Your Dream Careerby Martha Li
published February 20, 2008
Like most women in today’s working world, you’ve probably been frustrated with your job or the career choice you’ve made at some point. Divine.ca spoke to Sara Heighway, Career Consultant at DBM Canada, for some advice on getting the career you want and deserve.
If you’ve been living under the “should” umbrella, it may be time to step out to see what else is out there. “Women looking for a career change often come to me and say they are in their current job because it’s the only thing they know how to do so they should keep working in that particular field,” says Heighway. “What they eventually realize is that it’s ultimately their life and their happiness that is at stake.” Being self-directed means getting rid of all the “should” notions and choosing a career that pleases you above anyone else.
Identify your passions
Realizing the career of your dreams involves doing a thorough self-assessment. ”This is not a personality test but rather, an evaluation of your skills,” says Heighway. “It’s about identifying your passions and figuring out how you can make a viable career out of them.” Heighway, who is also the founder of CareerToolbox.ca, a career-coaching service, guides clients through taking stock of their skills and passions. “Do you love to write? Take pictures? Bake? Whatever their interests, I have my clients write down all the things they enjoy doing.”
Explore what’s out there
Once you’ve done a self-assessment, research into jobs that are aligned with your identified skills and passions. Heighway suggests performing a task she calls the “print off” exercise. For two weeks, scour the internet for jobs from anywhere in the world, printing off the ones that interest you based on the results of your self-assessment. Once the two weeks are up, review the “dream” jobs you’ve chosen. Ask yourself why you chose each specific job. Go through a process of elimination by determining if each job is something that interests you and if it’s something you have (or can develop) the skills for.
Does each job also meet your personal goals? Your goals can be as wide-ranging as working outdoors to making an annual six-figure salary to working reduced hours so you have time to pursue other interests. From this exercise, you’ll learn that while there may be plenty of jobs out there that match your skills, it may not necessarily be something you’re passionate about. Being on the right career path involves exploring for jobs that suit three major criteria—your skills, your passions and your goals.