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Last Updated on January 5, 2021

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

Ask yourself this question: “Do you want to score your dream job, one where you build your career on something which you are passionate about and get paid your true worth?” It’s easy to respond with an enthusiastic “yes!” Where the rubber meets the road, however, is finding out exactly how to make that happen—to make short-term career goals that lead to your dream job.

How do you go about making short-term career goals that will lead to success in a job you love? The answer lies in career development built on your strengths.

1. Play to Your Strengths

Most career advice you’ll come across is quite terrible. Pass out cards, develop a LinkedIn profile, use high-quality resume paper, get referral letters. Most of the time, these things don’t actually help you achieve your goals.

That nonsense stops right here, right now.

When it comes to landing your dream job, you cannot afford to be casual or cavalier. A successful approach demands that you be intentional and actively manage your choices in such a way that:

  • You place yourself where you can make the greatest contribution.
  • You learn to develop yourself and embrace both self-reliance and initiative.
  • You remain flexible, adaptive, and mentally alive during your pursuit.

You have to learn how and when to change what you do. Simply put, you must know your core strengths so that you know where you belong[1]!

2. Strengthen Your Core Goals

When thinking about short-term career goals, consider that a dream job means spending time doing the things that you love to do and are great at. This brings you increased energy, increased confidence, and the ability to create more value for others, which will lead to more productive and rewarding relationships.

Each of us is unique, and if we are going to offer something to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and fulfillment of our core strengths.

Fewer things are sadder than watching a person with potential waste away in work that makes little use of their strengths. Work can be one of your greatest sources of success and fulfillment. Yet, too often, the opposite is true.

To achieve success with fulfillment, it is critical that your dream job taps into your core strengths and pays you for what you naturally love to do.

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For the great majority of people, to know their strengths was irrelevant only a few decades ago. One was born into a job and into a line of work. The farmer’s son became a farmer. If he was not good at being a farmer, he failed.

Today, the game has changed, we all have choices as to the work we do. We, therefore, have to know our strengths so that we can know where we belong.

There is only one way to find out:

The After-Action Review

The after-action review is your feedback analysis, as well as the best resource you’ll ever have for landing the job of your dreams. It’s an amazing tool when setting short-term career goals, so allow me to explain how it works:

Whenever you make a key decision, and whenever you engage in a key action or project, you must determine and document what you expect will happen.

Over time, you then analyze and review back from actual results to intended expectations. Several action conclusions follow from the after-action review.

1. Concentrate on Your Strengths

Place yourself where your strengths can produce consistent performance and results.

2. Work on Improving Your Strengths

The feedback gained from the after-action review rapidly shows you where you need to improve skills or where you must acquire new knowledge.

It will show you where skills and knowledge are no longer adequate and have to be updated. It will also show the gaps in your knowledge.

3. Identify the Areas Where Arrogance Causes Ignorance

The feedback and information gained from the after-action review soon identifies the areas where intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance.

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Far too many people —and especially people with high knowledge in one area—are contemptuous of knowledge in other areas or believe that being “bright” is a substitute for knowing.

4. Waste as Little Effort as Possible on Improving Areas of Low Competence

Remember, concentration should always be on areas of high competence and high skill.

It takes far more energy and far more work to improve from incompetence to low mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence and then to preeminence.

And yet most people—and equally most teachers and most organizations—tend to concentrate on improving weaknesses. Don’t bother, because if you invest your time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses.

Your energy and resources—and time—should instead go into making yourself into a superstar performer. Focus on making your strengths productive and profitable, as you cannot build as quickly on weakness.

To achieve superior results, you must use all of the available strengths—the strengths of associates, the strengths of your superior, and your own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities…the highest and best use of your time.

3. Your Core Strengths Will Set You Free

Your core strengths are comprised of four foundational pillars. They represent the guiding principles on which your ability to maximize your performance is based and which your dream job is built upon with short-term career goals.

Use the following acronym to uncover your core strengths:

Confidence

Core strengths provide an indomitable feeling of confidence in your ability to produce and deliver quality and consistent results. You possess the internal faith and belief that you can and will be successful.

In what areas are you most confident in your abilities to succeed?

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Optimism

Core strengths are saturated with an attitude of optimism. Optimism is a general disposition to expect the best possible outcome in a given situation. It is the belief that your future will contain outcomes that you desire.

Optimists are people who believe that through positive action in their communities, business, and personal life that they can create a better tomorrow.

In what areas of your life are you most optimistic about creating greater value?

Relaxation

Core strengths operate best in a relaxed state. The word relaxed has a lot to do with being unaffected, easy, spontaneous, and operating in flow.

Once you can tap into your core strengths, you will enjoy a mental state of quietness, calmness, serenity, and happiness. Time will pass quickly, and your work will feel more like play.

In what areas do you enjoy the greatest state of relaxation and a wonderful sense of flow?

Enthusiasm

Core strengths are driven by boundless enthusiasm. It’s an inspiring zeal that delivers inspiring results, as nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.

Your passion, desire, and hunger about being involved in something of importance will unleash your core strengths.

In what areas are you the most enthusiastic and passionate?

Bonus: Teamwork Makes Your Dream Job Work

It means that you can focus on your core strengths by finding a team to support you. Working well with a team is one of the most important short-term career goals.

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Some of the best examples of people focusing on their core strengths are in the field of sports and entertainment.

In these industries, structures are set up to ensure that top performers can focus on what they do best — performing and strengthening their core. For example, a professional golfer has a whole team of people around him or her who provide the support they need to focus on staying at the top of their game.

They don’t carry the clubs, nor do they manage their travel schedule. A professional golfer plays golf.

Learn to delegate to people who possess their own core strengths in areas where you may be lacking skills. Surrounded by people working in their own core strengths, you can focus on what you do best and enjoy the most.

Final Thoughts

You cannot and will not ever overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed, but you can make them irrelevant to improve your career.

That’s why your challenge in landing your dream job is to strengthen your core skill sets and use them as a launch pad for creating short-term career goals that matter in both the short-term and long-term.

You must make deliberate choices and set clear professional goals to enable your strengths and to make your weaknesses inconsequential.

Focusing on strength leads to a focus on performance and driving superior results. At the end of the day, your dream job will help you to deliver a lifetime of results.

More Resources About Career Success

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Farber via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: How to Play to Your Strengths

More by this author

Gary Ryan Blair

Growth Hacking Aficionado I Creator of 100 Day Challenge

How Short Term Career Goals Can Lead to Your Dream Job

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

How to Find Your Passion and Live a More Fulfilling Life

If you could do one thing to transform your life, I would highly recommend it be to find something you’re passionate about, and do it for a living. Learning how to find your passion may not be as easy as it sounds, but it’s well worth the effort.

If you dread going to your job, find yourself constantly lacking motivation, or find what you’re doing dull and repetitive, you need to start looking for a new job.

Staying in your current job will not only continue to leave you feeling stuck and make you unhappy, but you are not realizing your full potential in life.

Imagine this instead:

You get up early, jumping out of bed, excited to go to work. You might put in more hours than the average person, but it doesn’t seem difficult to you, because your work hours just zoom right by.

You are often in that state of mind, often referred to as “flow,” where you can lose track of the world and time, losing yourself in the task at hand. Work is not work as many people refer to it, but something that is fun and interesting and exciting. It’s not a “job” but a passion that leads to a fulfilling life.

If you’ve got a job you dislike, or even hate, this will sound like a pipe dream to you. And if you never put in the effort to find what you’re passionate about, such a thing will never be possible.

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However, if you dare to ask “how do I find my passion,” imagine the possibilities, and actually search for what you love, it is not only a possibility, but a probability.

How do you go about learning how to find your passion in life? Here are some suggestions:

1. Is There Something You Already Love Doing?

Do you have a hobby or something you loved doing as a child, but never considered it as a possibility for a job?

Whether it’s reading comic books, collecting something, or creating or building, there is probably a way you could do it for a living. Open a comic book shop, or create a comic book site online.

If there’s already something you love doing, you’re ahead of the game. Now you just need to research the possibilities of making money from it.

2. Find out What You Spend Hours Reading About

For myself, when I get passionate about something, I’ll read about it for hours on end. I’ll buy books and magazines. I’ll spend days on the Internet finding out more.

There may be a few possibilities here for you, and all of them are possible career paths. Don’t close your mind to these topics. Look into them until you feel your heart is content, and this will help you get started as you learn how to find your passion.

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3. Brainstorm

If nothing comes to mind right away as you’re asking how to find my passion, get out a sheet of paper and start writing down ideas[1]. This doesn’t need to be an organized list. It can simply be a paper full of random notes or even doodles. All of this will eventually come in handy later.

Look around your house, on your computer, or on your bookshelf for inspiration, and write down whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas at this stage.

4. Ask Around

There are likely people you admire in life, and there are things about them that you would like to replicate in yourself. Go to them if possible, and pick their brain. See how they landed where they currently are and whether they feel they’ve discovered their passion.

The more possibilities you find, the more likely your chances of learning how to find your passion in the long run. This may mean that you spend time talking to friends and family, coworkers, or even acquaintances in your free time.

5. Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

If you find your calling, your passion, don’t just turn in your resignation tomorrow. It’s best to stay in your job while you’re researching the possibilities.

If you can do your passion as a side job and build up the income for a few months or a year, that’s even better. It gives you a chance to build up some savings (and if you’re going into business for yourself, you’ll need that cash reserve), while practicing the skills you need.

6. Give It a Try First

It’s best to actually test your new idea before jumping into it as a career as you’re wondering how to find your passion. Do it as a hobby or side job at first, so that you can see if it’s really your true calling.

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You may be passionate about it for a few days, but where the rubber meets the road is whether you’re passionate about it for at least a few months.

If you pass this test, you have probably found it.

7. Do as Much Research as Possible

Know as much about your passion as possible. If this has been a passion for a while, you may have already been doing this. At any rate, do even more research. Read every website possible on the topic, and buy the best books available.

Find other people, either in your area or on the Internet, who do what you want to do for a living, and quiz them about the profession.

How much do they make, and what training and education did they need? What skills are necessary, and how did they get their start? What recommendations do they have?

Often, you’ll find that people are more than willing to give advice.

8. Practice, and Practice, and Practice Some More

If you’re getting close to learning how to find your passion, don’t go into it with amateur skill level. If you want to make money—to be a professional—you need to have professional skills.

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Get very good at your future career, and you will make money at it. Practice for hours on end and learn how to focus; if it’s something you love, the practice should be something you want to do.

9. Never Quit Trying

It’s possible that you won’t be able to find your passion at first. However, if you give up after a few days, you’re sure to fail. Keep trying, for months on end if necessary, and you’ll find it eventually.

Perhaps you thought you found your passion but discovered several months on that it wasn’t for you. Start over again and find a new passion. There may be more than one passion in your lifetime, so explore all the possibilities.

Have you found your passion but haven’t been successful making a living at it? Keep trying, and try again until you succeed. Success doesn’t come easy, so giving up early is a sure way to fail.

If you need a little help, the Make It Happen Handbook can provide you with a solid action plan to help you turn your passion in your career. Check out the handbook and start to live your passion!

The Bottom Line

Don’t forget that all of this will be a lot of work, but it will be the best investment you’ve ever made. Put in the time to learn how to find your passion, and you will find that your days are more fulfilling and produce more happiness and well-being in the long-term.

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Featured photo credit: Dewet Willemse via unsplash.com

Reference

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