Three questions that could help you determine your dream job

You’ve started university, or just finished, yet you’re always asked the same question: “what do you want to do when you finish uni?”

There are some lucky people on this planet who just know. They seem to have been born knowing exactly what they want to do. They know what they want and you can watch them work towards reaching their goal. You might be impressed, maybe slightly intimidated and you are left wondering — what is your calling?

You might have ideas, or interests but the idea of ‘doing-for-the-rest-of-one’s-life’ kind of idea is daunting to say the least.

As someone who is in this situation right now (I’ve just graduated from King’s College London University and I am now looking for my first real job!)

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that it doesn’t really matter whether or not my next step is my dream job or not. How am I supposed to know with so many options?

Of course, that’s not to say, that it doesn’t sometimes bother me (or my parents). But together with my mentor we’ve discussed a few approaches to tackling the challenge of choosing an appropriate career that might actually be my dream job.

What job title would make you feel proud?

When defining a dream job we often choose one based on our perception of what it means to do that job. Being able to say you are a doctor, means that people look at you slightly differently than when you say you work at a café. Despite the fact that striking up a nice conversation when serving people who come for dinner is just as important as working with numbers all day and uses completely different skills. Truth is, you probably want to have a job that lands somewhere in the middle of how you want to be perceived; and, what you enjoy. Your parents probably do too. They mean well…..

How do you want to be spending your day?

One thing is the status a job brings and how you feel when you say you work for this or that company. A completely different thing is how good you feel about yourself and about how you get to spend your days.
Do you enjoy sitting behind a computer or are you someone who’d much rather stand and walk around all day? Do you enjoy dealing with many different people or would you much rather just chat to a few people every day?
Another useful question is what time of the day do you thrive in. If you’re a night owl, you might not want to do a job that makes you get up every day at 6am. You’re much more likely to thrive in a job that suits the way you think and feel.

Who are the people you want to help with your work?

Last but not least and what my mentor said might be most important when choosing a dream job is not so much what you’ll be doing but much more who you’ll be doing it with and FOR WHOM! Who are the people you want to benefit from your work? And who are the people you want to surround yourself with? There will be many job opportunities coming your way. They might even tick all the boxes you want to have ticked on your CV.. but really.. Imagine when you’re looking back on all the work you’ve done in your life. The job where you were surrounded by your kind of people, by your tribe, serving the people you think deserve to benefit from your efforts will probably be the most meaningful.

And now, to leave you with some parting words: If you’re still struggling to decide what you want to do (me too), but keep in mind that no decision is ever final. We can change our minds, walk different paths and do a variety of things in one life. The job for a lifetime isn’t actually a thing anymore. Now it’s much more about collecting experiences. With new digital technologies disrupting many industries, it really is about just staying on that bandwagon, having a good time and being surrounded by the people you care about.

And if you were hoping for some changes you can make today, here they are:

I’ve started to think about how it’s not WHAT I want to do but rather WHO I want to help. Since thinking about life like this, things seem so much clearer. If you want to solve a specific problem we normally try and sort it with an outcome in mind rather than what you have to do to get there.

So maybe it’s time to list your WHO priorities and that might just find you a WHAT that you want to do.
…..Do you want to brighten peoples’ day? Help them harness technology? Improve transport for people? Lift people’s confidence? Be someone’s helping hand?….

Now you can look for companies or organisations that work for something you care about, and you can look for opportunities that might suit you and your goals. There’s nothing to stop you from tweaking your choices as you go – think of yourself as a changing story! Here are some tips on how to best show them you’re the right candidate.