Whether you’re a college senior, looking down the barrel of a tough job market with no offers of employment, or a mid-level career professional striving to move up the ranks, the idea of the perfect job is a dream that every employee shares.
But it doesn’t have to be a dream for long. The job of your dreams can be a reality, you just have to have a plan of attack and muster the dedication to follow through that plan over the months and years that it may take to reach it.
As with all good things, this is one goal worth waiting for and working towards. All it takes is five simple steps.
- Know what your dream job is. We don’t mean a hazy, vague notion of the kind of work you think you might like. When we say that you need to know what your dream job is, we’re talking hard facts. What is the title of the position? At what company, or, if you don’t yet know the specific company, at what kind of company do you want to work – non-profit, Fortune 500, university, big, small, startup? How much travel? What kind of work day? What salary range? Be as specific as possible, the clearer your end goal is, the more effective you can be in working towards it.
- Set up a Google account and enter the information from step 1 in a Google Document. A Google Doc can be accessed from any computer at any time. So whether you’re on your phone, laptop or any other device with Internet access, you can add and save new info to the same place. Whenever you think of a new bullet point to include in your list of dream job qualities, do it right away. You can always go back and edit parts that you want to remove, but it’s important to get in the habit of writing down these ideas as they come to you. Over time, you will refine and hone your top priorities.
- Look at job postings of positions that are similar to your dream job. You may not be ready to apply for these jobs yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look. Anytime you see a job description that interests you drop it in your Google Doc right away (remember, you can access it from anywhere you have Internet).
- Go through the jobs and pull out phrases, skill sets and accomplishments that are regularly recurring. Is an MBA necessary for most of the positions? Maybe that’s something you need to seriously consider pursuing. Do they require certifications that you don’t yet have or maybe fluency in another language? As you review more job postings, you’ll be able to create a template of what you want your resume to look like one, two, even ten years from now to get the type of job you want.
- Follow this road map to your dream job destination. This is the last step, definitely the hardest, and the most important. Using the information you’ve gathered about where you want to be and what you need to get there, it’s now up to you to take action. You may have to ask yourself some hard questions – is grad school in your future? Do you have to relocate to have a better shot at entering a specific industry? But, armed with your handy Google Doc full of information, at least the decision you make – whatever it may be – will be an informed one.
We see this process as one that evolves over time. The dream job you strove for right out of college may not be as interesting to you after a couple of years of real world experience. Or maybe your dream job turns out to be in a completely new field that you hadn’t considered before. But that’s alright, because as long as you keep a goal in mind, and keep educating yourself about the skills needed to move up the ladder, you’ll be well prepared no matter what direction life takes you.
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