How Big Is Your Career Dream?

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Do you have a Big Dream for your career?

Steve Jobs knew all about that, didn’t he?
Is there something that you know in your heart that you would love to do – but it seems so big that you discount it before you have even begun?

This can come up via the back door with clients who start by talking about their career plans in terms of the possibilities that lead on from or build on what they have done so far in their working lives.

Sometimes that makes a lot of sense, but there are occasions when after some discussion, another idea emerges. This is when they finally admit to what they really want to do. But this Big Dream is just too big for them to take seriously, so they turn away and, as they see it, come back down to ‘reality’.

I sometimes wonder how come reality has got such a bad press. Why does being realistic mean staying small and ignoring the things that would inspire you? Dreams and reality do not always have to be in complete contradiction to one another.

So what can you do with your Big Career Dream? How can you find a way to make it seem accessible and realistic to you after all?

The Spectrum of Possibilities

One of the most useful exercises for career changers in this situation is one called the Spectrum of Possibilities, which I first encountered from Career Coach, Marianne Craig.

The first step is to mark out a sheet of paper with a scale across the page running from 1 – 10.

Then take your Big Career Dream and mark it at the right hand or ‘top’ end of the scale. This is what you would be doing if you were living your dream to the full – acting in a production in a big London theatre, defending a client in a major trial at the Old Bailey, running a wildlife sanctuary, having your own business, whatever inspires you.

Then on the far left of the scale, write down the smallest way in which you could bring some aspect of your Big Career Dreams Into your life. This could be simply going to the theatre regularly, sitting in the visitors’ gallery at court from time to time or volunteering once a month at a local animal shelter. If you have a business dream, it could be finding one client to work with or making one small product that you sell to friends and family.

Finally you fill in the 8 intervening steps with activities that show increasing levels of commitment to your dream.

Each step will involve a bigger level of involvement – but the involvement may not always be through your paid work.
What options can you identify?

Making Your Big Career Dream Achievable

This will begin to show you that your Big Career Dream does not have to be an all or nothing. There may well be steps you can take to begin to bring it to life, starting right now.

You might accept that achieving the Big Career Dream you have written at 10 is unlikely to happen for you – at least not yet – but if you can begin to take some steps in the right direction, who knows what possibilities might emerge over time?

So why not draw up a Spectrum of Possibilities for your own Big Career Dream and use it to work out how you can begin to bring your passion to life?