7 Steps to Mapping Out a Job You’ll Actually Love
There are a lot of people who aren’t so happy in their current jobs—are you one of them? If so, you’re definitely not alone. About 50% of all workers say they’re unsatisfied with their jobs, and only 15% report that they are very satisfied with their jobs.
When strategy execution consulting firm Root, Inc. surveyed 1,000 American employees, the company uncovered some troubling statistics:
- More than half (54%) of workers felt discouraged on the job.
- Only 38% of employees strongly agreed that their boss had established an effective working relationship with them.
- 40% of employees reported that they don’t get the company’s vision, or that they had never seen it.
- Only 43% of employees say they feel accountable for the company’s revenue, profit, or growth.
- Just 26% of employees strongly agree that their boss personally embodies the values expected from employees.
So what if you could map out your own dream job, and then make it real? The good news is that you can do just that, and you can do it right now.
In her book, Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness, career expert Kerry Hannon suggests that each one of us has the power within us to create a better job—our dream job. Not only that, but with some minor changes, you might just be able to turn your less-than-great job into a truly great one. Says Hannon, “If you really want to love your job, you must first be able to step back and appreciate what’s going right about it, even if there are times when you dread that upcoming assignment, meeting with the boss, or lunch with a difficult client.”
Consider these seven awesome ways you can create a blueprint for your dream job:
1. Map Your Future
You are the artist of your life. Create a map of your life that describes the future you want, including your accomplishments, your work, your personal relationships, your financial goals, and more.
2. Don’t Let Your Past Determine Your Future
Just because you’re stuck in a career rut right now, that doesn’t mean that you have to be stuck in that same rut tomorrow. You have the power to create your own future today—use it.
3. Remember That Nothing Is Forever
Life is all about change, and so are jobs and careers. If you don’t like your current job, then do everything you can within your organization to change it, or to transfer to a different position or office. And if that doesn’t work, then look outside your organization for your dream job.
4. Look at the Big Picture
Says Hannon, “When one part of your work is not going swimmingly, more than likely there’s another bit that’s still feeding your creativity.” Zero in on that other bit by making a list of all the things that you love—or ever did love—about your job. Don’t dwell on what’s going wrong, instead, focus on growing what’s going right.
5. Figure Out What Would Make You Love Your Job
If your goal is to stay with the same employer, then creating the job you love may mean a transfer or temporary assignment to a different department, or mentoring a younger co-worker, or becoming involved in an industry group. Connecting with your boss and co-workers in new ways can inspire and energize you.
6. Understand Your Work Goals
What are your goals at work? Maybe you want to learn new skills that will enable you to earn the promotion you desire, or perhaps you would like a flexible work schedule or more autonomy and authority. Whatever your work goals might be, identify them, write them down, then work toward them one by one.
7. Adopt New Ways to Envision Your Career
Instead of looking at your career as a ladder that goes straight up and down, from the bottom of the organization to the top, take a tip from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg who likens careers to a jungle gym. Says Sandberg, “Ladders are limiting. Jungle gyms offer more creative exploration. There are many ways to get to the top of a jungle gym.”