7 Powerful Techniques to Turn Your Career Dreams into Reality

dreamingAre you dragging yourself to a job that just doesn’t interest you that much?

You aren’t alone.

Only 45% of Americans are actually happy at work. The other 55% need to do a better job of developing their desires into reality.

A person who is coasting or hating her job is doing herself and her company a disservice.

I used to be in the 55% category, that is, until I began making some small changes that led to a major shift.

You can also start making small changes that will lead to major changes.

You deserve to be so happy at your job that you wake up every morning thanking your lucky stars that life is so good.

I’m going to give you 7 power techniques to make your dream career a reality

1. Listen to your needs

In school we are taught to put our heads down, fall in line and not to make a fuss. You become afraid to get your needs met because it might piss someone off or you are afraid you still won’t be happy.

You have a right to love what you do. If you aren’t happy then it’s time to make some adjustments to yourself and your surroundings. Of course the hard part is figuring out how to do that, but luckily we have six more techniques to help you figure out how to meet your needs.

2. Improve your superpowers

Many experts tell you to focus on weaknesses. This is so wrong because you lose your emotional connection. You need to have deep understanding of your weaknesses, but focusing on your superpowers will bring the best results.

You must improve your superpowers in order to create the leverage that will allow you to take control of your career. If you are a great communicator but you’re stuck crunching numbers all day, then get out from behind your desk. You must get yourself out in front of people so you can use your verbal skills. Easily said but for some reason this is hard for most people to carry out.

The worst thing you can do is ask for permission. People have labeled you a number cruncher and that’s what they expect. You have to go out and shake hands or at least pick up that phone and make calls. Once people see the results, they will stop caring about your job description.

3. Research how others have succeeded

There are people out there who have the career that you want. How did they get it? Are they happy? What mistakes have they made?

Although, no one has your perfect career, they may have pieces of it. You have to talk to a lot of people to piece it together. The best part is that many of these people are accessible through the web. Go to their websites or Twitter accounts and ask them some questions. You’ll be surprised by the responses you set. I was able to get an interview with Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

When you figure out what works for other people, you can use those techniques to bring more success to your career.

4. Practice at work and at home

I’ve talked to a lot of people about work happiness over the past few years. When I’m coaching people with their careers I always ask what they are doing to improve their happiness at work. Most people don’t have an answer.

When I ask people what they are doing to improve their skills at work, they usually tell me about techniques that their employers have provided for them. They never think about building their skills on their own.

To create the career that will make you happy and wow your boss/clients, you must invest in yourself. I like to focus on one skill or personal development technique each month in order to strengthen my foundation. One of my weakest skills was cold calling. I decided to focus on this skill in order to improve both my speaking skills and my shyness. After focusing on cold calling for one month I now have no problem picking up the phone to talk about the benefits of work happiness. I’ve actually learned to enjoy it.

5. Know your limits

If you want to be an online blogger but you hate to write, you are going to have a lot of trouble making your career a success.

You have to know what you are willing to do and what you aren’t, then you will know what actions to focus on.

6. Appreciate your fears and push past them

Fear is your friend. It’s there to teach you what you need to pursue and what to ignore. The problem is that most of us run from fear instead of embracing it.

You probably have an idea of what your perfect career would be like, so hug your fears and use them as a guide to career success.

7. Encourage yourself every day

When you are a true friend to yourself, you stop tearing down your confidence and you build mental strength.

From this point forward, practice giving yourself gentle encouragement. This took me a while to learn, but repeated practice does work. If you make a mistake, try not to beat yourself up. Listen to your thoughts, both positive and negative. Notice how you feel and then try to think of one thing you learned from your mistake. This lesson will help you see the encouraging aspects of your mistakes.

Positive inner dialog will help you build confidence and develop stronger intrinsic motivation.

Putting it all together

Understanding your needs is the only way you will stop doing work you hate. You have to listen to your inner dialog as if it’s a trusted friend. This inner dialog may feel like your arch nemesis, but it isn’t. Your arch nemesis is there to show you what you need to focus on. When you are willing to allow your dreams to encourage you to take action then you’ve taken away your arch nemesis’ favorite weapon: fear.

* Join over 900 people who have already subscribed to the FREE Happy at Work 10 Week eCourse. It will arrive in your inbox every Monday morning, when you need it the most. (Sign up is in the top left corner)

* Marc and Angel Hack Life has an excellent blog post about living life to the fullest. I’ve tried most of the ideas and they do work.

If you enjoyed this post then you will probably like this one too:

> My Arch Nemesis Dr. Oatzel Almost Stole My Superpowers

Image courtesy of Orangeacid

Comments

  1. ;-)

    Thanks for the shout, Karl.

    Great read!

  2. Ooh, there are some GREAT tips here! Thanks so much, Karl. I’m definitely going to work on these techniques in my own life!

  3. Hi Karl

    Yes, you nailed it about how so much of this suppression of happiness really does start at school. In fact if most of us think back, we are more taught to pick a “stead” or “secure” job, rather then one that makes us happy.

    And so we see the percentages as we see them…

    Your tips are very valuable and the next big thing as you also pointed out is actually doing something about it – be accountable for our own happiness, not just sit back and sulk in the misery as there are ALWAYS choices.

  4. Hi Karl — yes, that does seem to be an issue a lot of people face — the sense that they’re “waiting for permission” from others to do what they want in their careers. I find it interesting to ponder the question, in moments when I find myself “waiting for permission,” of what I’m afraid would happen if I acted without permission. Would I, like, cause a rip in the space-time continuum or something?

    • Hi Chris, Yes, it can feel that over whelming. We don’t want life to change too much. The thing is to live our dreams we know that it will be painful. We just have to look at the pain as something positive that will help us get to a happier place.

  5. I like the inner dialogue as your arch nemesis metaphor … we really can be our worst critics or our best friends — and it’s up to us to choose.

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