Don't you just love it when you meet someone who really loves what they do? The fulfillment they seem to experience, the financial success that seems to follow - what's their secret?

Don't you just love it when you meet someone who really loves what they do? The fulfillment they seem to experience, the financial success that seems to follow - what's their secret?

Sometimes people stumble upon their perfect career path. Others have a strong inner drive, and they innately know what they love doing.

These lucky ones are in the minority. The rest of us have to do some work to discover the qualities and characteristics of our ideal career and determine if we're cut out for it.

First, give yourself permission to admit that you've daydreamed about a certain career. Many people have an idea of a fairytale job that gets squashed by practicality. But that fairytale can offer important information about other jobs you might love almost as much as best-selling author, lead guitarist or major-league baseball player.

We're trying to understand the essence of that job. What is it that you want to experience in your career? Maybe it's to make a difference in the world, to help others, to entertain, to feel connected.

Take these essences and look for career opportunities that you think would be a good fit. And definitely look for ways to experience more of these feelings right now. It's a great way to amp up your personal satisfaction quotient before you even find your dream job!

Then, take a look at who you are at the core. What are your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes? Research career categories and compare your strengths with what's required of the careers you find interesting.

Spend some time on the internet looking at different types of jobs and get a clear picture of what it would take to make the change. Is there additional education, specialized training or industry knowledge involved?

Before you jump in, talk to a few people who currently hold those jobs to find out what life is like for them. Their perspective is invaluable in helping you get a clearer picture of your ideal job.

Molly Luffy, MBA helps people create more career satisfaction through her coaching programs and articles. E-mail your career question to molly@jobpromotionsecrets.com