I don’t know what I want to do!
When I left school I was so envious of friends who had always known what they wanted to be when we grew up, because I didn’t! Then, whenever I moved jobs in my early career, if you’d asked me, I couldn’t have described my dream job either. I just grasped at opportunities as they presented themselves; some worked out, some didn’t.
Then, just two years ago, I made the momentous decision to leave my dream job of nearly 17 years and still…. I had no idea of what I would do next!
So, how did I end up becoming The Dream Job Coach and being able to help you figure out what you want to do, when I had a history of not even knowing what I wanted to do? It all sounds a bit unlikely doesn’t it?
Here’s what “not knowing” taught me.
- Sometimes you have to go with the flow and be prepared to make mistakes.
- When you focus on what you can do, some pretty good opportunities present themselves.
- Your dream job is the one that’s right for you, right now.
The worst job I ever had was selling bubble wrap over the ‘phone, from a room full of yellow pages directories, with two other guys who were brilliant at it. It was a mistake but it paid the bills for a couple of weeks until I got a better offer. I also learnt that being good at “sales” did not actually mean that I could sell anything to anyone! (Tough on the ego, at the time, I can tell you!)
Focusing on my sales ability (and vowing not to have a career in packaging) led me to jobs selling frozen desserts, loaves and fishes, hotel rooms and finally, furniture. The furniture gig was amazing and lasted, as I said, 17 years. I was well-paid, respected and had a brilliant time, selling sofas and leading successful teams. Joining that company changed my life and leaving it enabled me to change it again. That job with its long hours and sales targets was not the job that was right for me any more.
Although I didn’t know what I would do when I left, I did trust that the right opportunity would present itself again. I focused on what I loved doing and realised that it was all about the people. I loved coaching and training people who wanted to learn and to succeed.
The good people weren’t getting through!
A frustration of mine throughout my management career was the recruitment process. It was costly and time-consuming. Candidates who looked great on paper turned out to be shocking at interview. Candidates who looked dull on paper didn’t even make it to the interview! I’d heard how many people were unemployed yet it was ridiculously difficult to find the right calibre of people to join our teams. I realised that the good people just weren’t getting through the process for one reason or another.
So, what if I could help the good people? The ones who wanted to learn how to get their dream job and be successful? I could share the employer’s perspective with these good people. Let them know what employers are looking for. Help them prepare their applications, cv, cover letters so that they would stand out. Coach them to improve their interview skills so they portrayed their strengths effectively.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. The more I spoke to other managers and employers, the more I knew that I was not alone in my frustration. Everyone I speak to, even now, knows someone who is unhappy at work, who wants to do something else and who is lacking the confidence and know-how to make the change they so desperately want.
Becoming The Dream Job Coach meant that I could have my dream job and help others, you, to do the same. Win, win, as they say!
I’m so glad that I changed my life, two years ago and I’ve never looked back. This work is so fulfilling and so much fun. The people I choose to work with are fabulous and varied which I love. One day I’m helping an Aerospace Engineer and the next my head is in the world of the NHS. They all have one thing in common though; the desire to make the best of their working life and the willingness to do some small things better than most people to make it happen.
If you don’t know what your dream job is, please don’t let it hold you back. Let’s focus on what you can do and then we’ll be successful.
To chat with me about your dream job, please either fill in the contact form below or email me. I’d love to hear from you!
Copyright: Louise Jenner 2015
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