What is your dream job? Paediatric surgeon, advertising accounts manager, grade school teacher, writer, engineer, professional musician? We all have some idea of our perfect job, and the “perfect” career to suit our dreams and our personalities. While it certainly takes hard work and a lot of time to reach your goals, there are several useful tips to help you along your way to getting your dream job.
- Get educated
This tip is actually two steps in one – firstly, research the job you want. Find those already doing the job you want, and find out what they do, what they studied, and what helped them along their career path. Read blog posts, research university degrees and other short courses, and put together a realistic idea of what education qualifications you need to get on the path to your dream job.
Then, decide what education path you want to follow. Is it best for you to go straight into full-time tertiary education, or should you rather get work experience in your desired field and do short courses to complement your work? Once you have a plan, start on the path towards learning and gathering experience.
- Create a strong CV
As you accumulate experience and education qualifications, you should keep your CV updated and tailored to your dream job. A strong, impressive CV is the golden ticket to getting an interview for your prospective dream job, so take care to make it perfect. There are many online how-to guides for building a great CV, so check these out and spend some time working on your CV every few months. In general, keep your CV or resume to a maximum of 2 pages, keep your qualifications and work experience relevant to the job you want (e.g., skip high school debate team details if you want to go into the medical field), and use strong, confident language to explain why you are suited to the job.
- Strengthen your interviewing skills
Once you get an interview, you should start preparing for your face-to-face interactions at the company you have applied to. First impressions are very important, so dress according to the job (e.g., more casual and individual for a creative space, formal for a law firm) and make sure that you are well-groomed. The right amount of eye contact is essential, so make sure that you make eye contact frequently when listening, and break eye contact more often when speaking.
Express your passion for the job, give honest and personal answers to difficult questions, and try to convey how you can contribute something valuable and different to the company or organization you want to work for.
- Never give up!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you will encounter failure. It is rare to get your dream job immediately, which is why it takes preparation and determination to get there. Every bit of experience will prepare you for your final goal, so never give up. See the failures and disappointments as learning opportunities, and use them to boost yourself up towards the next step.
Hard work and passion for what you love doing can go a long way towards landing your dream job. Try to achieve a balance between your current progress and your eventual goal, and enjoy the journey!