For many of us, it’s so easy to blurt out an immediate answer to the question ‘’what is your dream career?’’, especially if we feel stuck in a dead-end job. However, it takes some real thought and planning to understand how to turn your dreams into realistic goals you can aim at. Below are 8 points to help you find your dream career.
Know your passions
The first thing you need to do is work out what your passions and skills are. The sweet spot for a dream career will, by definition, lay in the area where those two things overlap. Take the time to think about who you are and what it is you really, really want out of a career. What sparks that fire in your belly? What do you really care about? Also, what do you enjoy? If you can summon the answers to all these questions, you are ready to begin thinking more specifically about what your dream career could be.
Know Your Skills
At this point you should have a decent idea of the kinds of industries you would like to work in. Your next task is to work out which specific jobs and environments would suit you the best. In order to do this, you need to know what your skills are. For example, a passionate food enthusiast may initially imagine working their way up the ranks as a chef at a bustling city restaurant, but if it turns out their talent is not with cooking but with writing, a dream career may in fact be as a food writer. Likewise, a scientifically minded foodie may dream of becoming a nutritionist.
So, what do you feel you are good at? What do other people say you are good at? Once you have these answers, you can really start zeroing in on a job search.
Make sure you do your research on the companies that attract you. Find out what their employees say about working there. Sometimes things can appear dreamy from the outside, but the reality may not be quite so rosy.
‘’It’s not what you know but who you know.’’
Well, it’s both really, but who you know is most certainly important. A 2016 LinkedIn study revealed that a massive 85% of jobs were filled through networking i.e. through recommendations and offers coming as a result of natural conversations. The lesson here is clear – the more you get out there and be sociable, the more potential doors you could be opening to that dream job. And by ‘getting out there’, we don’t just mean literally. Set yourself a daily task of sending a message or engaging in some way online with an employee or relevant senior stakeholder at a company you would love to work for. It could be anything from a comment on an Instagram or LinkedIn post, or a more formal email.
Whatever it is, try to make your communications natural and genuine. Any unprompted contact should only be a light but pleasant introduction. Briefly explain who you are and how you are interested in the company. Leave an open invitation to a longer chat to discuss your qualifications and skills, with the option to speak on the phone. You’ll be amazed at how much of an impression your pro-activity can leave on employers and managers. Many of them will keep you in mind for future opportunities.
Engage on social media
With the above in mind, make sure to follow all your dream employers on social media. It’s a great way to stay in touch with what they’re up to. It’s always good to show that you understand a company or brand you are trying to woo, and keeping an eye on their social media output can be a great way of ensuring you can do this. Plus, companies will often post job opportunities on these platforms due to the immense reach they have.
Make use of free subscriptions
Make the internet work for you. Signing up to job boards is a no-brainer. It’s usually free and will ensure you get tailored job opportunities emailed to you daily, without having to go trawling through lists yourself. You can get started by signing up to Evenfields’ Job Board today.
Patience and Perseverance
Lastly, always remember the two ‘P’’s – patience and perseverance. You need to make peace with the fact that these things take time. Virtually nobody stumbles into their dream jobs overnight, or without a considerable amount of hard work and knockbacks along the way. However, as long as you have enough patience and perseverance, your passion (another ‘P’!) and skills will see you achieve your goals. Keep searching, keep networking and keep working hard to hone your skills, and you will be in the very best position to take your chance when it comes.
Maintain your reputation and your self-esteem
Until you succeed in finding your new career, you may continue to feel stuck in the job you are in. But don’t let it get you down. You should hopefully feel naturally buoyed by the knowledge you are actively taking steps to improve your situation. Try to allow some of this positive energy to reinvigorate you in your current work. You may be planning to leave this role, but it’s important to leave with your reputation not only intact, but as high as possible. Afterall, you never know whose paths you may cross again in the future.
It’s also important for your own self-esteem and confidence – important attributes when trying to change careers. Your behaviours become habitual, so in the same way you can carry your job-searching buzz into your current work, it can also work the other way – if you are sulking and lazing through your work days, it can be difficult to automatically become Mr or Mrs Positive Energy when on the hunt for potential new jobs.
Take pride in your attitude and performance at all times, as this will shine through in your networking efforts and that all important interview!