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What Price Are you Willing To Pay To Live Your Dream?

What Price Are you Willing To Pay To Live Your Dream?

We all had dreams and aspirations early on in our lives. Those dreams that made our eyes lit up when we spoke about them to others. But how many of us are still focused on those dreams after life knocked us to the ground a few times or took us to different places or after the people we trusted abandoned us?

Many times life takes us to unfamiliar territories and our dreams fade. We move through life, but our dreams are left behind while we sacrifice, bleed, sweat, and fight to make others’ dreams come through.

Some of us got married, had children, got a job and those dreams that brought us such excitement and happiness are no longer a priority. We put our dreams and aspirations on hold. We are so focused on all the other things life throws our way that we have forgotten why we are here.

Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. We, therefore, have to make things happen. So what happens to those dreams when the kids are all grown and have left, or, when a relationship ends? Do you now have regrets? Are you angry? Do you feel lost? How are your self-esteem and confidence?

How much are those dreams and aspirations worth to you at this point? Do they still matter to you?

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I am here to tell you that if those dreams truly matter to you, you can still make them come through. Your dreams, though delayed, should never be aborted or abandoned. They are right where you left them, waiting for you to renew your love and determination. Before long, you can make those dreams and aspirations a reality.

Here are a few tips to remember when trying to go after your dreams given a period of delay:

It’s never too late to go after your dreams

Firstly, you must want to go after your dreams with all that you have within you. Even though it is much later in your life, you can achieve these dreams. You may be older but your dreams never truly die. On the bright side, you are now wiser, stronger, and better prepared to deal with life at this stage.

Control all the negative thoughts in your head

Our minds can be merciless especially when we are trying to go into uncharted territory. All the passion you had is replaced with cynicism and questions. You now become fearful, intimidated, and filled with doubt.

You can hear your mind asking you questions loud and clear. Why now? Aren’t you too old?  You will never do it? These are just of a few of the many thoughts that will be going through your mind once you decide to get up and make a change. The worse fights you will have when going after your dreams will be those from within. The ones that only you have control of and the ones that will be with you all throughout your journey.

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You will have to want it badly and be determined that nothing and no one is going to delay your dreams anymore. The same mind that is telling you that you can never do it is the same mind you will have to condition to now motivate you to want to do it.

You might have to go it alone

Often when you decide to go after your dreams, you will find yourself alone. The people you love and care for may no longer be supportive of those dreams. Many may not understand it and others are fearful since they like you have neglected their dreams. If they couldn’t do it, they do not believe you can either.

You are going to feel empty and alone sometimes. You will be second guessing yourself and whether or not you’ve made the right decision. You will have to be strong and realize that those thoughts are normal, but you must be prepared forging ahead.

We all had those dreams where we believed we could achieve anything. How many of us have stopped to consider the price we will have to pay to achieve those dreams?

Take small steps

You need to start out taking small steps. Things are going to look and feel strange to you at first, and it might take you some time to get yourself together. With determination, you will find your way. You will soon realize that things do become easier with time.

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Socialize with people who share your passion

Go out and meet other people who, like you, are starting over. You would be surprised to know that you are not alone. There are many people who had put their dreams on hold and are now going out and trying to achieve them and doing so.

Be bold and courageous

You must be bold and strong. Do not allow negative thoughts to control your mind. Do not allow fear to prevent you from achieving your dream.  Let fear become your motivator.  Fear should be the reason you go out and work harder.  The more steps you take in the direction of attaining your goals the less fearful you will be.

The closer you are to achieving your dreams the more self-confidence you will have. The more confidence you have the harder and more determined you will be to pursue your dreams.

The only right time is now

There will never be a right time to go after what you want than today. If you continue to wait around for the right time, it will never come.  You have to make the time. You must be willing to take steps into the vast unknown and be confident you will be fine.

Be prepared to fail a few times

Failure should never be the reason you quit fighting for your dreams. You must expect to fail but also be prepared to get back up and keep going.  Failure is just a bump in the road towards your dreams.  Remember you haven’t done it before therefore you will mess up sometimes but that is part of learning.

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You will also be discouraged and frustrated but dig deep to find the strength. Learn from those mistakes and keep going. Every mistake  should make you wiser, stronger, more courageous and better able to handle anything life throws your way.

Enjoy your life

Most of us tend to put off enjoying life to achieve our dreams but while we are delaying our happiness, life is passing by. Choose to be happy in spite of what is going on in your life. If you aren’t happy with things the way they are now you will never be happy even when you have achieved your goals. Choose to be happy with every step you take, good or bad.

Take the time to do things that excite you and things that make you feel good about yourself. Life is short and if you are willing to be happy with a little, you will be just as happy with a lot. The same is true if you choose not to be happy with a little: you will only be an unhappy person with lots of stuff.

Take time to lend a hand

While you are eager to go after your dream do take some time to lend a hand to those that are less fortunate. It will give you a different perspective on life. You will also realize how helping others help you as well. It will also help take your mind off your problems at least for a moment and when you return you will be better able to see things differently.

Never quit

You will be tempted to throw your hands in the air and give up when things get rough. But after waiting all this time to go after what you love you should never let anything deter you. Fight for what is yours even harder than you fought for other people’s dreams.  You will have the same struggles, but now this is for yourself. Be brave and face life knowing that you are fighting for yourself this time.

Featured photo credit: Dreams by Djorn Lindel via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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