Give yourself a gift by making your professional dreams come true

This Christmas, give yourself a gift that no one else can and start the new year off right by committing to making your career dreams come true. Perhaps you’ve thought, “I want to turn my hobby into a viable business”; “I want a higher-paying, more exciting job”; “I want to make enough money to live on in 20 hours a week, so the rest of the week is mine”; or “I want those above me to consider me a leader and promote me.” Whatever your dream, make it happen.

Here’s how: dream, decide and dedicate.


Dreams kindle adrenaline. Ask any Olympic athlete the value of a dream and you’ll hear, “My dream of earning a gold medal kept me performing at peak levels despite exhaustion.” Do you remember days when you rocked at work and created amazing results — adrenaline powered those days. Create more of those days by fueling your energy in 2024 with an inspiring career dream that you actualize.


Perhaps you’ve often thought, “I wish my job was different” but then shoved your wishes away to settle for what is. Don’t let that happen this time. Grab your dream and make it happen by taking an honest look at how you’ve defeated yourself in the past and deciding what you’ll change.

Do you lame yourself with procrastination by waiting for the right moment? Remember, you can stall, or you can start.

Do you let self-doubt defeat you, so you settle for good enough? That’s like holding up a hand in front of your face so you can’t see the sunlight and mountains. Decide this year to see the future through the eyes of belief.

If your current job bores you, what part do you play in “dull”? Have you stagnated in your skills? Could you use AI or another new technology to redesign your job, creating time for taking on new challenges?


If you haven’t discussed new opportunities you’d like in 2024 with your manager, what stops you?

Deciding involves uprooting the myriad ways in which you undermine yourself. The time is now to fully commit to moving your dream from twilight to daylight.


Bringing a dream into reality requires that you act, because action transforms you from a person who “talks a good story” into someone who lives a good story. Don’t let your dreams drift away — bring them into reality.

Maybe you lack the education you need to land a higher-paying job, but money and family commitments keep you from attending a college or career school. Check out This site, massive open online courses, features a complete list of free online courses from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Duke, Cornell and the University of Phoenix that lead to certificates employers find valuable. Do you lack time? You can complete these courses in 10- to 30-minute chunks. According to Coursera, another large online provider that offers free courses, 77% of their students report career benefits such as landing a new job or earning a promotion.

Perhaps your boss doesn’t give you enough autonomy or guidance. What if you take the initiative and send them a weekly one-page summary outlining the status of your projects, the tasks you’ve wrapped up, the milestones you project, and the roadblocks you want their help to overcome?

Did a colleague land a promotion you sought? You can go down in defeat or you can arrange a meeting with a senior manager and ask, “What capabilities and skills do I need to be considered for a senior position in this company?”

Dreams materialize when you act.

If your job or career walls have closed in on you, give yourself a Christmas gift and start 2024 off right — make one of your dreams come true.

Lynne Curry | Alaska Workplace

Lynne Curry writes a weekly column on workplace issues. She is author of “Navigating Conflict,” “Managing for Accountability,” “Beating the Workplace Bully" and “Solutions,” and Submit questions at or follow her on, or @lynnecurry10 on X/Twitter.