So you may have already seen me banging on about dream jobs on my about page. You see, I'm pretty passionate about this topic. If you ask me (and even if you don't), life is waaaay too short to do something you hate - or even mildly dislike - most days of your life.
Yeah okay, Amy, but how the fuck do you get your dream job?
Obviously if you know what your dream job is, you're likely to know the path you need to take to get there. And if you're not sure, a quick search on the old Google will pretty much tell you what you need to know.
But what if you don't know what you're meant to do? That's when the journey gets a little more unpredictable. And that was the situation I found myself in when I graduated from high school oh so many moons ago.
I had pretty good marks so could do almost any degree on offer but I was paralysed by too many options and no clue how I wanted my life to look. So I asked my mum what direction she thought I should take. She said, "Occupational therapy." I thought, "What the fuck is that?" and enrolled.
After starting the degree I realised pretty quickly it wasn't for me but I felt like I should stick with it or try harder. One almost finished semester and about $3000 in HECS debt later I was back at square one.
So what's a girl to do? I asked my dad what he thought I should do and he said, "Law." So I enrolled. To give myself more options, I took on a dual degree in law and business. And luckily, too because law was also not for me.
As well meaning as my parents were, in hindsight they were projecting their own dreams onto me, each advising me to follow a path that they would have been great at!
Although I spent time and money on another partial degree, which is not ideal, I still see this time as an opportunity not wasted. I met my husband in those classes. I gained valuable legal knowledge and I learnt a lot about myself.
After finishing my business degree I had a path to set out on. I had worked full time consistently through my degrees and I therefore had experience and was well placed to get a job straight after uni. I landed a job as Brand Marketing Manager at a design and communications studio in West End and gained even more valuable experience. It was a difficult workplace and I ended up becoming literally sick with stress so after a year I knew I had to leave. But working there introduced me to my future business partner and made me realise that design was where my real passion lay.
I won't continue to bore you with my entire resume (!) but I think you can see the pattern here. I took opportunities that came my way, and when it didn't work out I took on the next opportunity. And often times I met people who led me onto the next path. I wasn't afraid to explore new opportunities and take on challenges and use the resulting lessons and opportunities to move me forward in my career.
Here are my top tips I've learned on my career journey to finding my dream jobs.
1. Say yes to opportunities that come your way
If it feels right, do it. Give it a red hot crack and if it's not for you, you can always change directions. Use the paths that don't work out to either learn from or find the opportunity within. You never know who you'll meet or what an opportunity could be a stepping stone to.
2. Give each opportunity your all. You never know where it can lead.
If you do decide to take an opportunity, give it everything you've got. You won't regret it because if it doesn't work out, you know 100% that you tried. Plus, you might just impress someone who can offer you your next opportunity.
3. Periodically reassess and refocus
This is a part of my personality that is a blessing and a curse. I am constantly assessing myself and looking for what I can do better or what would make me happier or more fulfilled. This could definitely be seen as a disadvantage but I like to turn that around and think of it as a trait that has propelled me on in my career and general life.
Stop and take stock of where you are, what you have achieved? Have you met your goals? Are your goals still the same? What do you need to do to achieve them from here?
4. Try not to be pressured into doing what you think you should do. Do what feels right.
Although I don't regret my many career paths or opportunities that haven't worked out, I do wish that I didn't allow myself to be pressured into going straight to uni. University isn't the only option and I actually think that real work experience is much more valuable in discovering your strengths, passions and what your dream job might be.
So go forth, friend! Master your destiny! Grab that bull by the... horns! You can do it, girl. When opportunity comes a knockin,' and it will, be brave and say, "Fuck yes!"