How to Land Your Dream Job in Your Twenties
The college and post-grad years are consumed with an obsession about how to find work we genuinely love. Even when you land that dream job you were pining after, often times you discover that it isn't quite as satisfying as you thought it would be.
So how do we navigate this winding road of career development in our twenties in a way that is authentically fulfilling to us?
1. Stop asking for permission
Whatever it is you feel called to do, just start doing it. There might be a million limiting beliefs that pop up for you right about now, but stick with me.
When I decided to write and direct my first feature film, Quarter Life Coach, I wasn't totally sure how I would do it. I was working two side jobs to save up the money to make it and ran a small crowd-funding campaign. I worked with friends and started small, shooting what we could on weekends at first: a scene here, a scene there.
Gradually, over about a six month period, we had pieced together a full-length film! It took a lot of resourcefulness, acceptance of the unknown and determined effort to bring it to life. Most of all, I had to stop asking for permission to create my work and instead just go out and start doing it!
I think that "just do it" attitude connects to all types of careers and projects. If there's something you want to do or be or make and feel like you have to wait on someone else to give you an opportunity or tell you you're good enough, ask yourself this question: is there even ONE thing you can do today that would move you closer toward your dream?
One of my favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt embodies this spirit, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
2. Trust your inner GPS
If you drive, chances are, you're a bit addicted to your GPS (aren't we all?). Almost every day, we decide a destination we want to visit, enter the address into our GPS and trust that we will be guided to our desired location.
What about your inner GPS? Our emotions are like an internal navigation system that constantly guide us in the right direction, if only we listen to and honor them.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I worked in film development at top studios and production companies in LA. On the surface, it was what I thought I wanted, but deep inside, my soul felt utterly crushed. I hated how people treated each other and the types of films that were getting made. I felt like an expendable, abusable cog in a machine with values that did not align with my own. Trusting my intuition, I took a step back from the industry for a bit. I let my emotions lead the way.
Doing so guided me to start my own production company, Lovevolve Cinema (pronounced "love-evolve"), with a mission to infuse a sense of wellness, kindness and artistic integrity into the entertainment industry.
We only stay unhappy and "stuck" when we don't honor our true feelings. It can happen for many reasons: a desire to remain comfortable, a lack of acceptance and mindful awareness of what's really going on with us, and of course, the big enchilada - fear.
Take a deep breath and check in. If a job is leaving you feeling frustrated and angry at the end of the day, if a boyfriend is making you cry, if your friends are making you feel insecure about your choices - trust that those emotions are there to push you in a different direction.
Your twenties are about learning how to listen to your inner GPS (i.e. your emotions) and give yourself permission to make shifts in your life based on the information you receive.
3. Stay open to the journey
Here's the thing, your dream career is never going to show up exactly the way that you think it's going to or as fast as you hope it will. But here's the secret: that's totally cool!
A successful dream career is a journey, not a destination, and it's important to learn how to release your attachment to any desired outcomes you are feeling impatient about. One of the most vital skills you can develop is the ability to trust the present moment and know that wherever you are, you are learning exactly what you need to learn in order to move forward.
After leaving the entertainment industry and before starting my own production company, I worked in several different industries: fair-trade fashion, fitness and education (to name a few!). Though I had to go through many moments of transition, I just kept trusting my inner GPS the whole time, and it never once led me astray.
Looking back, I'm so incredibly grateful for every single work experience I went through. I met amazing people and learned so much - picking up bits and pieces from each of those stops along my journey. They have all served my higher purpose in their own way. Fair-trade fashion taught me about social enterprise and branding. Fitness taught me the power of consistency and importance of wellness. Education made me aware of my inner teacher.
My varied life experiences have also informed my artistic work. My film, Quarter Life Coach, is about a twenty-something who quits her full-time job to start a life coaching business. I needed life to throw me around a little bit before I could develop the emotional clay with which to write the characters in that movie authentically. In fact, as an artist, I actually get a little excited for each new emotional experience (good or bad) that I go through, because at the end of the day, they serve my craft.
Got my heart broken? Awesome. I can use that in my acting. Had a crazy boss? Brilliant. I now know how to write my version of Miranda Priestly for my one day roman à clef. Gave a project my all and still fell flat on my face? Wonderful. I now have more compassion for the journeys of others. No matter what you're going through, you have the power to turn anything that you perceive as negative or a challenge into a positive in your life.
So how do you land your dream job? You create it. Not everyone has to become an entrepreneur - though that might be your path (and if so, run with it!). No matter what your profession, you can create your dream career by allowing your truth to guide you forward inch by inch.
I'll leave you with a little pep talk: you are made of the same energy and material that created entire worlds and all of the stars. You can create anything with the power you hold inside - your dream career is no different.
guest post written by Nicole W.
Nicole Wensel is an award-winning writer, director and actor. She owns and operates the production company, Lovevolve Cinema (pronounced "love-evolve"), which focuses on spiritual, conscious and expressive filmmaking. You can learn more about her work here: http://lovevolvecinema.com and stream her first feature film, Quarter Life Coach, here: http://quarterlifecoachmovie.com.
*cover photo via zeutch