Mindset shifts that helped me land a dream jobFeatured

One year ago I started a dream job. It feels almost controversial to say. If I were reading this a year ago, I might have either rolled my eyes in skepticism or clicked through in wonder. At the time, the idea of landing a dream job was something I desperately wanted but didn’t know I would be able to attain.

Maybe a dream job isn’t something I should even be shooting for. I don’t live to work anyway.

Work is work. It’s always going to be insufferable.

My specific standards are too high. I’ll never be satisfied.

In the months following, I had to go through many changes, starting with my mindset to land where I am today.

Here are the main mindset shifts that helped me land a dream job:

1. Believe a dream job is possible

There was a big part of me that didn’t believe I could be happy professionally. And I don’t think those feelings are uncommon. Why?

  • Sometimes we’ve never experienced a dream job. I was coming off years of not clicking with the roles I was in, so I was starting to doubt. Luckily I had an amazing role earlier in my career, and I was able to hold onto that as my beacon of hope. But if you’ve never had that, it can be tough.
  • We’ve been conditioned not to believe in dream jobs. It’s better for employers to keep our standards low. If you look back at older generations, it also wasn’t really top of mind. A job was just a job.
  • Sometimes, it’s easier to not believe. When I got my job, it was actually scary. When you have a crappy boss or team or role you have something to attribute to any unhappiness

However, anyone who has looked into manifestation or the law of attraction knows, it’s helpful to believe in what you are trying to achieve.

2. Be open to what a dream job could be

It can feel like a stretch to say you have a dream job. It’s like saying you found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; you finished a never-ending journey to a destination that doesn’t exist. I think it’s because we put too much weight on those words.

First, you’ll notice I always say A dream job. I have a strong belief that there is a plethora of things a person can do that could be a dream. I was open to companies ranging from Amazon to Nike to LEGO to startups you’ve never heard of. The most important things to me were that I could be creative and do work grounded in connecting with Black and other traditionally overlooked communities.

As you’re kicking off your journey, define your core career values. For me, it was creativity, community, and fun. And take it a layer deeper to build clarity around how you want those to manifest. In my case, what helps me feel creative? How do I want to engage with community? What sort of work do I find fun? Once I had those questions answered, I had a specific, but wide scope of roles to consider.

Keeping focused on what truly matters, while maintaining openness to how that exact role looks can be extremely helpful.

3. Focus on your own dream

One of the last shifts I had to make was focusing on myself. I was living in the Bay Area working at a Big Tech company. There, there are a few clear definitions of success. And what I wanted to do around being a creative, focusing on multicultural, etc. wasn’t aligned with how an industry run by mostly White and Asian male engineers defined success.

When I was kicking off my dream job search, I went on a solo wellness retreat in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. There, I met Black women ranging from novel writers to private chefs, and more. It helped open my mind to other definitions of success. Even though I went back home to the technical engineers of the Bay, I tried to keep myself close to creatives by listening to podcasts, following accounts on social media, and more. And now, in my new role that’s who I spend my time with every day. And the success definitions that had weighed me down in the Bay for so long, no one here could care less about.

With these shifts, I was able to thoughtfully pursue a dream job and have the confidence to land that job. Every job has its challenges. I don’t prescribe to the idea “the best jobs don’t feel like work” because this definitely is work. But it’s work that enriches me. It’s work that excites me and brings out the sides of me that I want to express. And I’m looking forward to the career path this dream job takes me on next. #dreamjobsonly

Thanks @vanessaw for sharing this. I have been trying to describe my dream job. At the same time, asking myself if all this is possible in one job and looking for ways to comprise. This is timely. Thanks for sharing, it made a difference.
Glad it was helpful!
totally possible but i'd probably not call it dream job to lower the pressure! I'd probs say there's no dream job, just dreams so you can control the narrative!
Thank you, @vanessaw I love the reminder that there are other ways of defining success, manifestation, and determining core career values. Great to hear your story and path to get to your dream job. Thank you!!
Glad you enjoyed the read! It was a journey for sure. Took a few years to get there so this all took me some time to figure out
Thank you Vanessa. That helped me, I got laid off 6 months again, and now ready to want to go back to my career, I want to go back to a design job, but I’m too scared of dreaming a dream job, your journey won’t be mine, but your frame work is really helpful can apply to anyone. 1. Define own career value.2. Define own meaning of success in life and career.3. Be open for the dream job may not be exactly same as what I imagine.4. Believe in it.
Good luck to you! Hope you're able to take whatever is helpful from my journey into yours. And keeping in mind this journey for me took over 2 years. I got laid off in early 2020 and got the job I have in 2022. It might take some trial and error and just time, but hoping you get there!
Thank you for this! Currently looking for a new role and the thought of a dream job didn't seem possible. But this reminded me to really carve out my career goals and believe in that DREAM JOB!
Glad you enjoyed the blog! Definitely take your time to really define. It took me 6 months to figure out what I actually needed in my next role. And another 6 months to find it. And there was a whole year before that where I started thinking about what I wanted but wasn't quite ready to buckle down and put in the work. So it's a process for sure!
Your strory is inspiring for someone like me who wants to do what I like rather than what pays more. It is very courageous of you to make a career shift to pursue your dreams.
But also someone's dream could be what pays more. There's no right or wrong definition. My definition was just mattered to me at the time. And we all have seasons where different things matter more. But yes, if you are at a stage where the work itself is what you want to focus on that's great and I wish you luck!
Thank you @vanessaw. I resonated with so many things you mentioned here Had a couple of great jobs. However last few ones were terrible. I live in Bay Area and totally feel the same way Bay Area High Tech and biotech indistries define success.Your post brought back me the memories what I did before I got those great jobs experiences and I realized I had indeed used manifestation tecniques you described here although at that I had no idea and did not know what manifestation or law of attraction or even personal development was.Gives me ideas again
I’m glad it brought up important and helpful things for you!