5 Things that You MUST do to Find a Unicorn Career
Every article about career success seems to tout the same advice:
"Just follow your passion!"
"Find your purpose!"
I know it's well meaning advice, but raise your hand if this sounds more like a fairytale than real life.
I struggled with this advice for a really long time, because I spent my time waiting for purpose to show up at my front door. When it DIDN'T, I figured that I just wasn't special enough to receive the gift of passion. So I settled for a paycheque instead.
Over the past two years, there have been many things that I've done differently than ever before, and in turn, it's resulted in drastically different results, and yes, in the process, I HAVE found my purpose.
Here's what I know. Telling somebody to find their purpose or follow their passion is akin to convincing a couch potato to just run a damn marathon. It's just ain't going to happen overnight, and there are a few steps that you need to take to put yourself in a position where you can discover your unicorn career and purpose.
Here are 5 things that you MUST do to set yourself up for purpose-finding success:
1. Start with Beyonce-level confidence
I used to think that confidence could be bought. I filled my closet with designer shoes and luxury handbags. But, while I sure LOOKED like a confident person, I wasn't one without my fancy armour.
True confidence cannot be bought.
Your mind is a mixtape, in that it is a neverending loop of information. When you do things outside your comfort zone, hitting goals, staying true to resolutions, travelling solo, you're telling yourself that you can do big things. Alternatively, when you live like a wussy pants, you're telling your brain that your potential is limited to the mediocre boundaries you've set for yourself.
2. Throw away the checklist
Listen, I love a good checklist, so this advice pains me, but it's true. We come to rely on pros and cons, and lists of must haves for careers, that we lose sight of what exists beyond the check boxes.
A checklist is a great START to find a good job, and I firmly believe in creating one with what you need to be satisfied in your next gig. Things like parking, salary, and benefits? They're important! But don't just stop there.
I never would have imagined what my career would look like now because it didn’t exist! So while it’s important to know what you NEED in a career, you need to keep yourself open to opportunities beyond the paper.
3. Audit your reactions
The best way to immediately figure out what you like and dislike is to listen to your body and your reactions to certain tasks throughout your workday. Just like some people keep food diaries, consider creating a workday diary, where you log different actions and how you feel about each.
Make notes of what gets you fired up, and which parts you dread. I hated my commute, my strict schedule, fluorescent lighting, and small talk. Be honest with yourself, and you'll find that you can articulate what you want much more easily!
4. Think beyond job listings
A friend of mine, who started in HR and is now a big shot Hollywood producer once told me that whatever you were doing between ages 8 and 13 is what you should be doing for the rest of your life.
Now, before you completely dismiss that notion because you KNOW you can’t become a professional video game player or pizza bagel tester, hear me out. DON’T think small about this. What he means is to consider what you were doing for fun, before the world told you who you should be.
Here are some examples of this:
I was constantly reading, writing, and loved performing and public speaking. That’s translated into a career of writing career advice and articles, and speaking about LinkedIn and personal branding.
A friend of mine is an event producer. She used to go door to door and ask her neighbours if they would let her organize their closets for a dollar. She’s always loved organizing, and that’s led her to her event planning role.
My producer friend was always telling his friends what role they would play in make-believe games. That’s led to him telling people what to do on camera in real life.
5. Do it for yourself
We tend to imagine other people’s reactions to our life rather than focus on how WE feel.
To find your unicorn career, you need to rid yourself of this mindset. How do YOU feel about whatever role you’re thinking about leaping into?
At the end of it all, YOU are responsible for your life, and YOU need to love what you do.