Halloween has many thinking carefully about what costume to wear (and what "to be"). Dressing up can certainly be fun and lets us be someone else for a little while. Why not use the same opportunity to explore what a different career would be like?
Imagine you can try out a job as simply as trying on a costume. Think about what you would like to be (remember dreaming about it when you were growing up?) and spend some time imagining you are in your dream job. Create a clear picture that includes details such as how this work makes you feel, what you're doing (specific activities), where you're working (the physical environment -is it a grand office, a cozy tea shop, a forest?) and who or what else is in your work environment.
Let yourself fully visualize and engage in this experience. Try not to automatically start telling yourself about all the "yes, buts" right now. You know the ones, when we start to think about the reasons why we can't or shouldn't pursue our dream job (or any change from what we do currently ). Later you will have plenty of time to choose to revise the dream to reflect your current goals, resources, and specific circumstances. Right now I want you to give yourself the freedom to dream and to learn from your dream.
Your dream, for example, may be to become a physician. First allow yourself to picture this possibility and explore it. You can then come back to it and see how it fits with your life, family, goals, etc. You may either find you're willing and able to spend the time required for training to be a doctor, or that the years of intensive training would not fit well with your current family and caregiving responsibilities.
Even if you decide your dream career is not the option you want to (or can) pursue right now, this exercise can be valuable to you. Think about why being a doctor is the dream? Let's say you realize it is helping people and being able to see the results of your work that matter. Now you can use that knowledge to look for other fields you'd enjoy that share these core values without requiring years of training.
I hope you will give yourself the gift of dreaming and begin to explore how that dream may be realized in a way that enriches your life. If you have a comment or question, please share it here.
Shahrzad is a holistic career counselor, trainer, speaker, and author of Nourish Your Career. If you'd like to work with her to nourish your career and life, contact her at shahrzad[at]careerconsultmd.com or visit www.careerconsultmd.com
Note: This post was originally published on my Career Consulting Services blog. Since I now primarily use the Nourish Your Career site and community to post/share, I'm reposting it here.