Test drive your new
You wouldn't buy
a new car without a test drive, right? So why would you bail on your boring day
job and dive headlong into your dream job without trying it out first?
Sure, getting a real feel for a potential new
job while hanging onto your existing one is tricky. It also can
be costly. And it definitely requires some sacrifice and commitment
(remember, we're still talking work here). But when you're considering
such a major change, the effort could pay off in the long run.
range from hiring a personal career coach to taking a sabbatical from your current
job to try out a new one. You can even take a literal working vacation to explore
Joel Garfinkle, a self-proclaimed dream
job coach, says 98 percent of us wouldn't know our dream job
if it pounced on us. "Most people spend their career doing
what they're good at, what they excel at, and suddenly in their
early 40s they wake up and go, 'OK, I've done what I'm good at,
now let me go try what would be fulfilling.'"
awakening may be coming earlier these days, Garfinkle says.
average 32-year-old has held nine full- or part-time jobs, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor. Today, there is a lot of job changing and experimentation
Garfinkle maintains we each know inside what
we want to do; it's societal pressures, expectations and fear that keep us from
pursuing it. Trying out a job in a safe setting can help break through that debris.
get to experience it," he says. "The thing that's missing for some of
my clients is, they haven't tasted it yet. The more you can taste it, feel it,
experience it, the more you're going to want to make it happen.
"Once you experience your dream job, it allows
you to be your true self all the time, it fits into your life comfortably,
naturally. It incorporates your values and it gives you energy instead
of draining you."
Brian Kurth has tapped into today's pervasive career
zeitgeist with Vocation
Vacations. With a little planning, his company helps searching workers spend
a vacation trying out a dream job without tipping off existing bosses.
giving up your hard-earned leisure time sound crazy? Maybe, but consider how many
people already stay tied to their jobs 24-7 courtesy of ubiquitous e-mail and
text messaging via laptops and PDAs. The next short step is transferring your
existing working vacation energy into a job holiday that could lead to a more
Kurth, founder and chief executive dreamer
of Vocation Vacations, was stuck in commuter traffic on Chicago's Kennedy Expressway
several years ago when the light bulb went on: If he was whiling away his daily
monoxide moments dreaming of a better life, surely his fellow commuters must be
doing the same.
"I used to daydream about working
in the wine industry, working with dogs or working as a tour guide," he recalls.
the tech bubble burst, Kurth followed his bliss to Portland, Ore., where he soon
met up with a family-owned vintner that needed his product marketing expertise.
He also treated himself to a two-day session with a dog trainer.