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Monday, February 2, 2009

Everybody has dreams, even if they're buried deep inside childhood fantasies. Here's how to find them and make them come true.
Get in touch with your dreams. What do you fantasize about doing with your spare time? What extraordinary future makes you feel a little bit more alive when you imagine yourself in it? What did you dream about when you were a child? Think about it ...And write it all down.
Identify mental obstacles that stand in the way of your dreams. For example, maybe you've always dreamed about becoming a painter, but you were too worried about what people think, or about not making enough money. In this case, your obstacles are ego and finances. Ask yourself honestly: What's more important, achieving my dreams, or getting respect from my peers, or being financially secure? If I had to choose between my dreams and my other concerns, what would I choose?
Make changes in your life. If you're not already working towards your dreams, you're probably trapped in a cycle that keeps you locked away from them. Break the cycle. For a lot of people, that means changing careers.
Set clear, inspiring goals. Goals are like pillars that support your dreams.

Discovering your dreams is an ongoing process. Often, as you try to make your dreams a reality, you learn more about what you want. For example, you might have dreamed about becoming a vet, but in the middle of vet school, you may realize that your dreams involve training animals rather than treating them. Don't be scared to adjust your course as you learn more about yourself and what you want out of life.
Believe in yourself
Keep moving forward and live in the now. If you have trouble letting go of something in the past, e.g. something you feel bad about, then write it down on some paper and then destroy the paper- ripping, shredding, anything as long as its gone and you can move forward to follow your dream.

Don't lose focus if something that appears better comes along.

Making a big career change isn't easy, especially if you've got kids to support, a mortgage to pay, and a car to worry about. But if you've got the motivation, you can do it. Here's how.

Tackle the golden question: If you had all the money in the world, what would you be doing with yourself? Don't hold back. This is brainstorming time. Make a list of all the things you'd rather be doing with your time. Your first few answers will probably be something like: Take a tropical vacation, spend more time with the kids, etc. But push your thinking beyond that.
Evaluate your skills and talents. Ask yourself: What am I good at? What do I most enjoy doing? Write down every skill you're capable of. Don't be shy.
Identify transferable skills. After deciding what career best suits you, and have listed all know skills and talents, identify what skills will best transfer over into your new line of work. The longer the list the easier the transition. If you have only a few or no transferable skills, do not be discouraged. Pursue your passion to find happiness.
Think of jobs that allow you to do what you really want to do, at least in some form, and apply your skills and talents every day. Be creative and open-minded.
Conduct informational interviews. Informational interviews are a gem twofold: you get straight talk about your considered profession from actual professionals, and you achieve face time with individuals that possibly have the power to hire you later down the line.-- 17:05, 11 January 2009 (GMT)
6. Consider your financial situation. How much does it cost, on a monthly and annual basis, to support your current standard of living? Are you willing to lower your standard so that you can take a job that pays less?
Make a list of everything you want in your new job, and one of everything you don't.
Browse job descriptions in your desired field. Visit a site like Salary.com to find out how much you can expect to earn in your new career. (However, do realize that Salary.com is NOT the source businesses use to set salaries- they use services that survey other businesses. Salary.com just shows a possible average of salaries and is a decent general place to start for career info.) Also refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbookto see how competitive the job market may be.
Check local schools for courses and programs that may give you an edge. Start taking night classes while you're still at your current job. Establish rapport with your teacher - he or she will prove to be a valuable reference when you're applying for a new job.
Volunteer for organizations related to your desired career. For example, if you want to work in architecture, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses for disadvantaged families. You get experience, and they get a helping hand!
Network. Talk to people in your desired field. Explain your situation. Ask them for advice. Give them your contact information. If what they say is true - "It's not what you know, it's who you know" - then cover all your bases in this department.
Save enough money to support yourself for 3-6 months, or however long you think it'll take to find a job in your new career that will support you adequately.
Write a new resume. Make sure you include your objectives (based on step 1), education (step 6) and relevant experience (step 7). See also How to Write a Resume.
Start your job search and good luck!

Most people's deepest vocational passions fall within three categories: teaching, healing, and creating. If your focus in your career is on doing one of these three things, you're far more likely to draw satisfaction from your job.
Having a spouse with a steady job makes switching careers a lot easier, but is by no means necessary. You should, however, seek the moral support of friends and family.
Consider donating your time for free if your new chosen profession enables this, to help you gain some experience and meet people in the field.
Consider shifting roles within your workplace to give you a more rewarding experience.

Consider your present career and the amount of time you need to retire. It may be better to stick with the job you have, retire a bit early, then take up something more rewarding. Bailing out early when you have a good retirement plan may compromise some of your other goals.

The most important aspect of starting a business is that it must be something you enjoy. If the primary motive is money, but you don't enjoy it - it is a bad fit, and that is a sure formula for failure. However, if it is something you enjoy, you won't run out of enthusiasm. Your creative juices will flow, making your business a cut above the others, and increasing your chances for success.

List your interests. This will help you focus on businesses that will provide the greatest probability for success and eliminate possible failures.
List your skills. No one can be all things. If any aspect of business does not fit within your skill range these are the areas where you will need to get help.
Assess your personality. Are you a people person, or do you enjoy working alone? Do you love to serve others, or do you find people a pain? One ingredient that is sure to lead to failure is a reclusive or abrasive personality. Think about the people that you have met in business. Who were the ones that you wanted to give repeat business to?
Determine how much risk you can tolerate. Going into business can be scary; especially the first couple of years. Some businesses are scarier than others. If you lie awake nights wondering how large loans are going to be paid, or if you're going to be sued, maybe a business with less upfront capital or probability of lawsuit is more for you.
Determine how much time your business will require, and ask yourself if you are willing to commit the time. Many businesses require a huge time investment. Can you and your family tolerate a twelve or fourteen hour day schedule?
Take some classes. An excellent place to start is SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), an organization that helps educate individuals considering starting a small business. After taking some SCORE classes some people are convinced that starting a small business is for them, while others are convinced it is not.
Have a plan. As the old saying goes, if you aim at nothing, you will hit it.
Set it up legally. Hire an attorney experienced in setting up businesses. He will guide you through the paper work and make sure things are done properly. A good attorney will not just do the paperwork and determine the business type (Inc, LLC, etc.) but will also advise you on common errors to avoid that can get you into trouble.

Find out about grants which may be available to help get your business started. The Princes Trust is a great starting point if you are aged between 14-30, and can offer lots of useful advice, as well as providing grants.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of new businesses fail. Always maintain a "plan B" just in case.
Don't do any monkey business!


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