How to Find Your Dream Job – No Matter How Old You Are


Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy? These 5 steps to finding your dream job will help you figure out where you’d happily work today, tomorrow, and beyond retirement.

“My dream job is working with animals,” says Kathy on Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone. “But I never went to veterinarian school, which is something I regret, but now I work in a vet clinic kennel. I take care of the animals in the background. There is very little interaction with co-workers, which is great, although I would prefer even less interaction. It isn’t the highest paying dream job out there, but I’m willing to give up high pay for a job I love and am able to live on. I was born to work with animals. I value alone time. I live with 6 dogs and a cat, no humans, and it’s heaven.”

It sounds like Kathy found work that comes close to her dream job: she loves working with animals even though she regrets not going to veterinarian school. What about you – do you already have regrets about your educational and vocational choices? That’s okay, it’s never too late for a do-over. Here are my five tips on how to find your dream job…





Picture this: you get up every day so excited to go to work that you don’t even care if you get paid! You love your job so much, you don’t want to take time off. Imagine how fulfilled you’d feel, how meaningful your life could be, how happy and centered your mood and perspective would be.

The good news is that you CAN find your dream job. The bad news is that it often takes time. These five steps that I’ll take you through probably won’t happen this afternoon (though you never know – your dream job might be ripe for plucking off the vine!).

5 Steps to Finding Your Dream Job

These five steps to finding the job of your dreams will help you figure out not only what you want to do with your life, but also how to get there.

Step 1: Start right where you are – and do X, Y, and Z

You are in the perfect place, exactly where you’re supposed to be. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the job right now, searching the internet for “dream jobs” because you’re bored and tired of the work you do. You are in the ideal position because you’ve already weeded out at least one job you don’t want!

Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone

Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone

I found my dream job: I am a full-time writer. I created the Blossom blog series (formerly “Quips and Tips”), and I earned over $100,000 last year as a blogger. I LOVE my job. Sure, sometimes I get bored and lonely…but I know it’s my dream job because I’ve been doing it for almost eight years and I’ve never held a job longer.

In 10 Ways to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life, I encouraged you to try a variety of different things until you find what works for you. This is a crucial tip on how to find your dream job, especially if you don’t know what you’re passionate about.

X, Y, and Z ways to find your dream job

  1. Volunteer your time in a variety of capacities, from Big Sisters/Big Brothers to sitting on library committees to picking up trash at the park
  2. Take college and university classes on subjects you’ve always wondered about
  3. Find internships through your college or university
  4. Travel! Go on missions trips overseas, visit friends and relatives in Egypt, join a wine tasting tour through Italy

The more experiences you have and jobs you work at, the closer you’ll get to finding your dream job. Why? Because your experience will help you figure out who you are and what you’re passionate about.

Step 2: Allow your career path to unfold naturally

I never dreamed I could earn a full-time living as a blogger (in 8 Ways I Make Crazy Money With My Blossom Blogs, I explain how). In fact, I still can’t believe it because it’s just so awesome. I work hard – I write every day, and I take my job very, very seriously – but I don’t count it as “work.” I’ve worked almost anywhere you could imagine: chicken factories, schools in Africa, sports bars, nonprofit organizations, governments on small islands in British Columbia, traveling fairs, freelance writing for magazines.

Every job – even the ones I hated, like teaching – led me right here. I found my dream job by actively “trying on” a million different types of jobs until I found the one that fit me like my favorite pair of blue jeans that I found at a thrift store in Croatia.

So what’s your takeaway tip number two on how to find a dream job? Give it time. You are on your way to the perfect job – you just have to stay alert to all the possibilities.

Step 3: Say yes to everything

Back to Kathy, who regrets not going to veterinarian school: she is still saying no to the REAL job of her dreams because she still wants to be a vet. She doesn’t need tips on how to find her dream job because she already knows what it is! But she’s not willing to sacrifice her time, energy, money, or comfort level to pursue what she really wants to do in life.

I have three university degrees, and none of them led to my dream job. And yet…they ALL led to my dream job. My degrees are in Psychology, Education, and Social Work. I have no desire to find a job in any of those fields, though my education allowed me to work as a counselor, grade 8 and high school teacher, and social worker.

What have you said no to? You don’t need a university or college education to find your dream job – but you do need to say YES to any work possibilities that come your way. That’s how you will find your dream job.

Step 4: Create your own dream job

Ah yes, here’s my favorite tip on how to find your dream job! Why? Because this is the stage I’m at now.

I’m writing this article is because I want to level up. I love writing for my Blossom blogs, but I want to go farther. Literally; I want to leave my house, city, and country. I want to travel! My ideal life is to be a gypsy, roaming the world and writing stuff down as I go. I don’t want to be a travel blogger or journalist, though.

This is the dream job I’m creating for myself: I want to be a scribe, a writer for Christian service organizations, churches, and mission groups who do short-term work projects overseas. I want to be the voice that records the experience. I want to go on those trips and write down what happens and share it in blog posts, newsletters, Facebook updates, Tweets, and websites.

I recently went to Haiti on a missions trip through Mission Possible, which I briefly described in How to Find a Career for Introverts. One of our challenges was finding time and energy to blog and update our families and sponsors, yet we all wanted everyone to know how we were doing. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if the team had its own blogger?

Step 5: Spread the news that you’re willing to take the job

World, I am available! If you need a writer to accompany your next mission trip or short-term overseas service project, pick me!

How to Find Your Dream Job

How to Find Your Dream Job

Seriously – this is an actual tip on how to find your dream job: contact organizations and PEOPLE (more importantly), and tell them what you offer. This is what I’m planning to do. Here’s a very rough draft of my email:

Dear Project Organizer,

For your next service project to India/Syria/Maui/Russia – which I believe is scheduled for November of this year – have you considered including a writer to document the positive experiences, benefits to sponsors, and highlights of the trip?

My name is Laurie Kienlen; I’m a full-time blogger with eight years of experience freelance writing, marketing on social media, and connecting with readers all over the world. My most recent service project in Haiti showed me that many overseas projects need a “voice.” That is, they need a writer to share their progress and achievements in blog posts, newsletters, company or church bulletins, and on social media sites.

Would you like to learn more about this possibility? I’m happy to speak in person with you, at your convenience.

To learn more about me, please see my attached resume.

Sincerely,

Laurie

How will writing an email like this help you find your dream job? Not only does it help you clarify what your dream job description might be, it sets the intention. It gets the ball rolling. It tells the universe and God and the planets where your heart is and what you want to achieve.

And it just may get you hired.

What to Do Next

Read 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students, even if you aren’t in school. You can’t sit back and expect the good Lord to tell you how to find your dream job; you need to get to work. Earn money. Talk to people. Network.

Tell me what you wanted to be when you were 10 years old. Tailor, tinker, solider, spy? Writer, cobbler, engineer, astronaut? FBI agent, movie star, entrepreneur, CEO? Pilot, archeologist, scuba diver, mycologist? Share your wildest dream job – and how you would spend your ideal day – in the comments section below.

While I can’t offer vocational advice or career counseling or work placement tips, I do read every comment. I encourage you to respond to other readers’ comments if you feel led, and to share your own tips on how to find your dream job. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you process your feelings.

Oh – I forgot the most important tip! Talk to God. He created you, He loves you, and He will lead you to the job of your dreams. He may not have a specific exact job for you, but He knows what He built you for and why He put you here.



Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.


xo


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9 thoughts on “How to Find Your Dream Job – No Matter How Old You Are

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Lot,

    It sounds like you’re really searching to find a career that suits not just your skills and education, but your personality, heart, and soul! You don’t just want to live a life of quiet desperation. Good for you.

    You enjoyed the job you had in the past, working as a researcher and lecturer…but moving to a different country changed everything. You set up your own business as a cleaning service, and found that it’s not the right job for you. This is an important discover, and an important step to finding your dream job!

    But what makes it difficult is that your husband invested financially in your business idea, and of course he just expects you to go through with the idea. My husband would be exactly the same way. He would be staying, “Laurie, you wanted to start this business, you had all these plans for it, I loaned you money to do it, now you don’t want to do it? What’s going on?”

    While I have never been in your exact position, I feel your pain.

    If I were you, I would talk to at life coach or career counselor. Some cities offer free employment resources for women because they want to help women succeed. My local libraries offer free small business coaching workshops, sometimes 3 or 4 a month. But even if you’re not able to find free job or career counseling services for women, I encourage you to find someone to talk to in person. It sounds like you need to talk through your possibilities and options with someone who is objective, someone wise and positive, who can hear what you want to do and how you envision your dream job to be.

    And then you need to find a way to stand up to your husband and go for what you want to do without worrying about his reaction! This is an hugely important step on how to find your dream job. I’m learning it every day, how to tell my husband what’s really on my mind and in my heart without being worried about his reaction 🙂

    Will you research the in-person life coaching or career counseling services in your area, and tell me what you found? Try searching for “job resources for women” or “career coaching for women in my city.”

    Let me know what you discovered!

  • Lot

    Hi Laurie,
    I am in my late 40’s and I am having this mid life career crisis which affect my self confidence. I used to work as a reseacher and lecturer which I truly enjoyed but when we migrated to another country, i have work in many different jobs. I jumped from one job to another, as community carer, chemistry technician, lecturer again, laboratory technician, office support, hotel cleaning and recently as fundraiser for a charity. I initially like those different jobs as it is different from what I have done before moving overseas but I am always looking for another job. I thought I know what I wanted but always end up feeling unhappy. I quit my job from a pharma lab last year coz I am not being challenged anymore and decided to study a different fields, human nutrition. Half way through the course, I withdraw because I am not sure if I really the course. Then, I set up a specialized cleaning service, bought all equipment, launch it with excitement then one day I just lost my enthusiam to continue. I could not explain why because I do not know also why. I just felt so depressed one day and put away everything. I felt so low but donot want to talk to anybody so I pretended to be alright and avoided any questions about all the business and everything.. My husband became upset since he invested on my business idea but did not confronted me about it. Everyday, I ask myself what is wrong with me, I searched online for possible explanation, I pray everyday but I still felt lost. I am planning to go back to school to be retrained but I do not know what field. I am so confused and alone with all thIs emotion.
    LOT

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Jen,

    Congratulations on having such a wonderful, supportive 17-year-old son! What an amazing thing for a teenage boy to say to his mom – I am just so impressed and proud of the job you have done as a mother. That is so cool.

    Here’s a question for you:
    If you do not go to nursing school, how will you feel about that decision when you reach age 72 or 82?

    And another question!
    If you do decide to go to nursing school and find that it is not your dream job, what will you do then? What will you have lost?

    It sounds like it might take about six years of nursing classes… So you might be about 50 years old when you graduate from nursing school. Since you’re going to be 50 years old when you’re 50 years old, why not be a 50 year old nurse who took on a challenge?

    May you find wisdom, courage, strength, and faith as you move forward in your career. May all your decisions be made with peace and joy, and may you be free from fear, insecurity, or any type of negativity that could hold you back.

    And give your amazing 17-year-old son a big hug for me! Tell him that I’m proud of both him and his mom for being so awesome 🙂

    Take good care of yourself, for you are worth taking good care of.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  • Jen

    Hi and thank you for your article. I am 42 and have had many jobs: sales person, muralist, medical receptionist, and now home support care person and a behavior therapist. My dream job has always been to teach art. I just don’t see how I could make a living at that. I enjoy my job, I like helping others; but I have feet stuck. I want to further my education, but don’t know what I should go for; and don’t want to return to college just for the sake of going to college. I do not make a lot of money at my current job, but make I enough. My 17 son said to me today, “Mom I want you to live up to your potential; do you still want to go to nursing school.” I had thought about nursing school 4 months ago when the medical office I worked in closed, but I am worried about the time it would take: 2 years of classes to qualify, 2 years waiting list, and 2 years of nursing classes; if I get in. I am not sure if I want to go to nursing school because I like helping people or if tI have heard there is a real demand for nurses right now; and then I would have a better chance of finding a “good paying” job down the road. I do really like my job, but I cannot say that I love it. The only job I truly loved was being a muralist, but I live in a rural area now and could not make a living at that here. With some anxiety and indecision I starting googling changing careers at 42, and came across your blog. If I gain nothing more that just being able to talk out my personal frustration then at least I have made some progress and found some relief. It is nice to know that I am not the only one struggling with making a career change in mid-life. Good luck to everyone that is currently taking on these challenges. I try to remember that I am doing the best I can in this moment, and who knows what the next moment will bring. Hopefully making some steps, however small they may seem will put some wheels in motion. I know for me I just want to feel closer to what makes most sense to me. What ever that may be. Cheers. -Jen

  • Laurie

    Thanks Claire, you made my day! 🙂

    One of my favorite devotions from Oswald Chambers is the one that says that we ARE God’s will. We don’t have to frantically search for God’s will or try to figure out what He wants us to do…just our existence is God’s will.

    Here are Oswald’s exact words:

    “This friendship with God means being so intimately in touch with Him that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is evidence of a level of intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately.” http://utmost.org/friendship-with-god/

    I love this for so many reasons – and partly because it frees us to find our dream jobs without worrying that we’re not in line with God’s will! So if you’re getting silence from Him, you are free to pursue any direction you please. When you start moving in a specific direction, pay close attention to God’s whispers. That’s when you can change course if you need to…or continue on in the same path.

    God is so good! He loves us and wants to bless us…but we need to take action.

    xo
    Laurie

  • Claire

    Im loving your writing. Im really stuck on the job thing. Ive bounced around and tried different fields but end up hating them and feeling trapped. Im due to turn 41 soon and I have no job and no idea of what to work towards. I don’t remember my childhood enough to think of what I ever wanted to be way back when. Its a real head-scratcher. Its radio silence from the Lord at the moment so my faith is really being tested. At this point im open to anything and leaving it up to Him. Not anxious at all!!!! hmm

  • Laurie Post author

    What’s your dream job, Bruce? I think you haven’t found it yet….I recently read that we need to revisit our childhoods to know what we really want to do with our lives. When we were kids, we weren’t encumbered by reality. We had vision, imagination, daring, possibility!

    I really liked reading this article. It’s like somebody else wrote it. Weird.