In a lot of cases, you can transform your passion into a career that pays. How you do this is another matter entirely because it won’t always be simple. You have a long road ahead, and you almost certainly won’t start off at the income that you’d probably want.

Take being a writer for instance. If you love writing, you might adore the idea of being a published author. However, do be aware that the average payment for a first novel is fifteen thousand dollars. Not everyone becomes J.K. Rowling, and not everyone gets a book at the center of a Hollywood bidding war. So, let’s look at the right ways to transform your passion into a career.

You have Talent, but Can You Prove It?

You might know that you have a talent with your passion. You could have a way with words, fantastic skills in the kitchen or an awesome knack for comedy. Great, but you also need to be able to prove it, and we don’t mean in person. We mean you need something that you can put on your CV or resume that will stand out and make people take notice. This could be anything but let’s take cooking as an example. You might want to become a chef. You don’t need to go to college to do this, but you should have some qualifications. You could attend a natural food cooking school and immediately have something that shines and stands out when you’re applying for jobs.

Put Yourself Out There

The next step is making sure that you are confident enough to say: “hey, here I am, now hire me.” One of the best ways to do this would be to just set up your own website. You can use a website as a personal platform to sell yourself and what you can offer. This could be absolutely anything, but here we can look at photography. If you love photography and want it to become your new full career, set up a website to show off your photos.

But don’t stop there. You also want to make sure that you are offering people the chance to see your art. You can do this by promoting your pictures on every form of social media imaginable from Twitter to Facebook. Doing this is a great way to get attention.

Don’t Be Proud

Don’t be afraid to work for free when you’re just starting out with your passion. Work for free is a great way to get experience and make sure that you are getting some interesting work positions under your belt. This is going to make it a lot easier when you begin applying for jobs. In other words, don’t just sit it out until your dream job comes along.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use contacts. Passion careers are often notoriously difficult to find success with because they tend to be competitive. If you have contacts and use them, you’ll have the upper hand.

Landing your dream job isn’t as hard as you think it is, as long as your dream job is fairly realistic. If you dream of running your own company, you can absolutely do it. You set your goal and plan each step to reach it. Then, start working through the steps until you achieve your goal. Most dream jobs can be achieved this way.

Those who don’t achieve their dream job fail for one of three reasons:

  1. Their dream job is unrealistic (Like, “I want someone to pay me millions of dollars to shop all day”)
  2. They don’t want to put forth the effort to reach the goal
  3. They have limited thinking instead of believing in limitless possibilities

If you’re not working your dream job right now, are you taking steps to reach your goal, or are you stuck for one of these reasons? If you’re stuck, it’s likely you that is standing in the way of your dream job.

Is Your Dream Job Realistic?

When you are seven, your dream job should be wildly unrealistic. You should want to be a rock star, a movie star, a professional basketball player—you name it. These jobs are just like any other dream job, really. You can be a rock star if you learn an instrument or learn to sing, join a band, jam at the right events, hire a manager, record a record, go on tour, and keep making music for your adoring fans. These days, you may even have luck with creating a YouTube channel and finding a marketing manager that can take it viral. The problem is, this kind of dream job is a lot of work, and you will have people constantly telling you that you can’t do it. You can—you just have to be willing to put in the effort.

But what if you’re 45 and your dream job is still to be a rock star? You can still do it, but it’s a lot harder. The level of effort you will have to put into it is insurmountable for most people, and you have to overcome societal bias and stereotypes of what it is to be a rock star. It’s hard to convince the world that you’re rock ‘n roll when you’re driving a minivan. But hey, don’t stop believing. You have extra steps to reach your dream job, but they are still actionable steps.

It’s hard to convince the world that you’re rock ‘n roll when you’re driving a minivan. But hey, don’t stop believing. Click To Tweet

The problem with unrealistic dream jobs comes when you think everything will just be handed to you. If you’re the best rock singer in the entire world, but the only place you ever sing is your shower, yet you expect that one day a recording studio executive is going to corner you on the street and give you your big break, you have unrealistic expectations.

Millennials have a reputation for expecting things to be handed to them, but it’s not as generational a problem as you might think. People of all ages have unrealistic expectations, and they use them as an excuse as to why they don’t have their dream jobs. They blame luck and fate instead of the truth that they’re not willing to set their goal, list the steps to reach the goal, and start working towards it.

Yes, I just told you that you can be a rock star. Now, do you want it bad enough to do what it takes to achieve your goal? If not, it’s not your dream job—it’s just a dream.

Do You Lack the Motivation Required to Land Your Dream Job?

If you’re working a job you hate that has no logical path to any future position that will bring you what you want for your dream job, you probably lack motivation. Unless, of course, you’re paying for college or some sort of education that’s on your list of steps towards your dream job, or you’re making ends meet while applying for other positions that are on the list of steps towards your dream job. Which is it for you?

If you lack motivation, ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t think your dream job is realistic, or is it because your dream job isn’t really your dream job? Have you psyched yourself out so bad that you don’t think you can reach any goal? Or, do you just not know where to start on your path to reach your dream job?

Where to Start: Education

If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start on your dream job goal path, most likely the best place to start is with figuring out what sort of education you need to do your dream job. Start by looking on LinkedIN to see what sort of education and certifications people with your dream job have. Then, start looking for places near you or online that you can gain that education.

For example, most leaders have some sort of college degree. If you’re a woman considering a leadership role, take a look at USC’s leadership infographic for inspiration and ideas.

If your dream is to run your own beauty salon, look into beauty certification courses at your local vocational school. If you want to be the top real estate broker in town and make millions of dollars per year, look into your state’s requirements for real estate agents. If you want to be a rock star, look for music programs at local colleges.

If You’re Stuck, Network

If you have an education but aren’t sure how to use it, ask for help. You should have a LinkedIN account filled with former professors, fellow graduates, and people in the industry you want to join. Send them messages and start asking questions. Find out what has made them successful so you can figure out what your next step should be.

Talking to people is especially hard for introverts, but from one introvert to another (I’m an INTJ), you have to do it. Without networking you can never really hope to get anywhere in your career. Go to Meetup.com and find a local group dedicated to your career passion. It’s free (usually), and you’ll be amazed what you can learn over a $2 cup of coffee while talking to the right people.

Write Down Your Plan

If you need motivation, you should write down your dream job goal and the steps it will take to reach it. If you don’t know the steps, ask your network or hire a career coach. Either way, make a physical representation of what you need to do to reach your goals. Then, when you complete a step, cross it off and happy dance.

Put your step list where you can see it everyday and it can remind you of your goal and how to reach it. If you’re brave, put it on the refrigerator. If you’re shy, tape it inside a cabinet door or inside your closet door. Seeing it will help motivate you—just knowing it’s there is sometimes enough to inspire you to take the next step.

Take One Step

Remember the proverb that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step? That first step is often the hardest to take, but it’s also what builds momentum. Do one thing, right away, towards your dream job. Maybe it’s as simple as Googling places to take classes or signing up for Meetups, or maybe it’s applying for a job. In a year, you will remember what it was like to take that first step, and it will inspire you all the more.

What to do if You Have Limited Thinking

We are bombarded with messages that we can’t do what we want to do. Even my favorite career blogs write topics like “Don’t do What You Love.” If you wanted to be a rock star when you were 7 but gave up on the idea by the time you were 15, likely it was because someone in your life convinced you that it wasn’t going to happen for you.

Limited thinking is a problem for all of us, and it’s one we have to work at overcoming daily. The truth is, you can have anything you want if you believe it’s possible and you put in the work to get it. This isn’t just me being optimistic, either—it’s a truth repeated by successful people everywhere, from Oprah to Warren Buffet.

One strategy to help you overcome limited thinking and reach your goals is to surround yourself with people who speak positively. Love your negative friends and family, but also remember that their limited beliefs contribute to their own personal setbacks. You don’t have to follow in their footsteps. Write down your goal, and do what it takes to reach it.

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There’s no big secret to landing your dream job, even though I wish their was so I could make a billion dollars selling it. If you set your goal, plan your steps, and work to accomplish each step, your success is inevitable.

Do You have what it takes to reach your dream job goal? #beastar #rockstar #moviestar #model #dreamjob #goal #job #career

Your dream career isn’t going to fall out of the sky and smack you on the head. You have to plan for it.

If you are completely lost and unsure how to plan your dream career, there are a few things you can do right now to identify the steps it will take to reach your goals. Once you’ve identified the steps, reaching your goals is simply a matter of completing each step!

To figure out the steps to the best career for you, try these ideas:

Research Companies in Your Chosen Industry

When you’re envisioning your dream career, picture the physical place where you’ll work when you’ve achieved your goals. Is it a corporation? A small business? A college? A hospital? An airport?

Now, from that vision, research companies that will allow you to work in your perfect location. You can Google to find companies, or surf on LinkedIN. Do your research to find out as much as you can about companies that offer your ideal work environment. You want to know about their company culture, what kind of projects they do, the different job roles within the company, and who their employees are.

Once you know who the employees are, you can follow them on LinkedIN, or at least look at the kind of skill set they have. Pay attention to their previous work experience and the degrees they hold. Make a list of common skills, education, and previous work experience you see among the workers.

After you’ve made a good list of common skills and education among employees at your target companies, start looking through their open job advertisements. Is there anything listed that you could do now to start networking within the company while you improve your skills for your dream job? If not, pay attention to the wording in the job advertisements. Are there even more skills and experience the company wants?

If you can find three companies where you’d love to work and research them thoroughly, you will see patterns in the skills, education, and work experience between their employees and their job advertisement. You will begin to form a clear picture of the skills and experience you need to gain.

Network and Ask for Advice

With a clear vision of the companies where you want to work and what skills you’ll need to get there, the next step you should take to planning the steps to your career goal is to start networking with the people who do the job you want to do. Send emails to people in the role you want and ask them if they mind talking to you over coffee or Skype. Start making connections so that you understand your dream job better. These connections can help you find internships and recommend you internal positions within their companies.

You should also consider finding a career coach. A good career coach can help you set goals, make plans, and clearly see your next steps toward your dreams.

Strengthen Your Skill Set

If you’ve researched companies in your chosen industry and networked with people doing the job that you want to do, you should have a very clear list of skills and education you need to land your dream job. Now it’s time to start gaining the skills you need.

Outside of traditional college education, companies like Training Connection offer computing courses for those wanting to boost their IT skills. You can also find workshops and certifications for almost every industry. Don’t count on your college education alone to get you a job—in most cases you will need skills outside of your degree to find your dream job.

Intern, Extern, or Volunteer

To break into your chosen industry, you will need work experience of some sort. One of things you can do if you can’t find a job is to take an internship. Believe it or not, a lot of internships are paid, and those that aren’t offer a wealth of experience and networking opportunities.

If you’re out of college or don’t feel comfortable taking an internship, look for opportunities to extern or volunteer. Contact HR departments at the companies where you want to work and ask if they’re open to volunteers. Explain that you’re trying to gain experience in the industry and you’d love to work for them. Very few places will turn down free work, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Plan Your Next Move

Everything on this list so far should help you clearly see the steps to at least entering the industry for your dream job. You should have actionable steps to start today to start down your career path. Your next move should be to either research companies, network with people in your industry, gain skills, or gain experience. Make a list of the steps to your dream job and start checking things off the list!

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