How to get closer to your dream job (Hint: it’s a lot easier than you think)
Some people seem to have a knack for managing their careers, while the rest of us fall behind, scratching our heads. Sometimes it comes down to luck, sometimes it’s connections, but more often than not, it’s just a matter of putting a little thought and effort into achieving what you want and mapping out your future.
Here are some great tips to getting closer to your dream job.
Regularly work towards your goal
Remember, baby steps. Just by doing one small thing every week, you’ll get so much closer to where you want to go. Some of those steps might not seem like much, but the important thing is to get – and keep – the momentum going. It might be applying for a voluntary position, reading a blog post, or checking out the business pages of an industry you want to be working in. By revisiting where you want to go on a regular basis you will keep on top of developments in the area and stay on the stepping stones to your goal.
Subscribe to newsletters
Seek out industry websites related to the field you’re interested in and sign up for their newsletters. This way you’ll get the lowdown on industry updates and stay in the loop, as well as avail yourself to opportunities that might arise.
Follow people you admire on social media
Look for inspiring people working in your favourite line of work and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus.
Join online groups
In addition to following individuals, joining a LinkedIn or Google Plus group dedicated to your desired field is a great way to keep up with what is happening and get some really interesting tips and reading material along the way.
Listen to podcasts
Hear people talk or read articles about someone who has made an inspiring career change or has pursued and achieved their dream. Connecting to real stories can make be the idea of a career change less daunting – and can be very uplifting.
Talk to those you admire
Know someone who is living your dream job and lives nearby? Ask them out for lunch, or a coffee. You can get a lot out of these conversations, but be sure not to interrogate them! Remember to give them time to eat their lunch draw a few deep breaths. But, when it is appropriate, ask them for their tips on breaking into the industry, what they love about the job or any pitfalls they’ve observed.
Even if you have a formal qualification behind you, it may be that your particular dream job requires extra skills that you can learn online or in a course at or outside your current work. Sign up and get going!
Get real-time experience
Instead of being deflated that those living your dream career have 15 years more experience than you, think of how you can start to gain this experience. If there’s no paid work going for newbies, think about volunteering. Volunteering is a great way of learning valuable skills on your feet (that often can’t be taught), and often open doors to employment.
Look out for conferences in the industries you’re interested in – and attend them! You’ll find out so much more about the industry and meet stack of new contacts in the process. Just remember to carry business cards, introduce yourself, and listen carefully to others already in the field.
Expand your skill set in your current job
This can be a real win-win outcome! Ask your boss if you can work on a new project (in an area you wish to pursue). He or she might deeply appreciate your proactive stance, especially if it can give tangible benefits to the business. The added bonuses are that you get real-time experience in your desired profession – all while being paid!