We can’t encourage you enough to love what you do as a career choice. Having your dream job should also cater, while challenge, your skill set and provide you with opportunities to help you grow. Some times you may get stuck in a job that your are great at but it’s not what you truly love. Find the balance between your interests, skills and potential opportunities.
1. Your Genuine Interests
What fascinates you? What topic do you like to discuss the most? Most legendary creative careers start with a genuine interest in a particular field. Perhaps it’s film, coffee, or airplane travel. A genuine interest is not about what promises the most economic gain. On the contrary, it is a topic that trumps economic concerns because you love it so much.
While money is important, the drive toward remarkable achievements comes from a deeper place. To understand the symptoms of work performed without genuine interest, look no further than abandoned projects and the malnourished careers of middle managers that count down to 5pm. It’s not pretty.
Attempting greatness without a genuine interest in the field is like running a marathon after fasting. Remarkable achievements are fueled by genuine interest.
2. Your Key Skills
What are your skills and natural gifts? Do you have a knack for math or storytelling? Perhaps you possess a unique compassion for the human condition? Take an inventory of what you know or could easily learn. The skills you have are a helpful indicator for the opportunities that are most likely to flourish under your leadership. Of course, skills alone are insufficient. But, when paired with a genuine interest and a new opportunity, your innate capabilities can truly shine, opening the path to success.
3. Your “Opportunity Stream”
The third factor that plays into every successful career is opportunity. Unfortunately, this is often where we get stuck, discounting the potential opportunities that surround us as inadequate. There is no such thing as equal access to opportunity. Old boy networks and nepotism run rampant in all industries. And most opportunities are entirely circumstantial. As such, you must simply define “opportunity” as an action or experience that brings you a step closer to your genuine interest.
Opportunity is less about leaps forward and more about the slow advance. Most folks I meet recall their greatest opportunities as chance conversations. This is why personal introductions, conferences, and other networking efforts really pay off. Just surrounding yourself with more activity will inherently increase your “opportunity stream” – the chance happenings that lead to actions and experiences relevant to your genuine interests.