You Can’t Find Your Dream Job While Working Full-Time —True or False?

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It can feel impossible to look for your dream job while still working full-time.

Your job is relentless, stressful, and requires huge amounts of energy just to show up each morning, so it’s no wonder when you go home all you want to do is lie on the couch and not think about anything.

You may dream about quitting your full-time job so you can look with leisure, but the truth of the matter is, most people need the money to come in until they find something new.

Not to worry.  You have plenty of time and energy to find your dream job.  Really.  Many of my clients transition into new jobs while working full-time or juggling serious responsibilities.

Here are my top 3 tips for how to find the time and energy to look for your dream job no matter how busy you are:

Manage your energy like the precious resource it is.

When I coach clients with full-time jobs, I start by finding out what energizes them.  Is it hiking?  Cooking?  Painting?  Spending time with friends?  Doing Yoga?  Reading?   Energizing activities can be active (like rock climbing) or passive (like watching movies).

I then invite clients to start to pay attention to their energy levels.  Energy, after all, is a renewable resource.  When our work requires us to expend a lot of energy, we need to take time regularly to put fuel back in our tanks.  The more we take time to do the things that energize us, the more energy we have left after work to do the things that are truly important to us.

So start to notice what gives you energy and what drains it, and then make time for what energizes you at least once a day.

Get your priorities straight.

If you’re like many of my coaching clients, you don’t ever want to let others down.  When someone asks something of you, you do it to the best of your ability, no matter how long it takes or what the cost is to you.

It’s a beautiful intention to do your best, but seriously–no wonder you’re so tired at the end of the day.

It’s a matter of priorities.  You can’t take care of what’s important to you if you spend all your time working on what’s important to others.

If you know you don’t want to stay where you are, why invest in making your work perfect?  Why not start getting curious about what could be good enough?

Not every email has to be flawless.  Not every request from your boss has to be accepted.  Working later isn’t always better.

There’s often much more room than we realize to say no, ask for more time, or do a good job, but not a perfect one.

Doing so isn’t a sign that you’re mediocre; it’s a sign that you’re committed to something incredibly important: finding work that preserves your sanity, brings you joy, and allows you to contribute your greatest gifts to the world.

Beware of your saboteur.

Often we say we don’t have the time or energy to do something when really we do.  We can choose not to watch as much TV.  We could decide to say no to a social invitation.  We can spend less time on Facebook or activities that don’t truly bring us joy.

When this is the case (and it usually is), our saboteur is at work.

The saboteur is that part of us that tries to undermine progress towards what we most want.  Why?  Because it’s scared.  It’s afraid we’ll fail, or not have what it takes, or lose all our friends if we step out on this limb.  So it convinces us not to even try.

But if it told us directly not to try, we would recognize it for what it is.  So it’s sneaky.  It says, “You don’t have time to do this,” because that feels pretty true to most of us.  We take its words at face value, not realizing that it’s actually fear that’s keeping us stuck.

I coached a client once whose saboteur convinced him he didn’t have time to do an exercise that would have taken 3 minutes out of his day.  Being too busy seemed so reasonable, he never questioned it.  But once he realized that “not having time” was a form of internal resistance, he was quickly able to choose to do the exercise anyway.

Awareness = choice.  So next time you hear the familiar refrain “I don’t have time,” look around and see if you can’t find your saboteur.

Over to you

What do you think?  How do you make space for what’s important to you?

Your responses might help others.  Please share your comments below.

Find Time to Discover Your Dream Job

If you know all this but still have a hard time finding time to make a change, fear not.  Knowledge is only one piece of the puzzle.

Sometimes we also need structure, encouragement, or practice to make these changes.  That’s exactly what coaching provides.

Click here to request a free clarity session and take action towards finding your dream job, no matter how busy or tired you are.


Photo credit: Alan Cleaver / Foter / CC BY

3 thoughts on “You Can’t Find Your Dream Job While Working Full-Time —True or False?

  1. Thanks for this Meredith. A few ways I find time and space:

    – Only check email and social media once (sometimes twice) per day.
    – A clear physical space helps me combat overwhelm. Clear desk, clear mind.
    – Closing the laptop and going for a walk. Perspective, time to think.

    All of these seem to open up time and space for me.

    1. I love these ideas, Corinna. It’s funny how taking the time to do things like cleaning a desk or going for a walk can actually open up more time and space.

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