Ask yourself this ONE question to find your dream job
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These days it seems like everyone is talking about their dream job. For moms, this seems so closely linked to finding a work-life balance that works for you.
But what if you are struggling to figure out your dream job? What if you are in your “dream job”, but not loving your life? What if you have had a vision of your dream job for years, but can’t see how that will fit in with your real life?
The “dream job” is an unattainable aspiration, or at least an unsustainable aspiration. I had a dream job. I loved it for years. But my love of the job didn’t last forever, and there were lots of hurdles along the way. There were lots of times I loved my job, but not my work-life balance. There were times my job was on the backburner to the other aspects of my life - for example through my 3 miscarriages and year of fertility struggles. If I already had my dream job and I wasn’t feeling successful - then what next?
Instead of thinking about your dream job, what if you try to figure out what a successful life looks like for you? But how do you know when you are “successful”? Ask yourself one simple question.
Imagine it’s several years from now, you feel successful, happy, and balanced. It’s Tuesday morning. You wake up. What does your day look like?
I have thought about this question hundreds of times. I’ve asked dozens of women this question. Each time their response surprises me - often in amazing and unexpected ways. It seems so simple at first, but then it also seems hard to answer, especially when you get into the details.
Where are you? Are you living in the same place? Somewhere new? The same town? The same country?
What time do you wake up? Who do you see? When do you eat breakfast? Where do you eat breakfast? Who do you eat breakfast with?
Do you work? Do you go to an office? Do you work from home? Do you get dressed up? Are you wearing yoga pants?
Do you see your family in the morning? Do you bring your kids to school? Do your kids stay home with you?
If you work, what is it that makes you feel successful and fulfilled? Is it intellectually stimulating? Do you enjoy the social interactions? Do you like the power and prestige?
What does your afternoon look like? Do you pick up your kids? Do you work late? Do you go to activities? Do you spend the afternoon at home? Do you eat dinner as a family?
What do you do in the evening? Do you have time for yourself? Do you spend it with a partner? With friends? With family?
Did you do anything for yourself during the day? Did you exercise?
There are so many more questions, I can’t write them all. The key is to get you thinking, really thinking about what your day-to-day life looks like.
Some people have lots of details right away. Others take days to figure it out. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how confident you are that you have figuring it out. Remember, this isn’t about the “perfect” day, this is about a typical Tuesday in a happy and successful phase of life.
It’s such a great reminder that success isn’t determined by how much money we have in our bank account, by our job title, or the degrees we have. It’s about what your life looks like on a random Tuesday.
Once you have a vision, you can start to think about how close you are to that vision. Some things will take a while to change - if you want to move to a new house or new city that probably won’t happen right away. Are there things you could change quickly to get closer to that vision? What about meal times? What about more time alone? More time with family?
It can be small, but meaningful. In my future Tuesday, I start my day by drinking my morning coffee alone on our front porch in a different house, outside of the city. While I can’t change my house right now, on weekends, I can find 5 minutes to myself and drink my coffee alone on our front porch (if it’s warm enough). There is something blissful about getting that moment and thinking about how this is what balancing my successful life looks like for me.
What does your future Tuesday look like?