Is 2018 the year you commit to your dream career?

With many people pinning their hopes on 2018 being “their year”, how about taking steps to ensure things go your way instead of just wishing for it? You might not be able to control the turbulent political climate, but you can take steps towards achieving your dream career over the next 12 months. Here are top five tips to get you in the right mindset…

1. Side-step limiting beliefs and obstacles

You don’t have to have bags of confidence from the get-go, but there are ways to quell those nagging, negative voices in your head. It’s up to you to deal with toxic thoughts in the same way you deal with difficult colleagues or family members. Accept that they’re always going to be there in one guise or another and it’s no going trying to avoid them. Instead of reacting, just respectfully agree to disagree! Don’t talk negatively about yourself and your ambitions. Once you start being positive and upbeat, you might find life starts to reflect your outlook. The mantra of “fake it till you make it” actually has some truth to it!

2. Get matched with a mentor

Having someone in your industry who is established and also has your back is worth its weight in gold, especially if you can’t rely on personal connections and family friends. Not only does your mentor provide your with a real-life success story, they can advise you on how to get your own dreams off the ground and how to avoid the common pitfalls you might encounter on the way. They might also be a good source of contacts, or at least point you in the right direction to getting a foot in the door. If you think the odds are stacked against you in life, a mentor can help you think otherwise. The positive effects of mentoring on confidence-levels cannot be understated — with a US study* showing 55 percent of at-risk young adults being more likely to pursue further education with the help of a mentor than those without. If you’re not sure who to contact, organisations like Connect Mentors can help you find your perfect business match.

*The Mentoring Effect

3. Accept that Rome wasn’t built in a day

Your dream job isn’t going to land in your lap — otherwise everyone would do it! But once you arrive at your destination, it’s going to make your success that much sweeter. Celebrating every achievement, however small, will spur you on to bigger and better things. It’s also important to be realistic — for example, you might want to take a “money” job that’s not too demanding and pays the bills while you establish your career on the side. It might take longer than just diving in at the deep end, but it will help you avoid getting into debt and quitting before you’ve even started. Remember, there’s no deadline!

4. Learn to adapt

Not everyone is destined for the same path. For example you might find being self-employed is more flexible and rewarding than working for a big company — or vice-versa. Your idea of success might also change — from working all hours, to having a social and family life as well as a job you love. Success is how you choose to define it — working with people you admire and respect, and being in a role that fulfills you might be more important than earning a six-figure salary.

5. Stop comparing yourself to others

Instead of seething that “successful” friends and colleagues seem to be cruising through life on a cloud of cash, accept that they are on their path and you are on yours. And don’t believe that those shiny social media snaps reflect reality — everyone has their own struggles and challenges that they might not choose to post on Instagram. Remember, being jealous or resentful of others isn’t going to get you any closer to where you want to be. Reach out to people you see as competitors and suggest ways of collaborating together, or just meeting up to swap industry notes. You might end up making important business connections that are worth more than any academic qualification.

When it comes to pursuing your dream job, the help and support of a mentor can be invaluable. There are plenty of professionals willing to share their expertise and advice. Visit Connect Mentors and get matched at connectmentors.com