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Plan Your Career

Let Your Dreams Shape Your Career

Person in an office  throwing hands up in the air in excitement

Your hopes and dreams can be the key to understanding who you are, what you want and even how to reach your goals. Start your career planning with your dreams.

If you think your dreams for the future are merely wishful thinking, think again.

In the context of your work and life, your dreams are the visions and images you have of yourself and your future, as you'd like it to be. They are a key step in exploring who you are and what you want. Your dreams will help you shape your career path and reach your goals.

If you talk to people who've created change in their lives, they'll tell you that having a dream and believing in it has been vital to their success.

Why is having a dream or vision so important?

Believing in your dreams is believing in yourself and embracing what you really want.

  • Dreams get you out of bed in the morning.
  • Dreams put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step.
  • Dreams get you out of the rut and carry you in new directions.

Do you have a dream?

You may think you used to, back when you were a child.

  • Maybe you were athletic. Did you want to be a figure skater or a hockey player?
  • Maybe you liked helping people. Did you dream of becoming a nurse or a teacher?
  • Maybe you loved animals. Did you want to be a farmer or veterinarian?

Why didn't you go after your dream, or at least some part of it?

When you were young, you may have learned from parents, teachers and other adults to be realistic or practical or down–to–earth about your future. If none of the adults in your life were pursuing their dreams, then they may not have been able to give you any support for yours. It’s very hard to believe in yourself and your vision without the support of people close to you.

You probably still have a dream—likely a different one from when you were 8, but no less important to you today. Here's the great thing about dreams:

  • You’re never too old to have one.
  • It’s never too late to go after your dream.

Dreams and goals

The goals that will work best for you grow out of your dreams. When you have an image or an idea of what you really want, you can set goals that include your dreams, goals that energize and inspire you to keep moving towards them.

Discovering your dreams

Allow yourself to dream. Start by imagining what you want your ideal tomorrow to look like. To work for you, your dreams must be what you want, not what your partner, children, parents and friends want.

Sometimes, the people closest to you don’t seem to support your dreams. Perhaps they feel threatened by the changes you’ll likely want to make. Changes will affect their lives too. Talk to them about why your dreams are important to you and encourage them to discover their own.

If you pay attention to what you like and what's important to you, your dreams or visions will emerge. Dreams can hit like lightning or reveal themselves more slowly.

Your dreams can shape your career

Discovering your dreams may take time and patience—and the belief that you deserve to dream! It may have been a long time since you really focused on what you want to do. Allow yourself to dream your dreams and you'll find a way to move toward them. 

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