The (Silent) Killer of Your Dream Career (and How to ZAP! It) - Undergrad Success
Success Outside of Class

The (Silent) Killer of Your Dream Career (and How to ZAP! It)

The (Silent) Killer of Your Dream Career (and How to ZAP! It)
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Today I’m here to talk about the BIGGEST (silent)killer of your dream career.

I’m here to BLOW THE LID OPEN…and talk about something that most of us don’t want to admit, hear or face.  Allow me to start off by saying that…

The most important thing you can do for your dream career is to go completely out of your mind.  (Huh?!!!?)

Stay with me here (this is JUST the BEGINNING!!!).

Most of us exit college with BIG dreams. We have a very vivid, idyllic picture in our minds of how we’d like our lives to be in 3, 5, 10+ years from now.

And that picture is extraordinary. It looks and feels incredible to each and every one of us. We swell with anticipation and excitement at the mere thought of it.  “Wow, wouldn’t it feel awesome to be doing (X)!? … I’ve got my WHOLE life ahead of me!”

You know the feeling. We all do. We’ve all been there (or if you’re young enough, you may be HERE right now).

That’s a very pivotal time in our lives. It’s a time when we are at the beginning of our ‘journey’, and we actually look forward to the unknown, but sure-to-be-enriching adventures, experiences, possibilities and opportunities that await us.

BUT, what happens much too often these days, is somewhere along the way, at some unsuspecting point in our path, there’s a shift…and our once-vivid, vibrant dreams quickly become history, a distant memory (i.e. we give up on the career that we deep in our ‘gutt’ truly desire)

But WHY? HOW does this happen?

Well, frankly…it happens because we get in our own way.

(pause for a moment to chew and swallow this)…

Say WHAT!?

WE…tend to get in our OWN way.

You see, If you want an extraordinary life, then you gotta be willing to think above and beyondordinary, you’ve got to think (and act) extraordinary.

And we DO start off our career journey that way, with that natural, internally fueled inferno of extraordinary determination, gumption, oomph, whatever it takes, ‘work your butt off’ attitude (as described above).

You get off to a good start.  Some time passes. Things are going well.  It feels good. Pleasant. Familiar. Nice.  You think to yourself, ‘Isn’t this GREAT!’ ( you are totally cruising along dreamy and comfortable‘Street’).

And then, somewhere, unexpectedly, along the way, something doesn’t go quite the way you expected. It starts to feel no longer familiar or comfortable.  “Wait, it wasn’t supposed to be like this,” you think to yourself.  You start complaining that “this is a bad sign” or “this is much more difficult” than I imagined.”  Or…

“Why oh WHY can’t I have the career I’ve always wanted???”

“Just WHAT is it that other people have / know that I don’t???”

You anxiously and feverously ask yourself these questions repeatedly over and over again. You feel like banging your head against a wall! You’re left feeling defeated, depressed, demotivated, confused.

Fear (and your pre-mature acknowledgment) of ‘Failure’ is already (dangerously) beginning to rear its ugly head into your line of vision.

And out of fear of ‘failure’ (of not attaining ‘that’ level in our career that we had so confidently and enthusiastically proclaimed to everyone previously) , we take a ‘detour’, or worse, a complete ‘u-turn’.

Translation: we take a different job or follow another career path which is FAR from what we originally desired and dreamt of…but that known to be a more safe, certain, stable route. And while we DON’T like it, we DO it….because ‘easier must be better’.

And some people take this detour BEORE they even graduate from college (Ouch!)

So WHY do so many of us fall prey to that? Why and HOW do we go from that internally fueled infernoof determination, gumption, oomph, ‘work your butt off’ attitude to easy surrender, throw in the towel and do a u-turn onto easy street? Because…

No one wants to hear or admit it, BUT frankly, it’s because…

We have an incomplete, one dimensional definition of ‘DREAM’.

HERE’s the (hard) truth…

Too many of us have convinced ourselves for YEARS (and are severely stuck on the incredibly limiting belief) that dream’ career = easy-peasy, bee-kissed meadows, tra-la-la-la-la skip down ‘It’s All Lovely’ Lane.  We desire, need and want what we consider to be our ‘dream’ an idyllic destination  / experience…but we are forgetting one HUGELY important thing….

Your DREAM is in reality, NOT one-dimensional, but multi-dimensional. It has its ups and downs, ecstatic moments and challenging times. It take ongoing, dynamic mental and physical effort, action, etc. .aka.’ it’s always evolving in one way or another….like LIFE itself!

Life & Leadership Coach Charlie Waldburger best puts it, “Living your dream is a processPLUS adestination.”

Let’s look at some real-world life examples, like your dream vacation, or wedding, etc.  Does it take aprocess / journey to (for lack of a better term) experience these experiences?

You bet it does!  

Is every part of the process / journey to your dream vacation, wedding, etc. easy-peasy and tra-la-la-la-laHELL no. But do you stop do a u-turn because of the effort and steps involved…even though sometimes you might want to? [rhetorical question]. Ummm…NO!

If you REALLY want something, then you make your way through the ‘muddle’, deal with the (however inconvenient and annoying) necessary stuff and do what it takes…because when you do, you eventually get where you are going.

But we tend to forget this… ESPECIALLY when it comes to our CAREER, and we in turn, hold tootightly onto that limited, one-dimensionaleasy-peasy definition of our ‘dream’…and hence, we get in our own way

In others words, YOU, my Friend, are the silent killer of your dream career…

08_19_13 thumb pointing at youWhat we forget (or are actively denying) is that our dreams (or any goal) is comprised of many sequential components and experiences, and it’s the actually the unplanned muddle / things that we encounter on the way there, that EMPOWER and further enable us to get there, and make us stronger and more resilient, now and going forward .

There’s no straight line. Life is not a straight line. It’s one big ZIG-ZAG….like a lightning bolt!

And WHY is this relevant? Because lightning bolts aren’t just freaky, unexpected distractions, they are ALSO chock full of electrifying POWER!

That’s because lightning is (GEEK ALERT!) an electric collision of oppositely charged particles between the air and the earth.

And this collision is just like YOU, on your way to your dream career, when an oppositely charged ‘particle’ (aka the unexpected lightning bolt) rears its head and shoots out into the ‘sky.


Eek! ‘Better run for cover!’ you convince yourself in a knee-jerk-like reaction.

But WAIT, no! There’s something in this lightning bolt FOR you that you don’t realize…

You see, it’s what you DO with this collision of particles (aka the ZAP)! that makes ALL the difference  between having the dream career you desire, or settling for a quick and safe ‘turn’ down easy street.

SO, WHAT do YOU do when lightning strikes and it ZAPS you out of your career ‘comfort zone’?


Consider for a moment that the people who actually reach and experience the dream career that they always envisioned have taken the ZAP! and used it to their advantage….

…and they do this through an extraordinary MINDSET.  They:

Believe FULLY that they damn well CAN have their cake and eat it too (did someone say cake?  :P)

Understand that their repeat thoughts are the impetus for what they attract INTO their lives

-Are willing to trade in their ordinary thoughts / mindset and actions in for the extraordinary

Recognize that their life is their creation (THEIR responsibility), and not someone else’s. How you create yours isn’t how someone else will create theirs, and vice versa. There’s no right or wrong; it’s just how it is.

Are totally CLEAR on what they desire to experience, yet are flexible, and adjustable, in the way that they get there.

Food For Thought: While at first read, flexible and adjustable may sound to be very passive vs.active traits, in fact they are the complete OPPOSITE, i.e. Being flexible regardless of what life throws at you is in fact your biggest ALLY and BIGGEST, most electrifying SURGE of POWER that you can give to yourself, and your dream career (or any dream you have, for that matter).

So, when ‘lightning’ strikes, in a zig-zag sort of way (because LIFE is an uncertain zig-zag), ZIG-ZAG your way out of it!

In other words, grab onto the SURGE OF POWER that the lightning is, ride it, and use it for what it intrinsically is by nature… a highly visible form of energy transfer.

In other words, when lightning strikes, you can:

a)      Let the strike take YOU and stop you in your tracks (becoming stagnant, idle energy)


b)      Go out of your (ordinary, limited thinking) mind, View the ZIG as an inevitable and natural part of life (because it IS!) and positively and powerfully TRANSFER it (your mental and physical energy) into aZAG (a NEW possibility that still gets you where you are going, but in a new, strategic, & creatively-designed  )

Zap! Boom! Pow!

(I like saying that)

And just HOW do you use lightning to help ZAP! You to where you’re headed?

By acknowledging (and living) a NEW and EXTRAORDINARY definition of your ‘DREAM’, so you are prepared and ready to ZIG-ZAG when necessary, i.e.:

D. You DECIDE and DEFINE (vividly) your intentions  / exactly what you want to experience (vs. ‘take what you get’), i.e. What does the experience of your dream career look and feel like to you?  Decide, define, feel, smell, live it.

R. You’re open to RECEIVING what comes your way (and what comes your way is a direct result of the intention, energy, and actions you put OUT there). And be ready to be REAL enough to do what you need to. No one said it was ‘easy’, but it’s only ‘too hard’ or ‘impossible’ if you say it is.

E. You are what you give your (mental and physical) ENERGY and attention to. EXPERIMENT and learn how to create and live in the experience of what you want, now, by your repeated thoughts (“X is what I choose to feel and experience”) and actions (“Y & Z the steps I’m taking to make it happen”).

A. You ALLOW your dreams to come to fruition in whatever form they appear (because life is not  straight line), and ACCEPT your rightful permission to change your pace or course as needed to get you there.

M. You Mind your own business…or in reality, mind your own mind! (your regular, daily, repetitive thoughts become what you ­ experience around you­!). Mind the fact that only YOU determine what ‘success’ looks like on your own terms.

Now, ain’t that a ZIG-ZAG ZAP out of your (ordinary) mind?! ;)

And the BEST part is, that it’s NEVER too early or late to start putting this new extraordinaryredefinition of your dream career into practice and action, step by step, consistently, repeatedly, until you are (naturally and enthusiastically) living and breathing it…and just WAIT til you see the extraordinary things that begin to happen!


(and we cover all the crucial mindset components above, plus MORE powerful mindset mantras, AND everything else you need to know to accelerate your dream career, including the personal brand, image and message you convey to potential employers, how you prepare for interviews and MUCH more in TheRockin’ Career Club).

Now here’s what you can do next:

1.  Leave a comment below, telling me know what you think about this simple (but extraordinary) strategy to ZAP! Your dream career (back) to life…

…and the fact that I just blew the lid open on one of the biggest unspoken truths about having the career that you LOVE and DREAM of.

I’ll read every comment.

2.  Did you just have a MAJOR “A-ha!” moment while reading this article? Are you totally rip-roarin-PSYCHED and ready to shake things up, and create a NEW perspective and world of possibilities for yourself and your dream career? …

Schedule a Career Strategy Session with me to chat before September 1, 2013 for some awesome summer incentives. Get the scoop here.

3. To ensure you don’t miss out on other eye-opening articles about kick-starting your dream career, make sure you sign up for the (totally FREE) Rockin’ Career Ezine.

(If you’re already on the list and know someone who can benefit from this article, tell them to hop on it)


(Big thanks to the following people / resources for inspiration on this article):

The Big Lie About Your Dream by Charlie Waldburger @cwaldburger via Paul Angone/All Groan Up @PaulAngone

UCSB ScienceLine


Success Outside of Class
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Vicki Aubin – The Rockin’ Career Coach is a coach, speaker, author and rocker based in New York City, who helps extraordinary individuals from all walks of life who are suffering in a cubicle to unleash their inner rockstar, market their juiciest talents, and fast-track their escape to a kick-ass career that makes them come alive. With over 10 years in Human Resources and Recruiting, Vicki is a featured guest on LinkedIn’s Ask the Expert Video Series, a volunteer career counselor at New York University, a guest blogger for several popular career websites and the author of Headhunter LinkedIn Super Secrets. She is also the creator of the Cubicle Detox.

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