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A few weeks ago we were getting ready to drive my daughter back to college. As we were getting into the car, a neighbor passed by walking his dog.

This neighbor is a Tibetan Buddhist monk, and when he learned that my daughter was returning to college for her second year, he got excited.

"You must work very hard," he said. Then, making a forward motion with the flats of his hands beside his eyes, he said, "In Tibet we say, work very hard and keep looking forward to your target. Keep focused on your goal."

Great advice for returning students and as job seekers. Make sure that each step you take leads you closer to your chosen goal.

But what if you don't have a clear picture of your goal? What if you are just walking aimlessly down the road, hoping that hard work alone will take you to where you should be?

Enter my "Dream Job Exercise." You must be able to visualize your goals or you won't recognize opportunities to reach your goals when they occur.

Whether you like to write on your computer, pencil and paper or a typewriter from yesteryear, sit down and create your "Dream Job." Create a simple list with as much detail as you can include.

I'm sure that my Buddhist monk neighbor would approve and suggest, as I do, that you repeat this exercise every few months to keep it alive in your vision.

Marvin Walberg is a job search coach.

Dream job exercise

Create the following list with as much detail as possible.

- Job title.

- Job description (as detailed as you can make it).

- Name and describe your supervisors.

- Name and describe your co-workers.

- Describe a typical day at work. Go into extreme detail. What is fun about your work; who do you take breaks with; where do you eat lunch, etc? Details, details, details.

- Write about problems associated with your job and solutions to those problems.

- Talk about what you have to do to get promoted.

- Take as much time as you need. Have fun and get as detailed as you possibly can. When you're through, you should be able to actually picture yourself at your dream job, and recognize opportunities to achieve that job when they come along.