For many of us there is a big difference between a job that pays the bills and a fulfilling, enjoyable career.
Why is it that the distance between our job and our dream job can seem so out of reach? And more importantly how can we look to close that gap?
The first step in finding your way there is to reevaluate what meaningful employment means to you as an individual – for without a solid foundation, it is difficult to build toward your dreams.
1. Define your dream
Before you start job hunting and certainly before you step into an interview, know what it is you are yearning to do and know the goals to get there. This sounds like a no-brainer, but the number one mistake I see is people not being able to articulate the kind of job they want. “I’m not sure” isn’t going to help your situation – you must be able to define your dream clearly to yourself before you can hope to climb your way there.
2. Build your professional network
Never has expanding your network been so important to your career goals, and with the use of LinkedIn and other social platforms it has never been so easy either. The reality these days is that a lot of jobs are filled without being advertised to avoid a long and drawn out process. This is where it becomes vital to network with the people and companies who can help you on your journey to career success.
3. Ask for advice
It is just as important to leverage off your network as it is to build it. Opening yourself to this will open you up to a range of opportunities – whether that be mentoring, referrals or even a job opening. A lot can come from asking the advice of those in the position you want to be in. They may have started in a similar position to yours or could even know of key roles going through their own networks.
4. Be selective
You are never going to find your dream job by applying to every single role you see that has the same title as the one you seek. After all, career prosperity is not just about the role you do but the company you work for and the people you work with. Do your research into the complexities of each position and make a calculated decision on whether this IS your dream job, or perhaps just the next step towards it – then reassess your expectations if you were to get this role and how or why it will help you on your journey.
5. Avoid greediness
Sometimes to land your dream job you must think about the opportunity more than any short term financial gains. Avoid making hasty decisions based on income alone that will only divert you from your career pathway goals. Know in yourself what is worth more to you and will make you happy long-term – your dream job or your current weekly pay cheque.
6. Stay positive
Finding the right role isn’t going to happen overnight. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, ensure your goals are broken up into smaller, more achievable steps. This way, even if you are not in your dream job yet, you are conscious of the fact that you are on your way there. Try to find enjoyment in the process and constantly ask yourself “What else can I do to stand out or better myself?”.
If you keep these steps in mind it will no longer be a matter of IF you can land your dream job, but a matter of when! Strong visualisation and an understanding of what it is you want to do coupled with an ability to break your dream down into achievable parts will help you on your way to greater career success.
So, what are you waiting for?