Many people have a picture of their ideal career and others wish they had. But the truth is, your ideal career might not exist. However, that is not a bad thing. What it means is that there is probably more than one career or combination of careers which would be ideally suited to you. And in a world where job insecurity is rife, that is very good news.
First of all, it is important to take a closer look at the word career and to stop defining it in the rigid terms we tend to use these days. A career is usually seen as a lifetime spent in one industry, working your way up the ladder as far as possible. Or it is used to describe a lifetime spent in a particular profession or vocation, such as medicine, nursing, teaching or law.
But a career path is not always so straightforward, especially these days, and it doesn’t have to focus on one specific job or profession. Quite a few people will move from one career to another and others will have more than one career simultaneously. Some experts have predicted the end of the job and, although we haven’t reached that point yet, the job for life is certainly dead. So if you want to be sure that you are always employed, it is important to look at alternative work patterns.
The idea of a job with set tasks and regular hours only came into being at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Although our working lives still follow a similar pattern, albeit with improved conditions, this concept is starting to change.
So to discover what your ideal career or combination of careers might be, describe what you would consider an ideal day in your working life. What time do you start work? Where do you go to work or do you work at home? With whom do you work? What activities are you doing? Do you travel a lot or stay in one area? Would your mornings be spent helping people in some capacity, as a teacher, nurse, instructor or cook and your afternoons in creative activity, such as music, art or writing? Would you have seasonal jobs which involved moving to different locations?
For financial reasons, you will probably have to stay in a traditional job while you work out a plan to move towards your ideal work situation.
Finding your ideal career means taking an expanded look at your skills, talents and interests and creating a way of working which works for you. It isn’t something you can change overnight, but if you develop your plan gradually, you could come up with a great alternative work style.