Personal Development

The REAL First Step Toward Your Dream Job

Businesswoman in suit standing near stairs
Written by Lauren Sapala

We all have something of value to offer the world. And if we’re working to land our dream job, then we probably spend much of our time trying to nail down what exactly that thing is and how to convince others of its value, too. But there is a better way to go about it. We can use a more efficient, dynamic strategy that will also help us focus on our own personal growth into the bargain.

It’s not what you can offer.

Businesswoman in suit standing near stairsIt’s how you can best offer you.

Finding your dream job means finding the product you believe in and want to put out into the world. If you’re an author, your product is your book. If you’re starting your own hardware company, your product could be a fitness monitor. If you’re a coach, your product is the encouragement of the growth of others. But whatever your product is, it is inextricably linked with you.

Your product is the thing you believe in.

It’s the thing you believe can actually make the world a better place.

This is at the heart of the career you will love, whatever that might be for you. And it is as uniquely and personally you as your set of fingerprints.

But to make your dream job a reality, you’ve got to shift and hone your focus. Your focus doesn’t need to be on how your product is better than others. This only leads to energy wasted on comparison and competition. Instead, focus on identifying your own unique strengths, and on developing them to serve the world in the best way you can.

The other essential piece of this strategy is recognizing the talents of others. When we clearly see the strong points of the other people who show up in our circles, we’re able to bring those people into our personal sphere and partner with them in a mutually supportive relationship.

For instance, I’m a writing coach and I’m an introvert. I’m great at listening to people and generating creative ideas. But I’m not so great at promoting myself or networking. When I build relationships with more extroverted writers who love to make new friends, I receive the benefit of their promotional talents, while offering them thoughtful advice and a supportive ear whenever they need it.

Highly successful leaders do this naturally. Oprah Winfrey seeks out the very best movers-and-shakers in the areas of lifestyle, spirituality, personal growth, and higher consciousness. Is she worried about one of them possibly taking away from her own audience or her own message? Of course not.

Because Oprah Winfrey focuses on how she can best offer herself to the world, instead of how what she offers is better than anything from anyone else.

You can start today. Make a list of your best qualities and the accomplishments in your life that make you proud. Then look around at the people you know in real life, or who you talk to over social media. Keep an eye out for those wonderful people on your wavelength and think about how you can help each other.

When you focus on your strengths you bring in the energy of gratitude. And when you think about the strengths of others you’re grateful for them as well.

All that remains is to turn that energy loose into the world, and watch the magic happen.

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About the author

Lauren Sapala

Lauren Sapala is a fiction writer, writing coach, and blogger. She founded the Write City writing group in San Francisco, and its sister branch in Seattle. She coaches all levels of writers, helping them to discover their voices and realize their goals and dreams. Lauren currently lives in San Francisco and is working on her fifth novel. She blogs regularly at


  • Hi Lauren,

    This is a really insightful read. I believed that going the extra mile and focusing on how I can add value to everyone that I meet will make this society a much better place to live.


  • Great points Lauren. I believe the world would be a better place if people performed work that they are passionate about.

  • Hi Lauren,
    I love this quote by Maya Angelou “When you don’t like a thing change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it” .

    ….And what I hear is “Stop complaining and whining. Be a doer at all times.Meet circumstances and people in life with the gall and confidence to remain unshakable; no matter what. Maintain an inner balance, and a composed will to find a creative solution for any situation.Anyone can fume,fret,and criticize with passion.It takes little effort.Yet true application of intellect and inner strength occurs only when one floats like “cork on water” no matter how deep it is plunged in dismal depths initially.



  • Hey Lauren!
    Really insightful article!

    I like how you said ” It’s how you can best offer you”, I completely agree.

    Being competitive also defeats the goal or the vision we have in the first place. Which ultimately is to help people. It shouldn’t matter who helped first, as long as that person was helped, it should be enough.

    Great article Lauren!

  • This post made me think of the quote that says something along the lines of when you lift others up you yourself end up being lifted up.

    I highly recommend the list of accomplishments and positive qualities you have. For the accomplishments, include even little things. My therapist had me do it one time and it made me realize we should be proud of the little things we accomplish in and out every day.

    HAve a great weekend Lauren.

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