Close your eyes and picture what it would be like to get out of bed every day genuinely excited to go to work. Imagine being in a role that fits your skills and passions; one that makes you feel like you're exactly where you need to be.
Having such a position would not only make you happier, but it would transform the way you work. You'd find your groove, connect deeply with the people you work with, and discover what it's really like to have a job that does more than pay the bills.
This is more accessible to you than you might think. Whether you just graduated college, you're looking to enter the c-suite, or you're considering a drastic career change, the time is now to make your dream job a reality.
Here are 10 things you can start doing right now to create the ideal career for you.
1. Identify What You Want
You need to have a clear sense of direction to get from where you are right now to where you'd like to be. It's not enough to simply say that you'd like to be a CMO one day or the Head Chef of a world-renowned restaurant.
Your vision needs to be much more focused. Identify as many specifics about your dream job as you can. Think about the industry you'd like to work in, the kind of culture you'd like to be a part of, and the mark you want your work to make. This will help you determine which steps you need to start taking now in order to get closer to your dream job.
2. Build Your Skills
Once you have a clear understanding of the work you want to be doing you can start to focus on which skills are the most valuable to that job. Then, take every opportunity you can to build your skills.
Go to workshops and earn certificates. Take on special projects and spend your free time learning the new techniques that top companies are using. This will make you much more qualified when the day comes to apply for your dream job.
3. Grow Your Network
As smart as it is to build your skills, you should also be growing your network. You want to run in the same circles as people who share your aspirations, and those who already have the kind of job you'd like to do one day. This will motivate you, educate you, and, possibly put first in the know when a job opening becomes available.
4. Ask for Feedback
Here's the thing that no one tells you about landing your dream job: you're not expected to figure it all out alone! In fact, you need to be welcoming constructive criticism and asking for feedback as much as you can.
Such a way of thinking helps you identify your blind spots. It opens your mind to new perspectives and genius job-search ideas that you wouldn't have come up with on your own.
5. Fix Your Resume
One of the first things you should get feedback on is your resume. Reach out to a few of your mentors or even a career coach and ask for resume writing tips.
Talk to them about the job you're applying for and everything you've done up until now in your career. Be specific, and don't be afraid to share experiences that you think aren't directly tied to the job you want. You'd be surprised how certain skills and experiences can give you a competitive advantage when job searching, even if it doesn't seem that way at first glance.
6. Put a Numerical Value on Everything
You may want to take resume critiquing to the next level and invest in resume writing services. This isn't something you hand over and take a hands-off approach on, though.
You need to be prepared to give specific details and put a numerical value on all the things you've accomplished. These are the key details that recruiters are looking for.
7. Create a Portfolio
Keep in mind you need a portfolio as well as a resume. This is a must for many jobs, especially those in design-related fields and other creative realms. But, it's smart to have a portfolio prepared for jobs that don't traditionally ask for them.
This shows how dedicated you are to your work and that you're willing to go above and beyond. It gives you a unique edge when trying to stand out among other applicants and it makes it easier for employers to get a feel for the kind of work you can do, too.
8. Apply for Jobs That Aren't Even Listed
Sometimes, you have to create an opportunity where there isn't one.
Is there a company you've always wanted to work with? Are you confident of your ability to bring value to a certain team? Do you think you just need that one chance to prove yourself?
If any of these things apply to you, it's time to start looking for your dream job beyond job boards. Instead, you should be reaching out to your professional network and simply showing up at the places where you'd like to work. You have to be persistent and strategic in doing so.
The whole point is to put yourself on the radar of a potential employer. Send them an email introducing yourself and maybe even invite one or two employers out to lunch (separately, of course). They'll remember you once a position does open up, which gives you a great chance of being the chosen candidate.
9. Carefully Read Job Descriptions
Whether you're looking for a job in civil engineering or your dream is to be a personal shopper, you need to carefully read the job descriptions for positions you apply for. This is also important before signing a contract.
Reading the description will give you a clear idea of what you're about to get yourself into. It tells you the ins and out of what your day to day will look like and what kind of growth is available within a certain position.
10. Brush Up on Interview Skills
You won't get the job you're dreaming of if you can't get through the interview process. Be sure to brush up on your interview skills every time you get invited for an introductory call or meeting.
Practice with another person rather than the mirror. This will help you shake the pre-interview jitters and make you more prepared to answer tough questions. It gets you in the mentality you need to be to stay focused, calm, and confident while interviewing.
Will Your Next Job Be Your Dream Job?
You may need to be in a few more roles before you reach the position you're really aiming for. This is especially true if you have your sights set high or if you're just getting started.
But, there's no reason why your next job can't be an important stepping stone toward your dream job. Keep this in mind as you move up the career ladder. Everything you do now should be in line with what you eventually want to be doing.
Then, before you know it, you'll be starting the first day of working your dream job! For more help advancing in your career, click here.