The days of having the same job for life have long gone and these days it is expected that workers will change jobs several times throughout their career. It is also acceptable to change direction and have more than one career in your working life. So don’t get stuck in a job you hate; decide what you really want to do and go out and land your dream job.
What does your dream job look like?
You first need to work out what you really want to do, so spend some time deciding what your dream job looks like. Don’t worry, at this stage, about qualifications, skills or job availability; just think about what you dream of doing as a job. Consider the following to help you:
- What is something you are really passionate about?
- What really interests you?
- What hobbies do you have?
- How do you like to spend your spare time?
Most people find their dream jobs are in the answers to one or more of these questions. Think of an area in which you would love to work because that is likely to be where your dream job is located.
Once you identify the industry you want to work in, it is time to research the types of jobs that are available within that industry. Again, don’t worry of you don’t have the skills or qualifications, just find the job of your dreams. You might be able to refine it right down to a single position or you might decide to explore a more general group of jobs.
What skills or training do you need?
Your past experience and training have provided you with a set of skills and it is likely that you have also acquired others through sport, community work etc. How do your current skills match with your dream job? Can you add to your current qualifications or do you need to completely retrain? How qualified are you for your dream job already?
Research what qualifications, training and experience are expected for those applying for your dream job. Find out what type of people are currently employed in that position. Talk to them, if possible, and get answers to your questions about the type of position you will be going for. Look around your network of people for someone who is involved in the industry you want to get into and talk to them. You may already know someone who can help you land your dream job. Look for prospective employers and educate yourself about their company, products, ethics etc.
Remember that education alone won’t get you your dream job; there are numerous other skills that employers are looking for these days. These ‘soft skills’ are keenly sought in the modern workplace and include good communication skills, initiative, problem solving skills, leadership and the ability to work as part of a team. For me, these soft skills have been my deal breaker and have gotten me the job.
What if you are not qualified for your dream job?
The obvious thing to do if you don’t have the skills or qualifications is to retrain; go back to school and get the relevant qualifications. However, this is not the only way. Look for ways you can work in your chosen industry other than in the position you desire. You might find an ancillary or peripheral job just as satisfying as the one you had identified as your dream job.
Consider an internship with the company of your choice so that you are working where you want, even if it will take you longer to get to your chosen position. Even asking for some unpaid work experience in your chosen field can give you the relevant experience you need.
Once you have these elements in place, it is time to go out and promote yourself. Target the companies that you identified as being the ones you want to work for and soon you will land that dream job.
So, are you doing your dream job? If so, what is it? Or, if you aren’t doing your dream job, what are your plans to get it? I want to know.