Career Advice

Don't Get a Job

Don’t get a job, get a dream. Write that on a yellow Post-It and stick it on your monitor. It’s the most important thing you can know about career navigation.

School did not prepare you for twenty-first century work life. It’s no longer a question of jumping through the right hoops. You can’t get good enough grades. You have to be your own employment agency.

You are your own economic development department.

Finding work and finding meaning is the same thing. Unless you know what you want, each new engagement will be a repeat of the futile attempt to cover meaninglessness with busy-ness. Until you know what you want, you cannot have it.

Now is the best time to figure it out.

The key to getting somewhere is knowing where you are going. A clear picture of what you want is the single most important tool for life management. The best thing you can do right now is to imagine your future. The more clearly you can see it, the easier it is to get there.

Imagining takes time, energy and discipline. Holding an image in your mind’s eye for months and years takes training and the ability to concentrate. Remembering your destination in the noise and swirl of activity requires quiet time and reflection.

These are not habits you can develop overnight.

Like any new fitness regime, taking responsibility for engineering your own destiny seems impossible at first. If you are willing to modify your routine and budget time, there is a path. It involves the eradication of procrastination, the end of time wasters and a commitment to self-improvement.

It’s easier if you just get a job. It’s better if you don’t. Get a dream instead.