“I want your job”; that’s the comment I hear most frequently in schools.
What is it I do? I teach teachers from other countries leadership skills, traveling all over the world to do it. Sound glamorous? Too good to be true? Exactly what you want? To be honest, I just created the job for myself. Not bad for a former PE teacher, huh?
The second most frequent comment I hear is “How do I get your job?”
Now, I’m sure not everyone who says that really wants my job. I’m away from home a lot, on short-term contracts, and at very short notice. It wouldn’t suit everyone. But what I’m guessing they mean is, ‘How can I do what I really want to do?’
So it got me thinking. How did I create my ideal ‘job’?
I reckon there were 7 steps I took, and am still taking to make sure everything is going the way I want it to go.
The way I did it was to:
1. Figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to continue learning, to travel and to work for myself.
2. Work out why I wanted to do it. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was craving autonomy, mastery and a bit of purpose. Sounds cheesy? It is now I say it out loud (or write it), but basically I felt fed up and wanted more.
3. Commit to my dream, publicly. I set up a website, my own limited company and got myself an accountant. I was suddenly answerable to all sorts of people (including the tax man) so I had to get on with it.
4. Build on the skills, networks and experience I had already. I used my strengths from teaching and continued to learn, gaining new skills, joining new groups and meeting new people.
5. List specific actions to get me closer to my dream. Actions I could do already or could learn to do, which didn’t depend on anyone but me for their success.
6. Categorise the actions, and prioritise each category with a date to be done by. Then take action.
7. Ask for help from people who inspired me. I looked for mentors, and crucially I got myself a coach.
So why am I sharing this? Because surely if I, a ‘mere’ PE teacher can do it, then anybody can?
I’m sure you plan all the time, who doesn’t have to do an action plan these days just to get out of the house? You’re constantly learning too; you read interesting articles and blogs, don’t you? You probably commit to things in public as well, especially if you have a LinkedIn profile or are on Twitter. And you’ll already have personal strengths, contacts, and a whole range of experiences which are unique to you. These are all the ingredients I used to ‘create’ the job I dreamed of.
So whether it’s being even better at what you do already, or gaining promotion in your organisation, or even dreaming of a life outside of the work you do at the moment, if you feel you want to do it enough, you already have all the skills you need to do it.
So instead of wanting my job, why don’t you create the job you really want?