5 Tips to Being Happy, Balanced and Growing in a Career You Love (Including How to Change Careers Safely)

If money were no object and you didn’t have to earn a living, what would you do with your day? Have you ever thought about what your dream job would be? In today’s world, most people are torn between paying the bills and working in a career they enjoy. They’ve never really thought about what would inspire and empower them. They’ve never matched their unique skills and passion with work that can pay off financially.

And whether you’re the leader of a company, a homeschooling parent or working your way up the ladder in a job you love, defining your dream career is one of the most important things you can do—whether it’s a changing things up in your current job or field . . . or transitioning into another line of work altogether.

Here are 5 tips to help you step into your right livelihood:

 1.Decide What You Want. Most people float through life without ever defining exactly what they want. Their career is no different: they apply for a job on the recommendation of a friend or, right out of college, they take a job that pays the bills, then stay there for years. But if you were really honest with yourself, you would ask, What do I want to spend 8-10 hours a day doing? Something different than you’re doing now? Or, what you’re doing now, only better? Take time to decide by jotting down the work schedule you want, who you would interact with every day, and what kind of “mental work” you’d be doing (i.e., creative, analytical, managing people, talking to customers). Would it be in an office? Outside? At home? Deciding what you want is the essential first step to getting the career you love.

2.Decide How to Get There. Once you’ve decided on the ideal career for you—including your workday, who you interact with, what tasks you’ll be doing, and more—it’s time to research how you can move into that job, business, vocation or role. Ask others who are doing that job now how they got there. If you can get there via a promotion at your current company, find out the requirements for being promoted. If it’s a business you want to start, get some advice and mentorship from someone who’s run that kind of business. Find out how you’ll make money, replace your current income, grow your revenue or otherwise financially flourish in the new career.

3.Grow Yourself Into the Person You Need to Be. Get educated. Attend seminars. Take courses and become certified. Meet the requirements for a promotion. Most careers these days require some kind of specialized knowledge to do well. Find out what that is, then grow yourself into the person you need to be.

4.Make a Plan to Transition into the New Role. Once you decide what kind of work will make you happy, create a plan to transition into that work—even if it’s leaving formal employment altogether to stay at home and raise your kids or turning a hobby into a career. Too many people quit the day job to pursue their dream job, only to find out it took longer and was more expensive than they thought. Have a plan to bridge the gap—whether you stay an extra year at your paid job, take a second job to create a rainy-day fund, scale down your expenses . . . or all three. You can’t be happy if you’re financially strapped and under stress. Quitting without a plan is a very bad plan.

5.Create Work-Life Balance for the Future. Studies show that 70% of people hate their jobs. And spending eight hours a day at a job you hate is not only toxic for you, it negatively affects others when you bring home that resentment to everyone else. So once you do decide on your path, be sure to make plans to create life balance, too. Define ways to keep your stress level low and your job satisfaction high. Make sure the financial picture works for you. Avoid the downside of long commutes, low pay, inhuman schedules, or being a road warrior with kids at home. That’s no life. So don’t trade a job you hate for a new career that’s equally stressful.

Creating the career you want takes hustle and perseverance. But what’s the real lesson of the 5 tips above? Educate yourself. Check things out. Make informed decisions.

Without doing research, you can’t know whether that career is something you truly want. And you certainly won’t have a checklist of tasks needed to get hired, start the business, do well, and be happy when you’re there. So step #1 to working in the career of your dreams is knowing how to get there. It’s impossible to achieve what you want if you don’t know the required steps.

When you DO find out what it takes, why not use the same secret weapon that top achievers do: coaching. Of all the things successful people do to accelerate their path to the healthy, balanced and financially secure career they want, working with a coach is at the top of the list.

The Oola Coaching Program is the formula I’ve discovered that has transformed not only my life, but the lives of countless people around the world. It’s based on the international bestselling book, Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World, by The Oola Guys, Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl. This landmark 10-week program will help you define the goals you want to achieve, then keep you accountable to doing those things every day that bring about the results you want.

I’ve even become certified as an Oola Life Coach to pace you through the program and hold you accountable for taking the actions that will get you to your goals. Together we’ll face what’s not working for you and create a workable plan for lowering your stress, creating life balance, having more fun, and pursuing major life goals that are important to you.

Check out Oola Coaching and work with me every week to set goals in major life areas like finances, fitness, family, field (career) and more. For now, email me nicole@nmstrategy.com about the activities, career, fitness level, finances, faith walk, and family relationships you’ve decided you want. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader and most supportive guide to getting there.