Continuing with an unfulfilling job may hurt both your wallet and your sanity. There may have been a time when you were encouraged to pursue your dreams, but sometimes the responsibilities of adulthood send you down a career path you’d rather not be following. However, with some creativity and a little gutsiness, your dream job may not be so far out of reach.
Brainstorm the types of activities that make you feel the most fulfilled. Do you have a passion or hobby that you frequently return to when you’re not working? Is there one particular aspect of your current job that you truly enjoy, such as managing others, working with your hands or using your creativity?
Make a list of your personal values. Professional job adviser Joe Garfinkle states in a 2006 "Forbes" article that your values should align with your job in order for you to achieve maximum happiness in life. Are you a nurturer, always caring for others? Do you prefer to be alone when you work? Or are you constantly dreaming of the perks and paychecks of a high-level job?
Determine how important salary is to you. If the amount of money you earn is of the highest priority, scour the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wages website to find current top-paying jobs. As of 2010, the highest paying occupational groups, starting with the highest, are management; legal; computer and mathematical science; architecture and engineering; and healthcare.
Decide whether job stability outweighs the importance of salary. If this is the case, you will be better matched with growing industries. For example, CNN Money reports that registered nurses will basically be guaranteed jobs through 2014. Information technology workers, environmental engineers, investment specialists, massage therapists and network administrators also are expected to increase in demand, as of 2011.
Obtain the education required to pursue your dream job. This may be as simple as checking out a book on honing a new skill or as involved as enrolling in college. Educating yourself on your desired career will give you a better idea of whether the job is a good match for you.