05 December 2014
As you develop throughout your career and learn about your professional strengths/weaknesses as well as what you want in a long-term relationship with an employer, attaining your “dream job” becomes more realistic. Whether you look forward to working with a certain company or being in a certain type of role in the future, learning how to get there is only half of the journey—figuring out what exactly will make you happy in the long-run usually takes the most time. Luckily, we have some questions you should ask yourself before you can successfully land your dream job. What do you love to do? For many professionals, you may have to try different positions out and experience working for different organizations before you can finally figure out what your professional calling is. Even if it may take years to get where you’re going, don’t get discouraged as every professional experience you have along the way will help you to paint a clearer picture of exactly what you want to do long-term. To help you figure this out, start by thinking about some of the activities you love to do. Then, figure out how the skills you use in your hobby could be translated into a professional career. Lastly, think about the types of companies that need professionals with your skill-set. The more able you are to combine your passion with your career, the closer you will be to figuring out what your dream job is. How can you build your brand? Whether you are a recent grad or a more experienced professional looking to change careers, finding out how to build up the skills you need in order to pursue your dream career can be difficult if your current situation doesn’t relate to what you want to do. Not to worry, if you ever find yourself in this type of scenario, consider looking for an internship or a temporary/consulting job. The real-world work experience and connections you can gain from these options can help you learn about the inner-workings of your industry that you otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to. On the other hand, if an internship or temporary role is not feasible for you, consider finding other ways to get your work out to the public by creating a website, starting your own blog, participating in volunteer opportunities, or attending networking events. All of these decisions give you the chance to build skills and broaden your network. How will you get yourself noticed? When you do finally figure out what your dream job is, it can sometimes be a challenge to get in front of a hiring manager—something that is especially hard to do if you are making a big transition. Therefore, utilize your networking skills and access the hidden job market by actively reaching out to your network to get in touch with people who are either currently working at an organization you are interested in, or could connect you with someone who’s worked there in the past. Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn also allow you to stay connected with your dream employers and allow you to stay up-to-date on company news. Remember, just like you can find your dream company with a quick search on the internet, they can find you just as easily! As a result, make sure that your internet presence reflects the most positive, professional, and proactive version of yourself. Do you have a plan with realistic goals set? It will prove to be very difficult to attain your dream job without a set plan of action in place. For example, if your dream job is to be a Graphic Designer for a leading video game company, but you are fresh out of college with little experience, one solution could be to consider an internship to get your plan in motion. This will allow you to connect with like-minded professionals (potential mentors) that can lend advice towards attaining your career goals. While there is no sure way of landing your dream job, it’s important to stay flexible and stay busy throughout your efforts. Try not to overlook certain opportunities simply because it doesn’t quite fit into your career path. You never know, it could be the job that teaches you something new about yourself, and it could also help you realize what you don’t want to do.