Alexandra Levit

Dreams: Sam's Dream Blog Celebrates 100 Inspirations

This is a big week on Sam’s Dream Blog!  Here at SDB, it’s celebration time for 100 posts.  Whether you have read every post, several posts, or maybe you are making your first visit, thank you.    

Here are some highlights from the first 100 posts. Follow the underlined links for the full interviews.

1. Writer Will Leitch graciously helped to kickstart SDB. First and foremost on the journey toward your dreams, Leitch says, "You have to be willing to go down with the ship. You can’t look for an escape hatch."

2. Now that you’re committed to your dream journey, per Will’s advice, Dallas Mavericks owner and business mogul Mark Cuban has this to say: "You have to determine whether or not you are willing to commit to working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week?"

3. While you’re at it, "Learn whatever you can from whoever is going to offer it. Every day you should be learning something new," San Francisco sous chef Adam Nichol says.

4. Of course, maybe your dream pursuit cannot be at the forefront of your life right now, due to other limitations for the time being.  Take heart in what leadership expert John Maxwell says: "When it comes to being an authority on a subject, spend one hour a day, five days a week, for five years. Earl Nightingale says that by doing that, you can become an expert on any subject?"

5. If all that sounds daunting, think back to your childhood, Harvard Business Review contributor and TEDx speaker Whitney Johnson says: "Each experience that we have, the good and especially the things that happen to us that we don’t deserve, shapes our dreams.  For example, one of my biggest dreams, which is to encourage others, came, I think, [because I didn’t hear enough] encouraging words as a child.  I deserved that, and I long for that sometimes. Yet, without that, would I even have felt [compelled] to begin writing about dreams in the first place?"

6.  "Exhaust all opportunities for growth," including volunteering, career expert Alexandra Levit says.

7.  Speaking of opportunities, "It’s important to know you want to do things the right way, no matter if it takes longer to accomplish. I guess it’s just being patient," Hollywood manager and producer Trevor Kaufman says.

8. Drybar’s Alli Webb has this to say about your dream pursuits: "It’s key to identify your target consumer and to make sure the need for your business really exists on a scale large enough to sustain the business for the long haul. Then execution is the next hurdle. Be prepared to work tirelessly to really nurture your idea."

9. Candy connoisseur and Sugarfina co-founder Rosie O’Neill keeps her advice about dreams short and sweet: "Try new things as often as possible, stick with what you like, and don’t waste your time with the things you don’t like? Life’s too short."

10. Finally, remember this advice from Estella’s Brilliant Bus inspiration, Estella Pyfrom:.. "Don’t shy away from your dreams. Don’t listen to negative people that say it’s not going to happen.  If you have a dream and you are willing to work for that to make it happen, it can happen."

If any of these comments particularly resonated with you, let me know below, and share with a friend!

Jobs for You: Alexandra Levit's Advice

Alexandra Levit/Twitter
Alexandra Levit/Twitter

Alexandra Levit is a workplace author, speaker, columnist, and consultant. She was a Money Magazine Career Expert of the Year in 2010 and has been a Career and Workplace Consultant to the Obama Administration and the Fortune 500.

Dreaming Made Simple: I read where you expressed concern about people who go from job to job with the idea that the grass is always greener elsewhere. My question is, how can someone tell if he or she has an 'objectively good job situation,' or if it’s time to look elsewhere? When is it advisable to bide one’s time for a job situation to improve and when is that not the best idea?

Alexandra Levit: It's critical to get a few outside opinions.  Talk to a trusted mentor in your field (not a parent or one of your parents' friends) or someone who coaches people on their careers, and spell out the situation.  This will provide the reality check you need to make a sensible decision.  In general, you should stay in a new job at least a year, and unless your daily life is intolerable, I would stick around until you've exhausted all opportunities for growth and learning either in or outside your current job responsibilities.

Dreaming Made Simple: If someone is interested in trying a different field, what advice do you have for convincing a decision maker that this person has enough transferable skills, etc. to be a good fit in the new career?

Alexandra Levit: Don't leave it to their imagination because they won't take the time to make the leap.  Once they see that you were in finance and they're in healthcare, you'll be out of consideration, regardless of the fact that many of the skills transfer well.  Look at sample resumes and job descriptions online for that field and craft your marketing documents to look exactly like those.  Include skills and keywords that are mentioned often and, wherever possible, showcase results that map to what you'd be expected to achieve in the new field.

Dreaming Made Simple: With a mindset that your early post-college positions will be 'temporary stops' as you continue to develop, how would you recommend sampling other fields?

Alexandra Levit: I agree with this sentiment, though I do think each job move should be purposeful even when you are young.  Ask, "What skill can I learn?  What experience can I have that will help me down the line?"   I would also take advantage of the opportunity to do volunteer work outside of your regular job to see if a particular career is for you.  This has the dual benefits of allowing you to give back to your community and try a new field with minimal risk.

Visit Alexandra Levit's workplace blog or follow her on Twitter for more advice on jobs for you