3 Ways to Make Your Dream Job in Sustainability a Reality

by Shannon Houde

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I believe in dream jobs! What would the human condition be without dreams? I have seen living proof through my coaching clients that you can marry your passion for making a difference in the world to your day-to-day reality of making a living.

In a recent CNN article, the author, Cal Newport, advises that to “follow your passion is bad advice”. He warns against jumping from role to role hoping that a job, in and of itself, will fulfill you. Rather, he suggests building a career based on skills – then the passion should come. He goes on to say that, “if you study people with compelling careers, they enjoy some combination of the following traits: autonomy, respect, competence, creativity, and/or a sense of impact”.


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But I don’t fully agree. I do think that we need to build our careers based on skills, as this is the product that we sell to the market. However, I also think we have to will ourselves into the dream job by painting the picture we want to step into. There is a beautiful woman named Hedy Schleifer who encourages her clients to speak in the language “of abundance”, i.e. positivity. She says that the “universe is listening” so make sure to only speak in positive words, framing what you want to be willed into reality.

As job seekers hoping to find the dream job, there are a few simple steps we should follow: 1 – design the dream, 2 – be realistic about how much of it will come true and then, 3 – do everything possible to make it happen including using positive language.


1 – Define (and then visualise) your dream job

How do we know what will make us happy until we map it out, commit to it? Get a white piece of paper. Draw a picture, a mind map, a list, whatever works for you. Map each and every criteria that matters to you when you think about a job.

  • What are the tasks you will be doing every day, every week?
  • Who will you be working with?
  • What is the mission of the organisation?
  • Is the commute bearable and the salary a step up?
  • Will you have an office?
  • Work in a team?

Your unique criteria only you will know. But commit to it by mapping it out and then pasting it at eye level on the fridge. Will it to happen! Even find some photos on the web and print them to sit next to your map. The fridge will be a constant reminder of what you can make happen.


2 – Be realistic too

Reality is only 25% of the truth. You should be able to map the criteria that are most important to you for your dream job. Then get realistic! You won’t get everything you want, but you should be able to match up 75% of your requirements with those of an employer.  Go to the market and test it out. Refine your next career move so that it is possible while also keeping your eye on your dream job criteria.


3 – Turn it into reality…through your skills and networks

Reality in the jobs market is based on skills and what employers will pay you to do. So you first need to map out your marketable skills that your dream job needs. Perhaps there is an interim step or two you need to make to build the skills or knowledge to reach your dream job in a year or five? Networking is now made easy with LinkedIn. Leverage your reach to the hundreds of people you know already and share your skills and your dream with them to see how they can help.


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