DREAM first. JOB second.


If you can answer the question “What is my dream job?”, then do everything in your power to make it happen.  If you cannot answer that question, do everything in your power to answer the question first and then make a career plan that aligns to the answer.


Of course you may have bills and/or loans to pay while you are following or clarifying your bliss. This is where the concept of “Bridgework” comes into play. Bridgework is a pursuit that gets you closer to dreams without draining your energy, resources or resolve. It is important to choose these jobs or projects wisely.


Let me tell you a story that demonstrates this concept. Years ago, I had a client who had a dream of becoming an artist. At the time, he was not being paid for his art, so he became a telemarketer. He was a talented telemarketer but when he did it, he had no energy left to paint, write, act or sculpt. It paid the bills but it was not truly bridgework.


He and I talked about his passions outside of art which included veganism and his next job was being a bartender/smoothie maker at a fancy organic restaurant. Before and after doing shifts there, he was able to happily work on his art and hone his craft. Today, many years later, he has a portfolio career that includes selling gold, painting, and sculpting. Currently he is relocating his art studio and designing a sculpture garden in Topanga Canyon, CA. You can look at his art at: http://www.arthurjschwartz.com.


Here is a question from a reader:  


Q:  I’m actively looking for work. My resume is available online and I’m present across social media. Is there anything else I can do to stand out?


First, you may want to focus your search in some way so it aligns to products and services you are genuinely passionate about and then customize your resume, cover letters, and applications so you communicate specific examples that relay your enthusiasm. It helps if you spend time on the company’s website so you can personalize your material.


In addition, I have two other ideas for you to try. One is low tech and the other is high tech:


Low tech: If you have found a person or company online that you would like to work for, consider sending them a printed personal letter, resume and appropriate/clever employment portfolio excerpt (writing sample, work sample, letter of recommendation, etc) by priority snail mail. Often hiring managers email boxes are so full, a snail mail applicant may more easily stand out from the pack.


High tech: If you have not heard about a video called the google experiment, check out this creative approach to finding a job online. It may not be your style, but it may it may inspire you to come up with your own new way of approaching your online job search.


Laurel Donnellan

CEO and Founder, Bright Livelihoods


Laurel has 30 years of experience as a leader, educator and coach and has degrees from Cornell and Columbia. To learn more about the Bright Livelihoods community, go to http://brightlivelihoods.com. To request a private half-hour coaching session, e-mail us at info@brightlivelihoods.com

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