What’s Your Dream Job? Thoughts On Making A Career Change

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2012-03-2611

How does one’s career begin? Some people have their whole careers planned from the time they are early teens, and stick with the same career until they retire. Some hop from job to job and never really get a proper career going at any point. But more people start a career straight out of school, work at it for ten or twenty years and then by midlife, decide to have a complete change of scene.

So is it ever too late to be pursuing your dream job? Is it a smart idea to be switching careers at some point to go for what you really want? Furthermore, what causes the decision to pursue a particular career in the first place?


What is driving your career decisions?

Common Reasons For Choosing A Particular Career or Job

There are many reasons why people end up on a particular career path. Here are some common ones:

1. You may feel some pressure from loved ones or family members who want to see you find success in a given field. Many parents influence the choices made by their children. Some parents merely make suggestions while others are much more insistent. A lot of this would depend on family, cultural and societal dynamics as it pertains to you.

2. There are financial reasons that steer people to make a practical decision and opt for a job or career that pays something (anything!), rather than one that they’d consider their dream position.

3. You may feel that your job options are limited, so you’re taking the path of least resistance. A lot of people grow up in more isolated areas or smaller towns where job opportunities are limited or where one company or industry monopolizes the human resources in the region. Or perhaps you may feel that you don’t have the kind of education that can afford you more options. If you’re in this predicament, you can always move to a different city where your skills could be more in demand, but not everyone is inclined to leave familiar territory.

4. Some folks are actually lucky enough to find the job of their dreams. You could be at the right place at the right time with the right background, experience, talents and skills. If so, then we’d love to hear more about it (see comments :) ).

For those who are still mulling over the possibility of making a job or career switch, there may come a time when you’ve built up the confidence or the resolve to make that shift. If you are seriously considering making a change this big in your life, you need to give it serious thought before making any move at all. Ideally, you should know why you’re thinking of doing this in the same way that you’re thinking about and mapping out your future.

What Kind Of Change Do You Seek?

There are a few ways you can arrive at this kind of fork in the road.

  • You might have grown to dislike the job or situation that you’re in and you may just be looking for an “escape”. For instance, it might be that you have reached the end of the line at your current job. You might be going through the motions and feeling unchallenged by it. But this doesn’t mean you are disillusioned with your entire career. There could be another position that would be more fulfilling for you, but would still allow you to remain in your current field. Consider this idea before you jump ship into a totally different career too soon; after all, you’ve invested some time and effort going down this path for a while.
  • Or you may come across a particular job that is in line with your skills and abilities. Perhaps you’ve found something better which appeals to you more. This may be the break you’ve been waiting for. Some people have such dreams prodding at them regularly throughout their lives, before they finally follow their heart (or their calling) and choose the career they should have chosen in the beginning.

Take note though, that sometimes, it isn’t a career change you want — it’s a JOB change. In other instances, it is a full career change that’s in the cards, owing to you being in the wrong career right now. In truth, you probably know that the answer is within you. Should you change directions entirely? Only you can find the answer. It all depends on your own situation.

But one rule applies across the board if you are wondering about making such a major change halfway through your working life. Don’t make any rash decisions — make sure you think about your situation and take time to ensure that you know where to go next. You’ll be facing a lot of tradeoffs and questions (while in some cases, the answers are more obvious), but if you focus on your own needs and life, and listen (but not necessarily give in) to what your loved ones are telling you, then you will be far more likely to know what the right decision will be.

Is This The Perfect Career Or What? One Lucky Guy’s Dream Job

It is heartening to know that there’s a lot out there that’s available to any job seeker. Think of a “need” and chances are, someone’s already invented a job to fill that need and address that demand. Take for instance this rather strange position that has originated from one of the most successful companies in the U.S. For those who want to be employed at a stable, high-paying job, then the following profile could very well be one of the best jobs in the world — especially if you are a creative type.

This job is one that inspires us all — even our kids.

google doodle by kids

It’s a job that allows you to be inventive, expressive, FUN, and continually creative.

google doodle by kids

It’s a job that rewards handsomely and has returned many millions, especially to its employees. It’s also a job that helps you remain fairly anonymous — well, except for the occasional media writeup.

This job is done by a “Google Doodler” (the fellow featured above is Dennis Hwang, known as Google’s official web artist and stylist). He’s maintained Google’s pages with the help of a team, and has been responsible for the ever famous Google doodles. Who knew that conceptualizing doodles would pay?

So what’s your dream job? Care to see if it’s as dreamy as the ones on this list?

Created June 29, 2007. Updated March 26, 2012. Copyright © 2012 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Damien Riley June 29, 2007 at 4:43 pm

I’ve always agreed with the philosophy: “Do what you love, the money will follow.”

My Financial Mistakes July 1, 2007 at 12:38 pm

I still remember the saying “Find something that you love and you will not work a day in your life.” It’s really nice if you enjoy your work as you won’t feel that it’s work. Just look at those professional athletes, getting paid millions of dollars for doing something that they love.

Tinu July 1, 2007 at 10:39 pm

This is a wonderful article with ideas I wish I had when I used to work a regular job… but then I wouldn’t be where I am today because I would have fallen in love with my job… which wouldn’t be bad… dammit now I’m in a paradox spiral! *grumbles*

Don't hate Mondays January 29, 2010 at 7:12 am

Great post. It reminds me of reading a story a while back where someone spoke of how hating Monday is a symptom of not doing what you love. Know though, that you can unleash your potential and find the job of your dreams.

graham February 11, 2010 at 8:25 am

Awesome post now to get out there and get it.

-Graham.

jozelyn December 15, 2010 at 5:48 am

Getting a good job at this time will require preparation and excellence. I agree with what the author has implied in this article: “know your strengths and have clear goals”. A lot of people who fail to take the time to discover what they are capable of doing oftentimes find themselves in the trap of doing things that they don’t love, and worse, they end up with serious irreversible problems. Set your goals and learn to discover what the proper millionaire mindset can do for you and for your whole life.

Modest Money March 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I feel that I may be coming to a fork in the road like this in the next 5-10 years. I currently do website marketing work, but it is just evolving so much lately. If it keeps changing like this I may no longer be qualified unless I’m specialized in design and conversion optimization. Instead of continually adapting in an uncertain career I may eventually decide to make the switch to something else. Luckily I have my own websites going which would help a lot in such a transition. I think I’d really enjoy working with animals as a career, but I’m just not sure in what capacity or how it would be profitable enough.

Nick March 27, 2012 at 4:02 am

You sleep 1/3 of your day, you work 1/3 of your day, you have the last 1/3 to do as you wish. That said, 1/2 of your waking day is spent making a living.

Find work that you deem fulfilling. Discover ways to make your current job more enjoyable, or go after that dream job that with make your waking hours a joy. When you’re miserable at work, you make no one’s life better, and your frustration often carries over into your personal life.

Me? I train people how to do stuff. I started years ago training people in anatomy & physiology. Then it was choreography. Then it was cooking. Then it was computer basics. Now, it’s medical software. Toss in a handful of workshops on a wide variety of topics. I adore learning and live to teach others.

I’ve got a great job; terrific boss, great pay and work that I feel is important. So what was next for me? Tackling a desire to write more, hence the birth of my own blog.

Silicon Valley Blogger March 27, 2012 at 7:32 am

Congratulations Nick! May we all find the same kind of satisfaction with what we do. And to everyone here, thanks for sharing your stories and thoughts. My personal goal is to continue to be self-employed because I enjoy the flexibility. But once in a while, I entertain the thought of taking on a dream job — for the social contact and possible excitement. :)

Angela J. Shirley May 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hi Silicon Valley Blogger:

Congrats on staying self-employed. With today’s recession, I always tell folks to have “multiple income” sources. Why? If one source dries up or slows down – the other sources are there. Now I am not saying that this will happen, but as I get older (in my 50’s) I am seeing where it is always wise to have several back up plans for life.

yaron October 10, 2012 at 1:48 am

I have a dream of being self-employed. My dream job is to be able to take care of children.

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