One way to illustrate my over-planning was what I did as I sat in my apartment after a long day at my first job in the nonprofit sector. Most “normal” people might have read a book after work, gone for a walk or even watched a movie. But, not me…. I was playing around with my resume. I was very happy with my current job and had no intention of leaving it, but I started to plan for the future and what I would want on my resume to help me secure that future job.
So, I started building my dream resume…the resume that I would use to land my dream job. It started with my current resume of experience in the nonprofit sector. Then, I started adding in things I hoped to achieve… such as earning a masters degree, completing fundraising courses at Indiana University, earning my CFRE certification, more leadership roles in community organizations, and my dream job – executive director of a nonprofit organization.
I also started looking at job postings for future jobs I’d be interested in, to see what types of minimum requirements they were looking for to fill those roles. I made sure all those minimum requirements were included on my dream resume. My dream resume served as a roadmap for me of things I hoped to achieve to advance my career.
I smile now, as I reflect back on my “dream resume” that I developed nearly 10 years ago… I’ve been blessed with more opportunities than I could have dreamed for at that time. But, it wasn’t an accident… I was focused on setting goals and taking the steps necessary to achieve those goals and make them my reality. I was intentional in knowing what I wanted to do, and knowing what I needed to do to make it happen.
I urge you to also think about where you are going with your career. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? What do you need to do now to start preparing yourself to be ready for those opportunities when they are available to you? If your dream job requires a certification or advanced degree, what can you do to work towards that, so you are positioned as an ideal candidate for that job in the future?
The dream resume was a tool that worked for me, but whatever tool you use, enjoy dreaming about the future and then recognize the steps you need to take to make that dream a reality… just be sure to be flexible as new opportunities come your way that are even beyond what you planned for!