a step feels negative in the short term, know it will have a positive pay off in the future.
Be careful who you tell
Sharing your passions with other people can be exhilarating, however, there are times when they’re best kept private and entrusted only to those closest to you and those who can help. The energy you use in expressing the bold and magnificent plans that you have for your future, is better spent creating that future. Show, rather than tell.
Take the direct route
Be brave about your ultimate goal and don’t skirt your dream with countless things that just fill time. Knock on doors, call in favours, attempt experiential roots if qualifications aren’t immediately possible. The more distractions you put in your way with backup plans or ‘extras’ to enhance your CV, the more distance you’re putting between yourself and your dreams. Go straight to the heart of what you want and avoid detours that only put more time in the way of something you can achieve sooner.
Oh, but have patience too
Successfully moving into your dream job on a full-time basis may not happen overnight. This can be all the more frustrating if you’re currently in a position that is hard to bear. Believe me, we’ve all been there. Patience though is key. To make a lasting, fulfilling transition, it’s crucial you allow your life and circumstances to take the course they need. Be excited by progress but don’t be disheartened by setbacks, it happens in every walk of life and usually contains lessons waiting to be learned.
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