Meet your Heroines as a concept is almost five hundred years old. People who travel to discover their vocation. As our heroine in Julie & Julia who follows in the footsteps of Julia Child.
After years of fantasy something about living the job and the life for just a few days, weeks or months empowered them to take action. Partly it was the learning – the concrete knowledge they gained about the desired profession or business. Partly it was the mentor who held their hand, boosted their confidence, and offered ongoing help. Partly it was the contacts they made, which made taking the next steps easier.
But above and beyond those practical things, there was something else the Meet your Heroines awakened and energized something deep inside them. It connected them with the truest part of themselves, a part that had previously felt dormant and that, once awakened, refused to be ignored.
You know – if you are considering a dream job – that the push toward a dream career is not just about how you spend your working hours. It is about meshing your work life with your deepest sense of self. It is about having work that matches your values, that feeds instead of exhausts you, that does not require you to leave your priorities at home and check your heart at the door. When we imagine a dream job, we imagine a job in which we are fully ourselves, in which our hearts and minds are equally engaged.
This engagement is what people feel while vocationing. And once they reconnect with that deepest sense of self, few are willing to return to their status quo.
Which of course brings up the next question: what happens after the Meet your Heroines. You go; you fall in love with a career; you leave fired up to work in your chosen field… and then what? Sure, you had a great couple of days; sure, you know what you want to do – but there is a gaping chasm between wanting and making it happen. And when you look down into that chasm it is brimming with house payments, car payments, college educations, health care, food bills, utility bills. How exactly do you take the next step?
The question is its own answer. You take the next STEP. The next small step. The biggest surprise for people who find or create their dream job is that it does not have to happen all at once. It does not have to be an all – or – nothing, hold – your – nose leap from security into the unknown. Instead, it can be a series of small steps that you take only as you feel ready. Sure, there are the few really bold (or independently wealthy) heroines who cut the ties to their previous careers and hurl themselves full time into new ones.
But most people take it more slowly. They continue at their current jobs while transitioning gradually into the dream. They do research, they write a business plan, they figure out how to begin the new career without taking on more risk than they can handle. Some go to school to get more training. Some dedicate a period of time to paying off debt and building savings so they will have funds for their new careers Some find work in the new field while they put together a business of their own. The path and the timeline vary from heroine to heroine; what they all have in common, though is the passion and the vision to move ahead.