It’s an all too familiar story. Bills must be paid, so a job must be had. We end up taking the best option that’s available, but we still have plans to move onward and upward to that dream job we always wanted.
Over time we get comfortable in our current job until we wake up one day and realize we’ve been settling. There are a number of reasons why people end up complacent in their roles. For many it is fear of the unknown that keeps them from going after their dream job. Others get so bogged down by the daily grind that they put their dream job on the backburner. Some think their dream job won’t be enough to cover life’s expenses.
Truly loving what you do and getting fulfillment from your job is too important to settle for less. Finding your dream job is possible, you just have to take the steps to make it happen.
A Plan for Finding and Landing Your Dream Job
The time has come to begin focusing on what you really want to do in your career. Take the steps below to create a clear path to your dream job.
Step #1: Spend Time Thinking About What Really Makes You Happy
You may know exactly what you want to do, or you may need to do a little soul searching to gain clarity. Either way, taking time to focus on the ONE Thing that would truly make you happy in your career is the first step to finding your dream job. Ask yourself:
- What type of work environment do you feel most comfortable in?
- What do you really value?
- What makes you feel like you accomplished something important?
- What motivates you?
If you want help coming up with the answers to these questions consider taking the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. This behavioral assessment can help you understand your work preferences and style so that you can better understand what constitutes a good fit for you in the workplace. Two other great (and free) options are the Jung Typology Test, which uses a methodology similar to the MBTI test, and My Next Move, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Step #2: Utilize Past Performance Reviews and Peer Reviews
If you’ve ever had a performance review in the past, you know that there is valuable information to be garnered from the observations of others. The same goes for your work product. Performance reviews typically cover the strengths and weaknesses you exhibit on the job, whereas work assessments can provide feedback on both your general work style and how you handle your current job. While constructive criticism can be hard to hear, it can also help you gain a better understanding of where your true talents and interests lie. Use what you learn to help pinpoint where you thrive most in the workplace.
Step #3: Tap Into Your Network
Now that you have a firm grasp on what your dream job is, it’s time to begin making that dream a reality. Reaching out to the people in your network is valuable for several reasons:
- It will help you gain confidence and clarity in discussing what you want to accomplish.
- It will establish accountability partners that can help you stay focused.
- It can open up doors and opportunities.
Let everyone in your network know what your intentions are and what you’re striving to achieve. Then ask for any assistance they are able to offer, and take them up on it whenever they do.
Step #4: Take Courses and Certifications to Enhance Your Resume
Talent and training are critical to the process of landing the perfect job. Even if you work in a related field, you can never have enough experience when it comes to landing the career you really want. Research the backgrounds and accomplishments of people that currently have your dream job. Use that as a barometer to determine the training you need to make yourself a more viable job candidate.
Those who are open to learning are the ones that are more likely to achieve their career goals. That was the finding of a recent study conducted by Leigh University and the University of Missouri. Researchers found that study participants who had a strong urge to learn from their situations saw the most success when searching for and landing their dream jobs.
Step #5: Make Finding Your Dream Job Your ONE Thing
Even after tapping into your network, the odds of your dream job landing in your lap are slim. You’ve got to put in the time and effort to find the perfect opportunity and be ready for it when you find it. Start your search by:
- Volunteering for a related position.
- Joining professional organizations.
- Updating your social accounts, particularly LinkedIn.
- Making it a habit to search for job openings daily.
- Taking time to reflect on how your job search is going and ways that you can improve upon it.
As Steve Jobs once said, “If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”
Thank goodness Mr. Jobs never settled in his career and neither should you!