Whoever told you: ‘choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’ (Confucius, I’m looking at you), lied.
Now, I don’t want to cause any embarrassment to one of the Great Sages here, but sorry mate, you’re wrong. Because the long leap between a hobby and a passion-that-pays-the-bills requires the very thing you were hoping to avoid: hard work. However, the silver lining to this hard work is that it’s usually a labour of love. Investing long hours into your passion to reap the rewards is often something freelancers and entrepreneurs relish. But how do you do it? Surely it requires more than just a bit of gumption and intestinal fortitude. Well, yes, and no. Here’s some great advice on how to turn your dream job into a reality.
Do some soul searching
This is where it all begins. Spend plenty of time wondering, daydreaming, fantasising about what it is you really, deeply, truly love to do. What sets your soul on fire? Be specific. The more details you can pin down, the more you can tailor your road map to success.
Make time to make it happen
Working out your passion is the fun part. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to schedule some time to construct a plan. All serious goals require a plan of action, and your new career ambitions are certainly no exception. But if there was ever a plan to get excited about, this is it. You’re really doing it!
Figure out how to profit from your passion
This is where things can get a little tricky. But don’t worry, you can solve any problem, because this is your dream job, remember? The best thing to do is look at it from different angles, not just your perspective, but the buyer’s, too. Your passion needs to offer value to someone in some way, or else nobody will want to pay you for it. For example, if art is your thing, you may wish to consider teaching art, working in a gallery, or selling portraits.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Don’t expect to take this new path all by yourself. The transition to entrepreneur can be a lonely, daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. The support of family and friends can make it feel less lonely and give you the courage to endure the tough times ahead (and there will be!) Often, when making a career change, colleagues will discourage you from pursuing your passion because they feel that kind of change is beyond their own capabilities – so why would it be in yours? Deflecting negativity is an art you will become very skilled at.
One of the smartest things you can do when embarking on a career you love is to network. Find peers and mentors who motivate you and can help you in the process. Start following their social media pages, reach out and ask for an opportunity to speak with them. Ask about their education, career progression, challenges they’ve faced, and what skills and experiences they’ve acquired. Immerse yourself as deeply into your chosen field as possible.
Before you quit your day job, sign up for a few classes or professional training on the industry. Undertaking coursework in your desired area is a great way to gauge your talent and endurance before taking the leap of faith. A good decision is an educated one.
Swallow your pride
Starting over in a new career means you’re just a little fish in a big pond. The thing is, your dream job is already occupied by people (possibly younger than you) who’ve been doing it for a very long time. Accept the fact that, now, you’re the rookie here. When you start from the bottom, no task is beneath you, and you should absorb as much as you can from every project you receive. Be prepared to be uncomfortable, both physically and mentally.
Success does not happen overnight. But that’s ok, because it’s the journey there that shapes you into the person you need to become. Patience and persistence is the only thing that will get you there, because ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’ – Kevin Durant.
You want your dream job? Go and get it. It will by no means be easy, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. And as much as Jordan Belfort is a shady guy with questionable business ethics, I’ll leave you with one of his most infamous quotes: ‘the only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it’ – Jordan Belfort.
- What’s the difference between running a small business and running a successful small business? Good habits. Just like developing good personal habits can help you succeed as an entrepreneur, developing good business habits is equally as important. If your business is not performing as well as you’d like it to,…