Achieve Your Dream Career

 Basic Business Cents

What position would you like to hold or what would you really like to be doing at the peak of your career? That will probably come in your late 50s and it is probably time to put plans in place to make sure that dream comes true. There is an old saying that if you don’t know where you are going; any road will get you there. It is best to know where you want to go and then make sure you are on the right road.

First, close your eyes and visualize what that might be, what it will look like, what the environment is like, and what your life will be like. Where will you be located, will you own your own business or be an executive for some organization, will it be in private business, government, education, a non-profit working to improve mankind, or something else? What makes you happy?

Are you on the right path to get there? Do you have sufficient education, experience, or talent? Are you currently with the right organization or field to get there? What is important to you; is it money, recognition, power, family, or what?

About halfway through my working years, I attended a seminar titled, Work Life by a psychologist who promoted a balance between work life and home life. We spent three days doing a lot of visualizing of what we really wanted to happen in our lives. Until that time I had spent over 20 years as a manager and executive for large corporations. What I began to realize during the course of the seminar was that this is not what I really wanted in life; I wanted to start and lead my own company. I guess I sort of knew that but the seminar was the catalyst to get me started to make my dream come true.

Some questions to ask ourselves are: how do we balance our work life with our family life, what is really important to us, what will give us pride in our work and pride in our life, and what will give us a sense of accomplishment. Another factor today is whether we can do our dream job from home so we have more time with our family instead of being away from home or on the road. The Internet is revolutionizing marketing and other aspects of business.

Once you have visualized what you want to be at the peak of your career and you are satisfied it will achieve a proper balance between your work life and home life, then you need to plan to get there. First, get on the right road to get there and then be flexible but always keep your eyes fixated on the end goal. Be visible, don’t be a braggart but don’t hide your light under a bushel either. Be a leader; leaders lead! Don’t sit in a fetal position hoping you are going in the right direction but get out in front and make things happen. Listen! People will tell you what they want to hear if you keep quiet long enough to let them. Listen, assimilate, and take action.

One of the most important assets you have in your career advancement is your network. Keep a current contact list of friends but more importantly people you have encountered that may be in a position to help you someday. It is very, very important to develop and nurture your own personal network.

At the peak of your career, I hope you can look back with pride and accomplishment and say, “Wow, what a ride!”