Did you hold on to your dreams? Do you recall when you were young and all the adults around you would ask what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you chase those dreams into a real vocation? Did those dreams change over time? Did youthful exuberance borne of naiveté give way to the pursuit of career choices far different – maybe more practical – than those childhood illusions? Or, did your imagination lead you to become the passionate embodiment of a single work goal from those dreams?
For some, deciding what they wanted to be when they grew up was a decision they never made, and are still searching well into their adulthood. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Trying different things along the path of life has been a rewarding experience for many, especially those dedicated to their goals – short or long term.
Yet for others, going after their (night or day) dreams is a way of life. They get almost as much fulfillment from chasing the things that affect them emotionally, as they do from actually achieving those dreams. And there is strength to be found in going after those dreams. In particular, the strength of commitment that comes to life when one is steadfast in their beliefs and actions. And let’s be honest, to achieve anything meaningful in life these qualities will serve you as well as any other!
It takes a lot of hard work to make our dreams come true. Whether in a classroom, creating something new from scratch at a workbench, being guided by a mentor, or gaining experience through an internship, the active pursuit of a sincere goal is enticing, motivating and invigorating.
Not surprisingly, a lot of the things we were passionate about in our youth continue to delight and entice us as we mature. They fuel our passion to go after our dreams. And those passions and desires can provide clues into areas worthy of professional endeavors. Our ongoing reactions to the stimuli that fill us with joy, and excite us to accomplish things suggest that there are tasks we genuinely enjoy, and that these could be relevant to an employment situation. Whether one chooses to work with their hands or mind, solving problems, or creating something new that never existed, these traits are built from our dreams. The satisfaction we get from achievement, small successes and large, build confidence that motivate us to go further, try more, and try harder.
Think about your skills and the personality traits that are among your best, those you depend on as being comfortable to execute, and that provide you the most confidence. Is it possible that these were nurtured as a result of following through on your dreams? They may not seem directly related at first, but I’ll bet there is still a connection.
Here are some examples:
Did you dream about being a world class musician? A passion for numbers and math functions has been directly linked to musical skills and aptitude.
Did you look at trees and see other forms and shapes within the surfaces and structures? Imagination and interpretation of shapes has led to architectural and design careers.
Did you dream about helping people? Was that a stepping stone to a career in medicine, health care or related industries? Or did you become a first responder?
Were you making up original stories and characters as a child? Did your fascination with the written word lead you to a career as a writer or researcher?
Did the nighttime skies provide an allure? If so, consider astronomy or other scientific endeavors as a profession.
Did you dream about videogames? Maybe you became a game designer, computer graphics specialist or animator.
Were your dreams about far-away places with strange sounding names? Did you find your way to a career with the airlines, in the travel or hospitality industries?
The correlations between youthful dreams and adult professional pursuits are myriad. But there isn’t always a straight line between what we imagined in our youth to what we do as adults, although there is no reason there can’t be. If you’re having difficulty deciding on a career direction, give some serious thought to the things that made you feel good, that heightened your imagination, that strengthened your interests, and find out if those same stimuli are present in what you might want to do today.
Choosing and pursuing a particular career is never easy, though for some, there have been “natural” progressions from one thing to another leading to the present. Use your imagination and examine where your dreams (past or current) might take you. You might be surprised to learn that your dreams could be the stepping stone to your professional success. So, hold on to those dreams!
For more ideas about turning your dreams into your dream job and other job search and career development topics, please search this blog and visit: hanklondon.com