Are you feeling stagnant or unhappy in your current job? I’ve worked with clients who felt “stuck” or confused as to how to move forward with their career goals. I’ve been there, too…I think everyone has at some point.
When you imagine your dream job, I’ll bet you have a rampant amount of thoughts that flood your brain. Maybe you have a couple of career paths you’re interested in pursuing, as well as many passions you wish you could make money doing. Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum and feel clueless as to what path you want to try. Mind mapping is a creative way to organize all these thoughts on paper.
You may be wondering what the heck is mind mapping? You have probably created one for school at some point. They work extremely well with career planning and can be a useful tool in narrowing down your options to help you answer that pressing question, What do I want to do with the rest of my life?
Creating a mind map was enlightening for me to see what really stood out as my top priorities. It also allowed me to make connections that I hadn’t necessarily seen before. I realized that the top two things that made me happy were giving advice and writing, so I have been able to combine them in my current job as an online therapist with BetterHelp.com. I share a lot of advice through writing emails when clients prefer this mode of communication rather than phone or video. I LOVE to blog, but it’s not something that brings in any money, so Ask Erica is my passion project. It’s important to devote time to hobbies that bring us joy. A mind map helped me put this all in perspective.
Here is an example of one that expands beyond career into personal goals, as well. Don’t be intimidated, you can be as creative (or not) as you want to be! The main point is to express all your thoughts, ideas and interests and see what stands out.
Here are some questions to reflect on to help you get one step closer to creating your dream job.
- Short-Term Goals (Next 6 months? Next year?)
- Long-Term Goals (Next 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? Now, close your eyes, what do you see when you imagine your ideal career? No judgments, just let it flow.)
- Non-Negotiable’s (Are there things that you absolutely cannot part with? Is there something each job/position has to have?)
- Strengths (What are you great at? What makes you different from your competitors?)
- Education/Credentials (Is there a certain program or certificate you need to further your goal?)
- Need to Dos (What actions do you need to propel your career in the right place?)
- Core Values (What is most important to you?)
- Monetary Rewards (What must you have? Is there a minimum salary? Benefits? Vacation days?)
- Intrinsic Rewards (Do you need flex commute? Do you seek a mentoring boss?)
- What is important to you outside of your paycheck?)
- Industries (What type of company/industries do you want to work in?)
- Influencers (Who do you admire or follow for advice?)
- Enjoyments (What makes you the most happy about your past experiences?)
- Dreadfuls (What makes you dread work?)
Will creating your ideal job be easy? No. Will it happen overnight? That’s a hard no. Will it look exactly like how you think it should? Maybe not. But, if you are aware of what you want and consciously make decisions to get closer to that goal, you will create something pretty amazing that fulfills you.