Decide on your fantasy job before hunting for real one

When was the last time you asked yourself the question: "What do I want to do when I grow up?" For some of us that question is as real at 40 as it was at 14. Oh, it's not that we are all bumbling aimlessly through our careers. In fact, we often start off with purpose. But over time, we get bored or go as far as we're going to go and it's time to look for something new. Our values and interests keep changing and as we get to the top of one mountain, we see that there are so many more we could climb. If only we knew which one.

Unfortunately, after awhile, most people start to "morph" in their careers. They begin to become one with their job and they identify so closely with it, they can't see themselves in any other role...even if they're not happy they can't see beyond to what is possible.

That's why we're going on a little journey. It may seem silly at first and self-indulgent. And your practical side will scoff. But I urge you to let yourself go and let your mind roam free. We're going to explore your fantasy job. The one you would be doing if you could do anything you wanted to do.

Although you may never actually decide to pursue your fantasy job, reflect on the following questions to give you clues about your deep ambitions, values and motivations. By the time our trip is over, you may have some elements that you may want to include in your current job or next career move.

Now, without second-guessing yourself (or worrying about what anyone else thinks) have some fun and explore your fantasy job.

1.      If you couldn't fail in your next career move, what would you do?

2.      Where would you do it?

3.      How much would you make?

4.      What would your average day be like? When would you get up? What hours would you work? How would you spend your time?

5.      What would you wear?

6.      Would you work alone or with a group of people?

7.      Describe the kinds of people with whom you would interact?

8.      To whom would you report?

9.      What accountabilities/responsibilities would you have?

10. Where would you live in relation to work?

11. How big is the organization?

12. How flexible is your schedule?

13. How much autonomy do you have?

14. How is the pace? Pressure for deadlines?

15. How technically specialized would you be?

16. What kind of communication would you use most? With whom?

17. How detailed is your work?

18. What is the most interesting thing about this job?

19. How would this job challenge you?

20. What barriers do you have to doing this job right now?

If you're in a time of transition in your career, I recommend that you take your responses to people who will challenge you to find the underlying messages in your answers. You may discover some valuable clues about your deepest ambitions and personal values...two crucial markers along the road to discovering career satisfaction.

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616,, or 
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