Stuck in a job you dislike, a dead-end field or just trying to get a job?

We should spend much more time exploring options than we do, says Harvard Business Review blogger John Lees.

“Most career choices are relatively passive — something happens to be advertised or comes along,” Lees writes. Instead, even for busy people who are working full-time jobs, it’s important to do informational interviews, try some consulting or even work part-time in another industry on your days off.

The other important tactic when looking for a dream job is to act like you’re looking for somebody else. We love this idea. Lees writes: “If someone offered you $5,000 to go out there and find useful connections and identify potential areas for investigation, you wouldn’t go back after 48 hours and say, ‘I looked at a few things but you won’t like them.’ That, however, is exactly how many of us play the game when the client is ourselves.”

Instead of giving up on that dream, whatever it is, put some effort into finding what the obstacles actually are, and seeing if they’re things that can be chipped away at slowly.