How to find your dream job? This may be one of the most important questions we must ask ourselves before life passes right before our eyes and is too late to change things.
Think of this: you wake up to the sweet sound of your alarm clock on a Monday morning and you immediately jump out of bed. You pick out a cool outfit to wear to work and already get excited about the day ahead. You go over today’s awesome to-do list as you sip that first sweet almond milk latte of the day, and your face lights up in anticipation and joy. You can’t believe how lucky you are to be able to do your job.
That’s the dream, right? The perfect scenario.
As kids, we all imagined doing an awesome job when we grew up. But, with experiences of crappy, low-paying jobs at the mall during high school, or those boring summer jobs we’ve all had, we start to wonder whether the “dream job” really exists.
With so many jobs out there, how are we even supposed to find the right fit for us?
Well, let’s delve a little deeper into how to find your dream job (if indeed it exists).
The Real Truth About Your Dream Job
Every quest starts with defining your destination, so before you start thinking about how to find your dream job, you should first determine what defines a dream job in the first place.
A lot of us naively picture the idyllic Monday morning I described at the beginning of this article – waking up all chipper and jazzed up about the day ahead. We imagine feeling this way every day, week after week. We think of all the cool stuff we would be doing at our dream job, and wonder if work can really feel NOT like work at all.
The real truth is, though, that a job is still a work! Even if you love most of the bits and pieces that make up your job, there will also be parts that you don’t like that much, the hard bits, the shit sandwich that come with the dream, as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it.
And, while we’re being honest here, raise your hand if you’ve ever been super psyched to hop out of bed when your alarm clock rings at 6.30 in the morning. Anyone? I know I haven’t. Unless you’re a morning person, no matter how awesome your job is, waking up will still be hard.
And, the commute might still be annoying. There might still be that one co-worker you just don’t click with. There are definitely still going to be problems, hard days, sweat and tears. That’s the nature of ANY job.
So, your dream job is just as much defined by it’s fulfilling parts as it is by the shit-sandwich you are willing to eat when doing it.
What Defines Your Dream Job?
Like I said earlier, how to find your dream job is not only about HOW to find it, but also about WHAT it is. Keeping the above reality check in mind, you still need to explore and define your dream job before you can start looking for it.
Maybe you already have a clear dream. That’s great! This is where it all starts, so you’re one step ahead in the game.
However, if you’re still confused about what it is you really want to do for a living, start by exploring your strengths and weaknesses.
- You can find out more about yourself with the Strengthsfinder test and the Myers-Briggs personality test, list all the possible fields where your strengths and personality could flourish.
- Make a list of everything you love to do (activities, hobbies, etc.) and try to see the general activity behind it. For example, if you love making a to-do list every morning, chances are you’re also going to enjoy other organisational and planning activities. Think about what it is that makes you love it so much, and see commonalities between different activities.
- Think about what other people praise you for. Do people come to you for advice on something specific? Do they ask you to do particular favours for them over and over again? This is another way to look at your strengths and what you have to offer.
- See which activities from the ones you’re praised for are also ones that you love to do. That’s the true sweet spot right there. If it’s something you love to do, and other people often come you for that, you’ve hit the jackpot.
The last bit in defining your dream job is testing different possibilities. Engagement is always better than thought. Find ways to test-run your ideal job and see if you really want to eat the shit-sandwich that goes with it.
How to Find Your Dream Job?
Now that you know what it is you’re looking for, you can start taking steps to find it and get it. There’re 2 ways to get your dream job – you either apply for one, or you create one for yourself. Let’s look at these two strategies separately.
- Find out what skills you need to get your dream job and start acquiring those skills. Maybe you need to take a few extra classes, learn some type of software, or practice your existing skills to get the edge over your competitors.
- Talk to someone who already does what you want to do. This enables you to get valuable insider information about what skills are really important and should be highlighted in your CV. You also learn about the ins and outs of the job, and might even get a few useful contacts that help you land your dream position.
- Polish your CV to perfection. Nowadays, you may be competing against hundreds of other applicants, so make sure you do your research and craft a CV that will make you stand out in the crowd.
- Take the initiative. You could wait around for possible job opportunities, or you could actively seek them yourself. Reach out to companies you’d love to work for and see if they’re hiring. If not, pitch for an internship. In other words, make them an offer they can’t refuse.
- Ace your interview. So you got through the first hurdle? Time to put in your all, and really let them know why you’re the best for the job. If possible, try to get some insider info about what they could be asking in the interview (refer back to step nr.2). Most importantly, believe in yourself. If you are absolutely positive that your the man/woman for the job, it’s so much easier to convince them as well.
So, you have an entrepreneurial dream? More and more people are getting back to our entrepreneurial roots and yearning for the freedom of having their own business. If that’s you, rock on. I’m rooting for you! Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Make a plan for your business. We’ve all heard about the importance of business plans, but a lot of people (especially creatives) would rather skip this part and go straight to doing. Why waste time and sit around, right?You’re psyched to get this party on the road, I get it, but it really pays off to have a clear idea what it is that you want to do, and how that idea is going to make money. Dreams are awesome, but if you also put the pressure of paying the rent and putting the food on the table on your dream, you better also make sure that it can handle that kind of pressure.You don’t have to put together an official business plan, but having a plan of action gives you more clarity, focus and will help keep you on track.
- Invest in your education. If you’re starting a new venture, chances are you don’t know everything about every aspect of the business. That’s why most companies have many people working in them – accountants, sales people, managers, IT guys, craftsmen, etc. Know what you’re good at, and learn the rest, if you can’t afford to hire it out. Taking business classes has been the best investment I’ve ever made in my business.
- Be patient. I’ve seen it over and over again. People are so excited to start their business. They spend all day every day working on their business, but the results are just not what they were looking for. Progress is slow at the beginning. Your business will need time to gather traction and momentum. Most businesses take at least a year to reach profits, so don’t get discouraged, when the results aren’t what you hoped for at the beginning. Learn some more, work some more, and keep at it.
I wish there was a one-sentence answer to the question “How to find your dream job?”. The good thing is, though, that there is more than one way to find it.
What’s the one step you will take today to get you closer to finding your dream job?
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About the author:
Hanna Saar is a pathological dreamer and life coach, who helps women dream up and build the life they want. She founded the Dreamer Society, a hub for all big and small dreamers, who are ready to take action and bring their dreams to life.