From the day I started GiveLiveExplore in June 2012, I decided to send a handwritten postcard to anyone who signed up for my email list. I anticipated sending several handfuls of postcards or so.
But as my email list kept growing, so did my postcard writing. Three years later, I’ve kept up with the practice and have written hundreds of postcards to readers all over the world. And I’m still writing.
It all seems a bit silly. If you add up all the hours I’ve spent searching for, writing, and sending the postcards; the standing in line at post offices, trying to cobble together enough Greek or Lithuanian or Portuguese to ask for the right kind of stamps; and the money I’ve spent buying the damn stamps (especially from the UK…), you’d think I’m crazy.
Maybe I am. I’ve now sent hundreds of postcards to strangers. I’ve probably spent….I don’t even want to calculate it because it’s an embarrassing amount of money. Especially as it was being spent by someone who often needed that money for food and bed.
Why did I start this practice? And why am I crazy enough to continue with it?
In How to Land Your Dream Job, I detailed the long and winding road that led me to working with Escape in London. Hopefully my story sparked some ideas for you if you’re transitioning or hope to be transitioning in the near future. But what if you don’t have a clue what your dream job looks like? What if you feel stuck and you don’t know where to start?
In this post, I’d like to offer some suggestions on ways to get closer to a dream job, even if you can’t fully articulate what that dream job is yet; things I’ve stumbled upon through my own transition, or things that seem to work for people I meet at Escape.
In honor of my “Seven” enneagram style, here are seven ideas for getting closer to your dream job:
As I sit at a desk in the Escape office, tucked away in a previously vacant office space in a corner of The City of London, it feels surreal to wonder:
How did I end up here in London?
How did I become part of this team?
How in the world am I working with a group of guys I once, and still do admire?
How did I go from a job that I drifted into, to one that I more deliberately marched towards; one that challenges me to grow, rewards me for being me, is packed with meaning and fulfillment, and helps me to help others pursue the same?
How did I “get” a job with Escape the City? Not just any job, but one so well aligned to my values, strengths, gifts, my personal mission and ideal way of working?
More broadly, how does one find work that matters to them? How does one find a job they’ll love?
Better still, how does one land their own dream job?
It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. Some of you have been with me since 2012. Some of you may have just joined me this week. Either way, please allow me to reintroduce myself:
I’m Matt, the former consultant who booked a oneway ticket to Iceland. The guy who launched a publishing company releasing anti-guidebook-like Tales of places around the globe. The lad who works with Escape the City in London. The one who occasionally writes stories about career change, travel, books, and Serbia. And sometimes stories about stories themselves. The dude who occasionally gives TEDx talks about some of those things.
Maya Angelou once said:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
While the agony of an untold story does indeed live inside of me (I’ve been wanting to write fully about my 2012 European jaunt, the CliffsNotes version of which I delivered via my TEDx talk), I feel the agony of a different kind. It’s an agony that involves you.
We love to talk about the times when things go well.
We enjoy showing how our well-laid (or even ill-laid) plans happen to work out just right.
Of course, it’s more fun to write about the good times. It’s easy to lay down a 10-step plan to making that first bold step, especially when that first bold step worked out so well for me; it feels like inspiration to trumpet out Just Do It! calls to action; it’s self-affirming to tell you to say “Yes” to your adventures; it’s gratifying to preach “leap and the net will appear.” After all, the net seems to occasionally appear for me. And so it will with you.
But what if the net doesn’t appear? What about the times when things go horribly wrong? What happens when we say “Yes” to our adventure, and instead of a glorious and romantic jaunt, we’re sent swirling down the shitter?