Whether you’re years into your career or just graduated from college last month, it may seem like there’s a lot of space between you and where you ideally want to be. Worse still, it may seem like there’s no discernable path from where you’re standing at this very moment to where you want to be. But don’t fear – enough successful people have sworn that anything is possible for me to believe it.
Imagine your dream job. Think sky-high. Shoot for the moon. Don’t hold back. If you want Anna Wintour’s job, all you have to do is say it. The thing about dreams is that no one can help you get closer to them if you keep them to yourself. Telling people also makes it easier for your support network to encourage you when you need it. As Jay-Z says, closed mouths don’t get fed! So get out of your own head, put words to it, and start talking about what it is you really want.
That’s when you can begin to work backwards to plan how you’re going to get there. Believe it or not, this works even if there’s no official title for the job or if you only have a vague idea of what that is.
Abstract ideas work just fine as goals. For example, Richard Branson may have known that he loved music and wanted to help make it more accessible to young people before he opened his first Virgin Music store. He may have dreamed of getting into the travel industry when he was young. He may have even just known he wanted to be a businessman someday. The Virgin empire didn’t exist until he created it – he just pursued his passions and steered toward the things that interested him and sparked his curiousity. But he knew what he liked, and that’s the best place to start.
By giving yourself a goal, even if it’s vague, you’re giving yourself a destination to draw a map to. There’s a good chance you may just end up creating your own job- who knows! Whatever your goal, break it down into smaller goals that you can then work into your daily life.
Think of how your interests can be applicable in a professional setting.
If you have an artistic side but feel that you could never make a living as an artist, consider graphic design. If you love meeting new people, this could translate into some rockstar sales skills.
For me, it was writing. I knew every company needed a PR/Communications person and journalism was getting harder and harder to survive in, so I’d have to tweak my skill set to land a job.
Interests are still worth pursuing even if they don’t seem like they’d be useful at the office. When I graduated, social media marketing wasn’t really a thing yet…but it sure is now! And my odd knowledge of movie quotes and song lyrics has a use. Same goes for those witty ladies who write the email subject lines for The Skimm.