4 Ways to Spice Things Up While Looking for your Dream Job

Do you feel impatient with your search for your dream job? Is it getting harder and harder to stay focused and productive at your current job?

Sarah is a client and close friend. She emailed me the other day to tell me how excited she is to have determined the type of work she really wants to do along with the qualities of the organization that would allow her to truly thrive. But her excitement for her future is accompanied by an increase in frustration and disappointment with her current job. She wanted advice on how to make the best of her current situation, while she seeks the opportunity she really wants.

When you go through a career transformation, as you get clearer about your target and know the specific details of your ideal job and dream career, you also become clearer and more specific about how your current situation falls short. If you focus on the shortcomings, you can become very frustrated and impatient with your current job. If you don’t know how to make the most of your current situation, and put it in a proper (and useful) perspective, you can be tempted to make some bad choices, choices that could interfere with your goals. For some, that means quitting this job without having the finances to support you, or telling people at work “what you really think” about the mistakes management is making.

What can you do to make the most of your current situation and use it to propel you forward toward your dream career? Start by thinking about what you want to take with you when you leave. And I don’t mean office supplies. Apply the concept I learned from Steven Covey: begin with the end in mind.

  1. Remember that your current situation is temporary. It will not last. You will find the job you want. This job is not forever.
  2. Consider which relationships you want to take with you when you leave. Spend time now building your network and strengthening your professional relationships. Remember that networking at its core is people helping people. Take people for coffee or lunch. Get to know them, what their career goals are and what’s important to them. Ask how you can help them with their goals.
  3. Think about what skills you would like to develop before you leave. Seek out projects and assignments that allow you practice these skills. For example, do you want to learn about social media? Volunteer to help out with the marketing group who handles that. Do you want to learn more about how software works? Volunteer to be part of the testing team for the next release. Would you like to develop your communication skills? Offer to write up the meeting minutes for the meetings you attend, or begin writing weekly status reports for your manager. Would you like to develop your leadership skills? Offer to manage the group of interns who just started at your company.
    Early in my own career I wanted to develop my test management skills. After I gave my two weeks’ notice of resignation, I volunteered to manage a testing cycle scheduled to complete on my last day. Because I volunteered and offered to document everything, the project manager was happy to give me this experience.
  4. Plan your exit. Identify how to transition your responsibilities to others. Document what you do so another person can fulfill your responsibilities when you leave. One benefit of doing this now is that you may even be able to transfer some of the tasks you don’t like to another person before you go. Planning in advance for your transition creates a lasting and positive impression of you on everyone affected by your departure when you do leave.

What can you where you are to prepare yourself for your dream job when you find it? I challenge you to choose just one idea from the above recommendations, and start implementing that idea this week, even today.


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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA