Picture it, you're sitting comfortably, eyes closed, in your favorite cozy spot. You take a deep breath and let the tension melt away. You inhale positivity, gratitude and possibility. You exhale doubts, uncertainty and fear. This is the simple start to your dream-job journey.
If you’re in the midst of pursuing a new job that’s a great fit for you, but you’re struggling to discover it and land it, or if you’d love to change jobs but have no clue what you’d rather do instead, this approach will be transformative for you.
By adding two powerful tools — visualization and mindfulness meditation — and then combining them, you’re engaging a holistic and empowering method of clarifying what your dream job is so you can take actions toward it.
In the context of job search and career planning, visualization refers to the intentional process of creating mental images of your ideal job. It involves using your imagination to vividly picture the aspects, qualities and details of the job or career you aspire to have. Think of it like a combination mental rehearsal and exploration of possibility. You're allowing your mind to explore experiences that most resonate with your career and life aspirations. This helps you narrow in on exactly the type of work situation you want to discover.
Big Side Note: Robust Input, Robust Output
Not surprisingly, the more robust your input, the more you’ll get out of the experience. By this, I mean visualization is most effective when combined with self-assessment and practical research. It’s tough to visualize your ideal scenario if you’re not clear on what you’re great at and what you enjoy doing, or what types of positions and niche industries may exist that you’ve never heard of. So, be sure to spend time getting to know your strengths, reaching out to your network and staying current with what’s going on in the world so you have insights on a full range of possibilities that may interest you.
Armed with this knowledge, let’s add mindfulness meditation to our recipe. This isn't about sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop or beach (although meditating while sitting on the warm sand of my favorite spot at the Jersey Shore is my personal bliss). It's one of several activities that cultivates greater awareness by paying attention on purpose and through the lens of kindness, calm, curiosity, gratitude and compassion.
While there are many different types of meditations, such as guided, walking and Zen, mindfulness meditation is designed to enhance concentration, clarity and self-awareness while stabilizing your emotions so you can make better decisions, build resilience and stay enthusiastic about your job search.
You can practice it by focusing on your breathing and releasing thoughts (versus dwelling on them or expanding on them). It is easy to add it to your daily routine, even if you’re a total beginner, and the benefits of infusing it into your entire dream job journey are countless.
Infusing a basic mindfulness meditation into your job search discovery helps you stay focused and calm and strengthens your ability to visualize even deeper, making your mental imagery more dynamic and actionable.
The Dynamic Duo In Motion Together
The ultimate magic happens when we marry mindful meditation and your visualization practice. Here are 7 steps to do that:
Set an Intention: Start your visualization practice by setting a clear intention. Know why you are doing this visualization and what you hope to achieve. This sets the stage for a purposeful and mindful session.
Begin with Mindful Breathing: Before diving into your visualization, take a few moments to focus on your breath. Pay attention to each inhalation and exhalation. This anchors you in the present moment and calms your mind.
Engage All Senses: When visualizing, involve all your senses. Imagine not just what you see but also what you hear, smell, taste, and feel. Engaging all your senses makes the visualization more vivid and sensory-rich.
Observe Thoughts and Emotions: As you visualize, be mindful of any thoughts or emotions that arise. Instead of getting lost in them, simply observe them without judgment. Acknowledge them and gently bring your focus back to the visualization.
Stay Present: Continuously bring your awareness back to the present moment throughout the visualization. If your mind starts to wander or you become distracted, gently guide your focus back to the visualization without frustration.
Cultivate Gratitude: Incorporate a moment of gratitude into your visualization. Reflect on the positive aspects of your visualization and express gratitude for the opportunities it represents.
Conclude Mindfully: When you finish your visualization, take a few moments to come back to your breath and the present moment. Reflect on how the visualization made you feel and any insights or emotions that arose.
By actively combining mindful awareness into your visualization practice, you can make it a more grounded and meaningful experience. This combination allows you not only to clarify your goals but also develop a greater sense of self-awareness and presence in the process, which will set the tone for your entire dream-job transformation.
So with awareness of our strengths and a wide array of professional opportunities, as well as a mindful mind, we’re ready to get serious about visualization.
Picture It, Purposefully
As you mindfully visualize your dream job, let’s dig into the particulars.
Using all your senses and in as much vibrant detail as possible, imagine your optimal morning routine. What time do you wake up? Do you start your day with a big body stretch? A gratitude practice? Prayer? Coffee? Tea? What kind? Breakfast? What are you eating? What is your ideal commute? Is it from your bedroom to your home office or is it on a train into the city?
What’s your workspace look like? What skills are you using throughout the day? What problems are you solving? How independent or team oriented is your work? Are you a leader? Do you manage others? How do you describe your boss? Your coworkers? How is this work connecting to your bigger life goals? Most importantly, how do you feel in this dream job? Are you excited? Happy? Confident? What sounds do you hear? What colors surround you? How does success taste and smell?
This activity isn't just about seeing your future; it's about feeling what you want it to be in your core. It's about imagining the possibilities then inviting yourself to know that your dream job is not a dream but, with focus, effort and intention, it will be a reality. With a precise picture of what you want, it becomes a whole lot easier to center our strategies around this outcome.
What makes this combo Visualization and Mindfulness Meditation so impactful?
7 Benefits of Your Mindful Dream-Job Clarity Approach
Clarity: Visualization helps you gain clarity about what you truly want in a job or career. By mentally constructing a detailed picture of your ideal work situation, you can pinpoint specific aspects that are important to you, such as the type of work, the environment, the level of responsibility and the work-life balance.
Motivation: When you have a clear image of what you want to achieve, it becomes easier to set goals and take action to reach them. This motivation can drive you to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications.
Goal Setting: Visualization helps you to set specific and bold career goals. Once you have a clear mental image of your ideal job, you can break down the steps needed to reach it. This can include setting short-term and long-term goals, identifying the skills and experience required, and creating a roadmap for your career.
Alignment with Values: Visualization helps you align your career aspirations with your personal values and beliefs. You can explore whether your ideal job allows you to contribute to causes or industries that matter to you, fostering a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Self-Discovery: Engaging in visualization can lead to self-discovery. You may uncover hidden desires or interests that you weren't fully aware of before. This can help you make more informed decisions about your career path.
Instilling Calm: Many people experience anxiety when faced with uncertainty about their career. This practice can reduce anxiety by providing a clear sense of direction and control. It allows you to focus on what you can do to support moving closer to your ideal job.
Decision-Making: When faced with career choices, visualization can serve as a tool for decision-making. You can compare potential job opportunities against your mental image of your ideal job to determine which aligns most closely with your vision.
Turning Visualization Into Reality
Now, you might be thinking, “That's all fine and lovely and those are pretty convincing benefits, but can visualization really lead to my dream job?” Absolutely! Here's the secret sauce – when you visualize and infuse mindfulness meditation, you not only get clear on what you really want, you also boost your confidence, reduce anxiety, heighten your creativity and sharpen your focus.
Confidence shines in interviews. Anxiety takes a back seat when you know where you're heading. Creativity ensures you are through in your full range of possibilities. Focus ensures you spot opportunities others miss and that are a great fit for you.
So, if you so choose, here's your homework: Dedicate some mindful moments each day to visualizing your dream job and calming your mind and body through mindfulness meditation. Imagine your dream job so vividly that it becomes a part of your reality. Trust me; it's like a magnet pulling you closer to your career goals. The actions you take to support that vision will all contribute to achieving it, versus being scattered and misdirected.
In the world of job searching, mindfulness isn't just a buzzword; it's your secret advantage. So, grab your mental cape and visualize your way to that professional opportunity that makes your soul sing.
P.S. To use this power duo effectively in figuring out your ideal job, it's important to practice them regularly and combine them with concrete actions. For clarity on what those actions are, download my free Roadmap.
Trie Angeleva LOVES helping people Reimagine Monday. A Mindful Dream-Job Career Coach, she's a proud adopted-dog mom, former CIO and COO, travel-happy yogi and founder of The Love Monday Method. She developed and taught Career Success Preparation for The Media School at Indiana University, where she taught 21 classes. Trie has two Master's degrees, six coaching certifications and a certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University. Follow her on instagram at @reimaginemonday for tips and strategies on how to land work you love and thrive personally and professionally.
If you're stuck in YOUR dream-job search, Trie's got you covered! For recent and soon-to-be college students, she's got a free checklist you will LOVE. For pros in their prime, who need a little clarity figuring out what to do when in their search, Trie has a short, sweet and super succinct free roadmap that maps out all the steps to take in what order. Best wishes and reach out with any questions.