Your dream job as a child could make a comeback in your 40s or 50s – if you really want it to.
Almost six in ten people in a Monster.com poll say they still think about their childhood dream job every day. Especially when the economy is dicey and jobs difficult to come by, you need something to feed your passions and reinvigorate your enthusiasm for working.
“When things are tough we have to think outside the book, consider new ways we can succeed,” said Charles Purdy, Monster.com’s senior editor. “Difficult economic times may spur you to change careers, or it may increase your creative thinking which could lead to some related job.”
If you’re still daydreaming about a very different career as you handle the minutiae of a good, steady job, you don’t have to leave the job you currently have to start seeking out the ideal. In fact, we have five small steps to get you started toward your dream job:
Incorporate Elements Into Today’s Job. Bring a few strands of your dream job into your day job – even if it means selling your boss on add-ons. When he was a teen, Purdy’s dream job was actor. “I’m not in it, but a lot of the stuff I do for Monster involves an element of performance,” he said, whether for a media interview or a client presentation.
Start A Hobby That Relates To Your Dream. You may never rival Madonna in making music, but you could start a band that plays at your local pub on Thursday nights. Instead of working for NASA, you could serve as the coordinator of the scientists and astronomers club at your child’s middle school. You may not be able to own an antique shop, but you could start collecting century-old pieces and displaying them in your home.
Take Some Classes, Go To A Conference. Take a YMCA or community college class. Find a weekend seminar or conference that relates to your dream career or field. If money is tight, volunteer to check people in or help out during part of the event. “Learn things about your passion,” said Purdy. Along the way, you’ll meet some professionals and start a network that could be helpful to you – and vice versa.
Talk To Someone Who Holds Your Dream Job. These informational interviews or job shadows can be useful to give you ideas whether your chosen career really is a good fit. You also may learn about some related job or support job that is easier to obtain when you go meet the professional hockey player. So you may not pass the puck, but you could run the team’s social media efforts or serve on their corporate advisory board.
Play Up Your Passions. Use your new hobby or side business or classes to make yourself a well-rounded individual – someone who is “dynamic and active and energetic,” said Purdy. You may even want to create two resumes – one that plays it straight and one that shows your volunteer and other work on the dream career. Some people will find you more interesting and impressive for your parts in community theater or your work with a cause or organization, he said.
“We can’t all be musicians or astronauts,” said Purdy. But we all can find volunteer work or projects that give some of the thrills those jobs might generate.