Whether you’re unsatisfied with your current job, a recent college graduate, or ready for a big change, you might wonder how to find the gig of your dreams.
Perhaps you’re even asking yourself what you really want.
Many people seek career changes throughout their lives for various reasons, and deep inside, we all want a fulfilling career.
How do you score your dream job, anyway?
How do you even know what your dream job is?
Here’s a seven-step guide for figuring it out and landing the job of your dreams this quarter:
Figure Out What You Want
It can often be challenging to figure out what you’re looking for in a career or what you want for your life in general.
Yet, when it comes to your dream job, it often helps to think about specifics before looking at the big picture.
It’s a good idea to seriously research what opportunities exist and envision what each role would look like for you long term.
Ask yourself some of these important questions while you get a feel for what you want:
- Am I willing to move?
- What kind of hours am I willing to work?
- What kind of team do I want to work with?
- What is important to me in a work environment?
- What are my goals?
- Do I need extra education or training?
Have Realistic Expectations
It’s a good thing to set ambitious goals and dream big, but while you’re attempting to land your dream career, it’s also important to be practical.
You don’t need to aim low.
But you may need to work your way up to where you want to be.
Having realistic expectations can help you maintain momentum as you grow within a company. It also pushes you to take the necessary steps to achieve your definition of success.
That might include embracing a side hustle until you can live your dreams full time. Or it may mean taking an internship before you can become an official hire.
Keep an Open Mind
While it’s good to have specific goals, you may not even be aware of the possibilities that come with keeping an open mind about what you’re looking for.
Expand your search to include industries and roles you may not have considered before. It might bring up an unexpected yet ideal opportunity.
Sometimes, you may not even realize the job is a good fit until you show up for the interview, get a feel for the environment, and meet the people.
At first, you may not be working your ideal hours or earning the salary you’re aiming for.
But be patient.
Often, spending some time paying your dues and proving yourself pays off in the long run if it’s a company you’d like to grow with.
Create Different Resumes for Different Jobs
Yes, it can be time-consuming to revise your resume for each job you apply for.
But the ten minutes you spend tweaking a document might be the difference between landing an interview or never receiving a response at all.
Simply be diligent about reading the job description. And don’t forget to tailor your list of skills and qualifications as needed.
Certain factors you might not include in a general resume might be of great interest to a hiring manager for a specific position. They could also help you stand out in a sea of applicants.
When you submit your resume, don’t send it with a generic cover letter. It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but take the time to mention some of your specific skills and how they apply to the job description.
The more specific you can be, the more an employer is likely to take notice!
Create a Solid Online Presence
We live in an era where online presence is everything. After reviewing your application materials and deciding you’re a potential candidate, employers will most likely investigate your online presence before giving you a call.
Hiring managers want to be sure that you are who you say you are and that you’re trustworthy.
This might include everything about you online, not just professional social media accounts.
Be sure all photos (even on personal social profiles) are appropriate. Check that comments and posts don’t contain potentially offensive statements. And update all your information so that it’s accurate.
Another way to establish an online presence is to create a free or low-cost personal website using one of the many easy-to-use tools available. There, you can showcase testimonials, a portfolio, or additional information about your education and experience.
Networking can sound intimidating, particularly when you’re seeking the career of your dreams.
But there are many ways to leverage and grow your network, depending upon what you’re comfortable with.
If you’re more social, you might enjoy attending networking events for a specific industry. Research events in your area, and be sure to bring along copies of your resume and plenty of business cards.
If large events aren’t your thing, you can always network online. Professional social networking platforms are an excellent way to connect with hiring managers.
If you choose to network online, don’t just request a connection and leave it at that. If someone accepts, be sure to reach out with a personalized message, thank them, and talk about the role you’re seeking.
They may be able to help!
Nail the Interview
Of course, if you’re one of the lucky few to score an interview with a fantastic company, you’ll want to nail it.
A few simple (but critical) steps you can take to make sure you get it right include:
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but many people miss the mark when it comes to dressing appropriately.
Don’t be afraid to ask what the dress expectations are for the work environment during the phone interview. Hiring managers like to see that you’re taking the initiative and thinking ahead.
You don’t need to overdress to impress in casual work environments, but you still need to show up looking sharp.
Whatever the attire expectations, be sure your clothing is lint and wrinkle-free. Before you leave the house, check for rips, tears, stains, or pet hair on the pieces you choose to wear.
Arrive on Time
Arriving on time demonstrates to a potential employer that you’re reliable and committed.
Arriving early is even better, particularly if you’re unsure how much time you’ll need to find parking or locate the building.
That said, don’t walk in more than 15 minutes before your scheduled meeting. If you have extra time, find a bench outside or take a walk around the block beforehand.
Besides bringing copies of your resume and other relevant materials like a portfolio, there are other ways to arrive prepared.
Research the company and know your stuff before you sit down for an interview. Hiring managers are impressed when you take the initiative to familiarize yourself with the organization’s values, culture, and people.
Memorize the names of people you know you’ll be interacting with and what they do.
If you don’t hear back after a seemingly successful interview, feel free to follow up with your contact at the company.
Be sure not to sound upset or ask direct questions in an initial follow-up. Instead, reach out with a friendly email or phone call expressing how nice it was to meet them and that you enjoyed learning more about the company.
Give it a few days, though.
Immediate follow-ups can seem desperate. Also, the hiring manager may be considering many qualified candidates before making a final decision.
Landing your dream job requires effort, patience, flexibility, and a positive mindset.
Ultimately, having a realistic perspective and understanding what you need to do to achieve your goals will go a long way in the path to success.
If you’re serious about moving forward and finding a great job this quarter, don’t skip any of these critical steps.
Best of luck in your future endeavors.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Arch Denton to help them with their online marketing.