Before deciding which industry to pursue, you must determine if you truly are dissatisfied with your current career. Once that is established, you must review your past experiences in the areas of work, volunteer activities, education, and life in general. This will help you develop a list to use when writing your new resumes and help you focus on your skills and interest.
After completing your list, you will have a good idea of what you want from your new dream career. You can now decide which industry you will pursue from the six different industries highlighted in the book. Are you a people person? In that case, a career working with people and animals may be best for you. The section dedicated to "Fab Relators" includes 19 career options for those desiring to earn a living by helping others.
Each career is then examined in a two page description. First, a clear explanation of the expectations and duties of each career is presented, including a description of a typical day of someone working in that career. The qualities and skills necessary to succeed in that career are then discussed, allowing the reader to decide if they are qualified to pursue that career path. Of course, a person pursuing a new career will need to develop new skills in order to succeed. The book describes any training needed and how to find training in the field. The section ends with the median salary and an explanation of billing and fees within that field.
Once you have determined your new career path, you must create a plan of action to help you achieve your dream. Writing down your goals will help you clarify what you want and focus on what needs to be done. It is recommended to take two steps every day in order to achieve your goal. This can be as simple as making two phone calls a day. Eliminating negative self-talk will also help you visualize your goal, thus making it easier to meet your goal.
A dream job will not just fall in your lap overnight. You will need to find job opportunities using connections, the Internet, newspapers, and other professional resources. Your resume will need to sell you effectively and succinctly. A resume must be tailored to every job to which you apply in order to best present yourself to each potential employer. Interviews are extremely important as it is the only face time you may have with a potential employer. The book examines the dos and don’ts of interviewing, including sample answers to several of the most common interview questions.
If you are unhappy with your current position but unsure of your next move, Dream Careers can help you determine your ideal career and put you on a path to achieve it.
Part 1: Discover
Chapter 1: Where Are You Now?
If you are a person who dreads Monday mornings, you may be in need of a career change. Often, a person makes a subconscious decision to quit before he/she has made a conscious decision. As a result, job dissatisfaction can cause a person to make decisions he/she would not normally make if he/she was interested in his/her job.
A comprehensive Job Dissatisfaction Index is included so that readers can evaluate the level of satisfaction they experience from their current job.
This index is followed by the "Is It Quitting Time?" Quiz. The quiz consists of seven statements. If the reader responds "yes" to any of the statements, then it may be a sign it is time to find another job."Is It Quitting Time?" Quiz
- I don’t get along with my boss.
- My work is not challenging.
- I am thinking of asking for a pay raise.
- I have seriously considered taking stress leave.
- I often work late.
- I have looked into how much severance pay I would get if I left my job.
- I am reading a book about how to break into a new career.
Agreeing with any one of the above statements may mean a change in career is necessary.
Chapter 2: Where Have You Been?
Your past work experience, volunteer activities, education, and life experience can help you decide on your ideal career. In one hour or more, a list can be compiled of all your skills and experiences.
Begin by creating a "master resume" of all your work experience. This "master experience" will not be a resume to be sent out, but a reference to use in order to gear each resume you send out to a specific job.
Volunteer experience is also important. The list of these experiences can help you determine what you would like to experience in a job. Also, it can help determine what you may want to avoid in a job.
Educational experience can help you determine your personal likes and dislikes.
Life experience can help you recognize patterns in your behaviors, likes, and dislikes. This information is invaluable to your job search.
Chapter 3: What Do You Want?
It is important to focus on what you really want, as well as your skill set. Remember, most skills can be learned.
The "Dream Career Mini-Questionnaire" is designed to give insight into possible career choices by determining how you would most like to spend your time."Dream Career Mini-Questionnaire"
- What’s the first thing that pops into your head in response to the question, "What’s the best job in the world?"
- What did you dream about doing when you were a child?
- If you could do any job in the world, what would you do?
- If you could take over anyone’s job for a day, whose job would you choose?
- If you had all the money you wanted, how would you choose to spend your days?
Six different job offers are then presented. By comparing the benefits of each offer, you can decide what qualities you will seek in a new career. This is designed to guide the reader to the correct section of the book.
Chapter 4: What Is Holding You Back?
Many obstacles can get in the way of you obtaining your dream career, including your behavior and choices, lack of confidence, and discouragement from others must be overcome in order to achieve your dream career.
After identifying your negative beliefs, adopting new behaviors can help extinguish these beliefs. This will change your results.
Part 2: Choose
Chapter 5: Fab Entertainers
If you are a natural entertainer, then a career in the entertainment field may be your dream career. This section highlights 19 careers, such as actor, model, talent agent, etc.
The entertainment industry is highly competitive, but contains many alternatives.
Professional photos of yourself are necessary to help promote you in the industry. It is important to pay for quality photos and duplicates. Your photos must also be up to date.
A "demo reel" may also be necessary in order to showcase your performance skills. It is important you hire a professional to produce your demo. Demos tend to be short as most decision-makers will only watch the first thirty seconds.
Other ways to promote yourself in the entertainment industry include a bio/resume, written material, an in-person presentation, and a standard resume.
Signing with a reputable agent is necessary to help you break into the higher levels of the industry. It is important to interview any agents you are considering in order to find the best fit for you. Do not sign with the first agent who approaches you unless you are certain they are the right agent.
Chapter 6: Fab Creatives
A person who enjoys creating something from the ideas in their head will do well in the creative field. However, there are more people who interested in pursuing these jobs than there are jobs in the industry. This section highlights 24 careers, such as animator, caterer, fashion designer, inventor, and wedding planner.
Convincing other people of your talent can be difficult. A portfolio is an excellent way to showcase samples of your work. Be sure to have duplicates of everything in your portfolio as they can get lost. Actual samples may not always be appropriate to put in a portfolio, so photographs of large projects are a solution. "Before and after" photos are especially effective. The only limitations in a portfolio are your own limitations.
Paperwork is important to document your past successes. A resume, newspaper clippings, awards, and certificates are all examples of paperwork appropriate in a portfolio. Letters of recommendation are also powerful
Chapter 7: Fab Merchants
A person who enjoys buying or selling products and is business-savvy should consider pursuing their own business. Despite the odds of success, businesses that start with a clear plan are the most likely to succeed. This section highlights 12 possible merchant careers, including auctioneer, coffee house owner, spa owner, and wine merchant.
The first step is to develop your business concept and business plan. Both are essential to the success of your business. Plan for your start-up costs in your business plan, and determine how you plan to finance your business.
Location is crucial in this field. Legal matters are also important, including registering your name and applying for the appropriate licenses. Be sure to take out all insurance policies necessary to protect you and your business.
Maintaining inventory, equipment, and supplies is important to the success of a merchant business. Be sure to hire people to work for you that can work at your pace and on your schedule. Employee manuals will help establish rules, policies, and benefit systems.
In a retail business, it is imperative to frequently review the financial reports. A budget can help determine how much should be spent on marketing.
Chapter 8: Fab Relators
A person who is described as a "people person" could have a fabulous career working with people or animals. This is a rewarding field, as your work can have a positive, direct impact on the lives of others. This section highlights 19 different careers for individuals interested in this field, including animal trainer, daycare owner, massage therapist, and personal trainer.
Developing excellent interpersonal skills is essential. Building strong relationships with clients is the best way to gain their trust, business, and referrals. Sincerity is important because clients do not want to work with a phony. Listening skills are also important. Reading people can help keep clients satisfied.
The conversations you have with clients require excellent speaking skills. A large vocabulary will help you express your ideas to your client. It is necessary to use and pronounce words correctly. Using proper grammar assures the client you are well-educated and professional. Fillers, curse words, and slang convey a negative message to the client. Also, find a rate of speaking and a volume that is appropriate to the conversation.
Volunteering experiences can help you get experience and build your resume. Working with family and friends can be helpful as they are likely to be honest in their feedback. Volunteering in your community is another place to build a reputation. You can add these experiences to your resume and portfolio.
Another way to jumpstart your career is to work as an assistant to a professional in your chosen field. A capable assistant will get attention, respect, and more responsibilities from those in the industry. Internships and on-the-job training is common. Although this may not lead to a job, it is necessary to treat these opportunities seriously and demonstrate how valuable you are to the employer.
Chapter 9: Fab Brains
A person who can easily figure out puzzles and is detail-oriented should consider a career in critical thinking. This section highlights 17 careers in the industry including editor, financial planner, pilot, and web designer.
Jobs in this field may require formal training, education, or a certification or license. Certification may also be voluntary, but will give you an edge over your competition. Be sure to research any formal training you receive as it may be costly. Informal training is a popular option, using libraries and the internet as resources. This approach requires an aggressive personality.
Be sure to keep a log documenting all of your jobs and obtaining references. A portfolio is also a valuable tool in this industry. A PowerPoint presentation can also accompany a proposal. A website or blog can help promote your portfolio can help sell you to potential clients.
It can be difficult to prove yourself to clients in this field. Some techniques are offering a free sample, showing proof of your value, being aggressive, going the extra mile, and being willing to work your way to the top.
Chapter 10: Fab Movers
People who know how to make things happen and are interested in helping people are movers. This section highlights 12 mover careers, including activist, human resources professional, mediator, and sports agent.
In this field, you need to be an industry insider, knowing how the work is done, the key people, and the terminology used. Connections with people in the industry and knowledge of technology will give you an edge against the competition. An understanding of office politics is important, as a slight could be very costly to your career. Be sure to dress appropriately to your field, as first impressions are extremely important in the industry.
Diplomatic skills will be necessary in all conversations. Knowing what to say when challenged can make or break a career. Also, knowing when to remain quiet can help your career. Trust can be built by refraining from gossiping about others in the industry. Socializing with people in the industry can also give you an edge.
Part 3: Create
Chapter 11: Make a Plan
Everyone has personal and professional goals. One way to help clarify a goal is to write the goal down. You may then realize ways in which to make your goal a reality. Two steps should be taken each day toward your goal.
Visualize yourself achieving your goal every day. Then, imagine the feelings you will experience when you reach your goal. Verbally remind yourself you can achieve your goal. This will remove any negative beliefs you may harbor.
Chapter 12: Make a Move
The newspaper, trade magazines, career centers, job fairs, and online resources are a good place to start when looking for a job. You can also add a few employers you want to target to your online favorites.
When applying for an advertised job, research the company and prepare your materials carefully. After obtaining the proper contact information, submit your materials and follow up if you do not hear from the employer in a reasonable amount of time.
Your resume sells your abilities to a potential employer. It is important to remember your resume may be seen for only seconds, so pick your best experiences and qualities. You must revise your resume every time according to the needs of each position.
When sending an e-resume, make sure it is easy to open and print. Only send your resume from an account using a professional name, not a risqué screen name. Use a virus program before sending your resume.
Cover letters allow your personality to shine. It should be personalized and clearly express why you are the best candidate to fill the position. Be sure to edit your cover letter because grammatical errors can cost you the job. Do not disclose personal information in your letter.
Demonstrate enthusiasm, interest, and a positive attitude during your interview. Arrive at the interview having researched your potential employer and the industry itself. Prepare answers to common interview questions. This will help you be more relaxed and confident.
Chapter 13: Make Friends
Starting with your friends and family, find someone who works in your desired field. They may know of an open position and may also be able to recommend you.
Networking activities are a great way to look for a job after exhausting your existing connections. This can be done at networking clubs, membership organizations, industry events, information interviews, and internet message boards.
Keep in mind that some people in the industry may be discouraging. This can be because they want to be perceived as special, are themselves struggling in the industry, or believe that they will lose work if there are more competitors.
Finding a mentor can help you find a position in your industry. If you cannot find a mentor in person, you may find a mentor on an Internet message board. A mentor can give you sound advice and guidance based on experience. Mentors can be an invaluable resource.
Chapter 14: Make It Happen
Sometimes it is necessary to create your dream job. First, understand the costs incurred by am employer if your position is created and be ready to demonstrate the value you will be bringing your employer by creating this position. Identify the need for the position in the company using qualities valued by the company. Do not waste time trying to create a position that would not be appreciated by the employer.
An alternative to working for a company is creating your own business. A service business can be started with little to no initial investment. Begin by brainstorming with a friend, considering every idea, even the seemingly ridiculous. Focus on the basics and the details, such as names and logos, will logically follow.
Use your networking skills to build relationships with vendors, suppliers, and clients. Consider doing the first few jobs at a discount in order to build a base. Use advertising in addition to word of mouth and networking. A website can also be an effective tool.
Be careful setting your fees. Consider the difference between your fee and how much it costs you to perform the job. Investigate the standard fee arrangement in your industry. Again, a mentor can help provide you with this information.