2017 · career

how to land your dream job

Whatever your industry, no matter where you are in your career path, landing your “dream job” is a goal most of us share. Haven’t we all been told that finding a job we love equals a lifetime of happiness?

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

— Confucius

Finding your dream job can seem like a never-ending search for the Holy Grail, but there are a few tips and tricks that can make your dream job your real job.

Identify.

Look, we’d probably all like to be unicorns but reality tells us that just can’t be. You can’t find something if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and that “dream job” is really no different.

But if you’ve never had or even seen your dream job anywhere, how can you know what it is?

Imagine your dream job. Now answer these questions.

  1. What do you want to get out of your career? What would make you feel fulfilled?
  2. In what industry do you want to work?
  3. What would your responsibilities be?
  4. Think of your day-to-day: What does it look like? Are you in an office, or in the field?
  5. What kinds of achievements will you have?

Do your research.

Once you’ve been able to identify and maybe even quantify what your “dream job” looks like, it’s time to do your homework.

  • Does this job exist?
  • Can you find this type of employment where you live?
  • Are you currently qualified?
    • If not, what do you need to do to be qualified?

Network.

Just like the best marketing in the world is word-of-mouth, some of the best career opportunities come by way of making the right connections. Go network – but don’t just blab about yourself and the job you’re looking for. Really talk to people. Understand their business challenges and needs, learn about their career paths, follow up with them, be engaged and engaging.

Remember: There is nothing more transparent (or unattractive) than desperate self-promotion.

Tweak your existing role.

Sometimes your dream job isn’t available (and, OK, sometimes it just doesn’t exist).

DON’T PANIC.

The only thing keeping you from making the most of your current situation is you. Adopt a new attitude. Ask for more responsibility. Prove yourself to your superiors, and you may just be able to carve some new space in your existing role. You’d be amazed what you can build when you try.

Know you might need to take a job that isn’t your “dream job”.

(And, by the way, all that glitters isn’t gold.)

Nothing drives me crazier than hearing someone way “Well, I’m just going to wait for my dream job,” or “I’m not going to settle for a job that isn’t exactly what I want.”

Gimme a break. Unless you happen to be so rich you don’t need to work, or so talented and sought-after that you can’t lower yourself to the standards of Company X, you should probably come to terms with the fact you’re going to need to accept a job that’s not “perfect”. I’ll also take this moment to burst your other bubble and let you know that no job is truly perfect.

Every role comes with tasks and responsibilities you’re not going to love.

Some roles may look like something you won’t like, and end up becoming one of the best positions you’ll ever work in. Life is funny that way. Let yourself be surprised, open yourself up to experiences, and you may just find your dream job was hiding where you least suspected it.

Don’t give up.

The chances of finding your dream job early in your career are pretty slim, even if it looks like the best thing since sliced bread on your first day. Why? We’re still growing and experiencing and building our skills!

I wanted to be a professional fundraiser for non-profit, community organisations three years ago. Now? I love my communications position in the pharmaceutical industry.

The best way to land your dream job is to get out there and gain experience.

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