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Leap Forward to Your Dream Job in Five Easy Steps

According to a LinkedIn survey of 8,000 professionals, only 30% of the global workforce and just 25% of US professionals believe they have landed their dream job.

Steering the path to a dream job requires planning and commitment. What approach should young graduates, and professionals alike, take to reach the apex of their career? Follow this five-step guide to find your dream job.

1. Map out your career path

Pauwels Consulting firm suggests that a self assessment is required to identify the five most: (a) key priorities that constitute the ideal job, (b) talents, skills or competencies that you possess and (c) likely industries and locations at which you would want to work.

The job seeker must then match personal skills and qualifications with the job market – being prepared to start at lower levels, set goals and timelines and take action on training development plans to funnel towards the dream job. If the desired path is entrepreneurial, then factor in the current or potential demands in the market and how this can be untapped.

2. Develop the required skills to get the job

“… The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”  Steve Jobs

Identifying and broadening the required skills needed to commensurate to the position sought will give job seekers that competitive edge towards finding that dream job.

The University of Kent sets out a detailed skills exposure matrix for ease of reference that help students understand how engaging in certain activities can open the portal to their dream job, without having any ‘work experience.’ The University recommends that students can enhance their marketability, working on skills development (from soft skills to technical ones) through the following activities:

  • engaging in extra-curricular activities (eg. sports, writing, tutoring, student union, special events management projects)
  • leveraging the academic studies to do deeper dives into course projects (eg. upgrading some into viable business plans), undertaking research and development projects, writing dissertations and articles etc.
  • through work shadowing by interviewing professionals about the intricacies of their jobs, possibly even volunteering to do free internships
  • undertaking vacation or part-time jobs in the desired field of study

For the employed populace, workers should grasp all training opportunities offered by the company. Employees should take the initiative to supplement their qualifications with add-on courses (eg online risk management, project management or logistics and supply chain programs) to round out management skills. These add-ons demonstrate that student and employee can empower themselves and will therefore be likely to empower others.

3. Venture into volunteerism

Altruistic volunteerism is an excellent avenue to hone current skills, develop new competencies, fill employment gaps and network with key influencers who can facilitate a job opportunity. The way in which the volunteerism is articulated on the resume will help the candidate to stand out.

Katie Kross, author of the book “Profession and Purpose,” advises that tangible projects undertaken should be included as work experience versus under the volunteer section. Further volunteering with an organization that fits the job hunter’s skill set will optimize the work experience and signal to interviewers that the candidate has already applied his/her competencies to real life challenges. There are many online researching groups that can assist in finding meaningful volunteer placements.

4. Hold the impressive interview

The cliché that ‘first impressions last’ rings true here. Research conducted by London-based Monster.co.uk asked 273 managers and 3,286 workers about their interview experience. The research showed that candidates only have six minutes and 25 seconds to give their most impressive pitch to close the deal.

Being thoroughly prepared, researching the company, understanding your greatest strengths and weaknesses, being able to express quantifiable achievements and overall confidence can make or break the interview. Based on the Monster survey, interviewees should be mindful of the following factors:

  • Tardiness of candidate (96% of managers agree this impacts their decisions)
  • Preparedness of interviewee (93% agree)
  • Eye contact (82% agree)
  • Grooming (73% agree)
  • Quality of non shop talk – fluency of conversational skills (60% agree)
  • Strength of handshake (55% agree)

Further the survey showed that the five most crucial areas that influence interviewers’ hiring decisions are:

  • Work experience (36%)
  • First impression of the candidate (24%)
  • Education (12%)
  • Professional qualifications (10%)
  • References (9%)

5. Network

Joint research conducted with LinkedIn showed that about 85% of critical positions are filled through networking connections. The research was further broken down to state that candidates actively seeking employment represent around 5-20% of the market, while ‘tiptoers’ comprised about 15-20% and ‘passive candidates’ constituted about 65-75%. Whilst last on the list, it is by no means the least important guideline. Network connections may assist with job openings, act as referrals, provide insights into companies of interest, give guidance on job selections and companies to which to apply as well as advise on your resumé.

Apart from robust online professional networking presence, there are other ways to career network. Joining a chamber of commerce or lobby organization in the sector in which you work, or a social club or even your alumni association are all powerful network hubs. Meeting, impressing and staying connected to the executive influencers can make the world of difference in propelling you towards your dream job opportunity.

Your dream job awaits you. It will require considerable investment into the 5 step guidelines. If followed with serious commitment, drive and passion, the returns will materialize.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you land your dream job? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Bryan Dough

Bryan Dough is a Social Media Strategist based in Melbourne, Australia. Bryan has worked with few of the leading consumer brands to build and deliver their social media campaigns. While being passionate about discovering the latest tactics and strategies in social media, Bryan enjoys spending his spare time going for a hike in the Mornington Peninsula. A beautiful area off from Bayside in Melbourne.

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