If you want to land your dream job, how far will you go? I personally would do everything and anything I could to get there. In fact, I did. If there’s anything I’ve learned from all of the jobs I’ve applied to and the interviews I’ve been on in the past several years it’s that being marketable counts for a lot.
I’ve mentioned it before, but it took me years to build up my reputation and land the job I have now. It’s hard figuring out where you want to land in your career but once you do, there are a number of things you should be doing to help get yourself there faster.
I think it’s also important to remember that you won’t be able to build yourself up solely through you 9 to 5. You’ll have to do a bit of the leg work and time in above and beyond those work hours. Take this blog for example, I started it to help me get to where I wanted to be in my career and it took a hell of a lot of man hours to do it.
Here are some things to help you land your dream job, or at least a very good job:
You hear this all the time now, work on your personal brand but what does that actually mean? How does one actually work on building their personal brand?
I’ve written about this in the past but first and foremost you need to have an idea of what you’re passionate about. Whether it’s a specific industry or a particular job or both. For me, my passion is in digital communications. I’ve spent the last several years building up my name and brand as a digital communicator.
What exactly did I do? I started getting published wherever I could. I started guest blogging and collaborating with others. I took some courses that related to my field (and keep on learning continuously). I also made sure to network and get my name out there as much as possible. Most importantly, I built this blog. Do whatever you can that makes sense in your industry to build your name and your brand among your peers.
Cleaning up social media
I know, biggest eye roll but seriously this is important. Being surrounded all day, everyday by people who are in the HR industry you can’t imagine how often this comes up. People just have no idea what is appropriate and what’s not when it comes to social media.
Let me give you a hint though: if you wouldn’t show the photo or the post to your grandmother, why would you put it on social media? Unless you’re looking into a career with Hugh Hefner as your employer, clothes should always be on, drinking should be kept to a minimum and absolutely no drugs whatsoever. Why would you want people seeing that anyways?
Trust me people, when you have a career to protect and another to aspire to, the little things really matter.
The thought of networking sucks. Having to get into a room filled with strangers and introduce yourself. Or worse, contacting people you used to know to ‘catch up’ and see how they’re doing. Ugh, the thought of it has me annoyed.
Alas, it’s definitely an important piece in the puzzle when looking to find and land your dream career. That brings me to another point, never bad mouth someone no matter who they are or how much they annoy you. I’ve learned this the hard way, you never know who will end up where.
If you don’t have the ability to network physically, even just a quick email or phone call back and forth always works best.
Keeping up with the industry
Knowing the ins and outs of your industry or your career is really important. I’m constantly reading all kinds of different blogs to figure out where the market is on social, what changes are happening and key things I need to know.
Be the expert in your field, it will go a long way. There’s nothing worse than going into an interview, pretending like you know everything, just to have it thrown back in your face. It takes next to nothing to set up a Feedly or BlogLovin account. Plug in the most popular blogs from your industry and give them a review every morning on your way or at work.
You’ll thank yourself for it later trust me.
Don’t actually stalk someone, I mean research the shit out of someone who currently has your dream job. The best and easiest way to start is by going on LinkedIn. Find out what they did to get to where they are now. What programs did they take in school? What positions did they have on their way up the ladder?
I did this when I knew I wanted to get more into Social Media. It helped me realize that taking a specialized certificate would help give me the leg up I needed. It also helped me to realize that proving I could build an audience from scratch would help me go even further. That ladies and gentlemen (do any men read this blog?) is how The Restless Worker was founded.
Want to find out more about my professional journey? Check out my LinkedIn page.
Likewise with keeping up with the industry, it’s important for you to continually build on your skills. The beauty about technology and the digital age is that things are always changing. I’ve worked in digital communications in various aspects throughout my entire career. If I didn’t keep up with learning new products and skills I’d be dead in the water by now.
This doesn’t mean you have to have any formal education or spend thousands of dollars on tuition (ugh fuck you University) but it does mean finding creative ways to keep up. I found that Post-Graduate Certificates from Colleges are FAR more affordable and often way more practical.
There are also tons of alternative schools popping up all over the place for you to take advantage. Most of these are geared towards digital skills like web development, social media or graphic design.
If you want to land your dream job, quite frankly you should always be looking for it. They do say the best way to find a job is when you have one and it’s true. Make sure that people in your network know where you want to end up or what kind of job you’re working towards. It will help you get further.
The other thing I’ve learned is to never be afraid to apply for a job you think that you’re underqualified for. I work for Canada’s biggest job board and write all day, everyday about interviewing for, applying for, getting, quitting, basically anything relating to jobs. The biggest takeaway is that you never know if you don’t try.
You have no idea how many other people have applied to that role, no idea how many people were just as underqualified (or even less than you) and you have no idea how much a company values FIT over qualifications. You can teach someone everything you need them to know, but you can’t teach them personality.
So tell me, have you landed your dream job yet?
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