If you’re lucky enough to know what you want to do with your life, you’re probably looking to start working towards it. Getting your dream job takes work. You won’t just wake up one day and get that phone call or email telling you good news. As good as that would be, it won’t happen. Whether you want to be a vet, work for yourself, or be an actor there are things you can do to start preparing to get the job.
Working Towards Your Dream Job
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Define Exactly What You Want To Do
In many cases, people say they want to work in an industry, but don’t specify which job in that industry. Or they want to do many different things. Write down exactly which job you want to work towards. If you can’t choose between industries, make a mind map and figure out which industry is best for you. This will make it easier to make a plan towards getting your dream job.
Do Your Research
Learn. Not just about the job, but the industries that the job can be in. If your dream is in HR or Admin etc. those skills are transferrable to many different industries. If you have a particular interest in one of those industries, study up. Know where the jobs are, how to find them, and who to talk to. Find out what experience or education you need to get that job and go for it. It may take you a few goes, but if you work for it and keep your focus you’ll get there soon enough.
Practice Your Interview Skills
Besides your CV an interview is how they will pick the right person for the job. If you have an amazing CV with experience to back you up, but you’re rubbish at interviews someone may take the edge over you. It’s vital that you learn how to impress in an interview. The worst feeling is going for an interview for your dream job, but falling short because you just don’t come across the way you expected.
I’ve written a couple of posts about interview skills in the past. How to cope with job interview anxiety and how to prepare for a zoom job interview. If you’re struggling to hone your interview skills, use those guides as a reference and practice with your friends.
Tailor Your CV For Your Dream Job
It’s important to tailor your CV for each job that you apply for. You can do this by reading individual job descriptions and the company values and adding the parts of you that fit in with those to your CV. I have general CV templates for each industry so I don’t need to type out my experience each time and update them each time I apply for a new job. If you’re struggling with CVs there are so many resources online that can help you, including CV templates and experts who will look over your CV and help you make it perfect. Utilize the resources you have to be taken to the interview stage.
Talk To Someone In The Industry
If you can talk to someone who either has your dream job or had your dream job and got promoted, you’ll have a much better idea of the different paths you can take to get there yourself. They will have valuable advice on things you can do to make yourself employable in that sector and job. There is a chance they may also have contacts for you to get work experience from which is always good to pursue. If nothing else, you’re showing that you’re motivated for the job and if a position comes up in their establishment that you apply for, they’ll recognize your name and that goes a long way.
Go Back To Education
This may not be an option for you, but it’s always beneficial. If you’re a school leaver still trying to figure out what your dream job is, college or university is a great place to start. Pick a course that truly interests you and read the jobs that graduates go on to have. This will help you whittle down what your dream job is. If you already know your dream job, research what people in that job have as qualifications and do them if you can. Even attending one-off workshops will show your enthusiasm for the role and industry.
Employers will often have a requirement of “x years experience” in something like customer service or administration. This can be so frustrating, especially if you’re just starting out. In some cases, employers will make exceptions for the right candidate, but this doesn’t always happen. Gain experience, even if it’s in a job that isn’t related to your dream job. You’ll find that the skills you pick up in any workplace are transferrable. You’re also more likely to land a job relevant to your dream one if you’re already in employment.
Don’t Get Disheartened
It’s a tough market. Even if it takes you 10 years to get to where you want to be, it’s worth it in the end. Never give up the dream, even when you’ve been rejected by several different positions, it just means you weren’t right for that role in that company at that time. I’m a true believer in the phrase “what’s meant for you won’t pass you by”. Your time will come when it’s right for you, but only if you keep trying.
Know Your Strengths…And Your Weaknesses
This will come up in job interviews and the workplace. It’s important to learn the things you excel at and help others with them, but also important to admit where you can learn more. If you’re lucky, your company may send you on training for the areas you feel you need to improve on, if not you can work on them yourself. Once you know your strengths, you can also impress by offering help in other areas of the workplace, such as IT skills.
Learn How To Network
Networking is so intimidating. You have to learn how to talk to people, and in many cases describe what you do in a short, quick description. It can be the difference between you being put forward for a job or not, though, so it’s vital to make contacts. In certain industries, it’s also important that you can call on people to help you with certain aspects of your work. By networking, you can develop “go-to” reliable people to help you with a job.
Work Hard For Your Dream Job
To be blunt, you aren’t going to get your dream job if you don’t work hard for it. Some people are happy working away in jobs that aren’t necessarily their dream jobs and that’s fine, but if you want to get to where you need to be for your career, it won’t happen overnight. Others are lucky when someone takes a chance on them, but once again that only happens after hard work and genuine enthusiasm. By working on yourself, your career, and your networking you can find roles that suit your dream job and eventually find yourself working there.
Your Dream Job May Not Be What You Expect
Even with years’ worth of research on a job, the actual job and experience will be different. That’s why work experience is important. It allows you to gain experience that can transfer into another career just in case your dream job doesn’t work out. Don’t be disappointed if this happens, jobs often look different on the outside than they are on the inside. It’s also worth trying to gain your dream job in a different company as well, because it may be that the company doesn’t align with your way of working.