And I’m betting just about anyone will respond with a boisterous “You bet, I’m in!”
Where the rubber meets the road, however, is finding out exactly how to make that happen — to make short term career goals that lead to your dream job.
So what should this short term goal about?
Step 1: Playing to Your Strengths
Most career advice you’ll come across is quite terrible. Pass out cards. Develop a LinkedIn profile. Use high-quality resume paper. Get referral letters.
That nonsense stops right here, right now.
When it comes to landing your dream job, you cannot afford to be casual or cavalier. A successful approach demands that you be intentional and actively manage your choices in such a way that…
You place yourself where you can make the greatest contribution.
You learn to develop yourself and embrace both self-reliance and initiative.
You remain flexible, adaptive and mentally alive during your pursuit.
You have to learn how and when to change what you do, how you do it and when you do it. Simply put, you must know your core strengths so that you know where you belong!
Step 2: Strengthening Your Core Goals
A dream job means spending time doing the things that you love to do and are great at. This brings you increased energy, increased confidence, and the ability to create more value for others, which will lead to more productive and rewarding relationships.
Each of us is completely unique and if ever we are to give a gift to the world, it will have to come out of our own experience and fulfillment of our Core Strengths.
Fewer things are sadder than watching a person with potential waste away in work that makes little use of their Core Strengths. Work can be one of your greatest sources of success and fulfillment. Yet, too often, the opposite is true.
To achieve success with fulfillment, it is critical that your dream job taps your Core Strengths and pays you for what you naturally love to do.
For the great majority of people, to know their strengths was irrelevant only a few decades ago. One was born into a job and into a line of work. The farmer’s son became a farmer. If he was not good at being a farmer, he failed.
The artisan’s son was similarly going to be an artisan, and so on. But today the game has changed, we all have choices as to the work we do. Which means we therefore have to know our strengths so that we can know where we belong.
There is only one way to find out:
The After-Action Review
The after-action review is your feedback analysis as well as the best resource you’ll ever have for landing the job of your dreams. Allow me to explain how it works:
Whenever you make a key decision, and whenever you engage in a key action or project, you must determine and document what you expect will happen.
And overtime, you then analyze and review back from actual results to intended expectations. Several action conclusions follow from the after-action review.
1. Concentrate on your strengths.
Place yourself where your strengths can produce consistent performance and results.
2. Work on improving your strengths.
The feedback gained from the after-action review rapidly shows you where you need to improve skills or where you must acquire new knowledge.
It will show you where skills and knowledge are no longer adequate and have to be updated. It will also show the gaps in your knowledge.
3. Identify the areas where intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance.
The feedback and information gained from the after action review soon identifies the areas where intellectual arrogance causes disabling ignorance.
Far too many people —and especially people with high knowledge in one area—are contemptuous of knowledge in other areas or believe that being “bright” is a substitute for knowing.
4. Waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence.
Remember, concentration should always be on areas of high competence and high skill.
It takes far more energy and far more work to improve from incompetence to low mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence and then to preeminence.
And yet most people—and equally most teachers and most organizations—tend to concentrate on improving weaknesses. Don’t bother because if you invest your time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses.
Your energy and resources—and time—should instead go into making yourself into a superstar performer. Focus on making your strengths productive, dominate and profitable, as you cannot build on weakness.
To achieve superior results, you must use all of the available strengths – the strengths of associates, the strengths of your superior, and your own strengths. These strengths are the true opportunities…the highest and best use of your time.
Step 3: Your Core Strengths Will Set You Free
Your Core Strengths comprise of four foundational pillars. They represent the guiding principles on which your ability to maximize your performance is based and which your dream job is built upon.
Use the following acronym to uncover your Core Strengths:
Core Strengths provide an indomitable feeling of confidence in your ability to produce and deliver quality, and consistent results. You possess the internal faith and belief that you can and will be successful.
In what areas are you most confident in your abilities to succeed?
Core Strengths are saturated with an attitude of optimism. Optimism is a general disposition to expect the best possible outcome in a given situation. It is the belief that your future will contain outcomes, which you desire.
Optimists are people who believe that through positive action in their communities, business and personal life that they can create a better tomorrow.
In what areas of your life are you most optimistic about creating greater value?
Core Strengths operate best in a relaxed state. The word relaxed has a lot to do with being unaffected, easy, spontaneous and operating in flow.
Once you can tap your Core Strengths, you will enjoy a mental state of quietness, calmness, serenity, and happiness. Time will pass quickly, and you work will feel more like play.
In what areas do you enjoy the greatest state of relaxation and a wonderful sense of flow?
Core Strengths are driven by boundless enthusiasm. It’s an inspiring zeal that delivers inspiring results as nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.
Your passion, desire and hunger about being involved in something of importance will unleash your Core Strengths.
In what areas are you the most enthusiastic and passionate?
Few things are professionally more fulfilling than doing work that you are extremely good at, turned-on about and fully invested in.
It’s an incredible feeling when what you’re good at and excited about enables you to make a contribution that truly adds value. The result is meaningful success.
Deep down we all want to be involved in work that matters, that has meaning, that is memorable, and if we’re really lucky, work that changes the world. Compelling work stimulates an emotional investment in everyone. They’re the things from which legends and legacies are made.
Be mindful…if the project you’re working on now is not fueling a powerful emotional investment…you should transform it, reframe it, and redefine it until you fall in love with it.
Bonus: Teamwork Makes Your Dream Job Work
It means that you can focus on your Core Strengths by finding a team to support you.
Some of the best examples of people focusing on their Core Strengths are in the field of sports and entertainment.
In these industries, structures are set up to ensure that top performers can focus on what they do best — performing and strengthening their core.
For example, a professional golfer has a whole team of people around him or her who provide the support they need to focus on staying at the top of their game.
They don’t carry the clubs, nor do they manage their travel schedule. A professional golfer plays golf — period!
Learn to delegate the things at which you are incompetent, competent, and good, to people who possess their own Core Strengths in these areas.
Surrounded by people working in their own Core Strengths, you can focus on what you do best and enjoy the most.
You cannot and will not ever overcome the weaknesses with which each of us is abundantly endowed. But you can make them irrelevant.
That’s why your challenge in landing your dream job is to strengthen your core skill sets and use them as a building block and launch pad for delivering a superior performance.
You must make deliberate choices and set clear goals to structure work to enable your strengths and to make your weaknesses inconsequential.
Weaknesses will always present, but to focus on them is to focus on what cannot be done.
Focusing on strength leads to a focus on performance and driving superior results…and at the end of the day your dream job will help you to deliver a life-time of results.