Finding a job, especially your dream job, is hard. Even if you have a few ideas of what you’re interested in, how do you choose what to pursue? Do you have enough experience to even try at this point? Or, do you think it’s too late for a career change? Let me tell you, it’s never too early or too late to pursue your ambitions.
If you’re new to the job market or looking for change, put yourself in research mode. Go beyond a quick Google search and dive deep into the fundamentals of a job role, the types of companies in the industry, and whether the jobs match what you want from a career.
Let us walk you through the steps to researching and finding the ultimate end-goal dream job.
Key barriers to finding your dream job
Confidence and lack of knowledge are typical barriers that stop people in their tracks when searching for a job.
“I have no idea what my dream job is!” or “I don’t know how to find it; it’s simply not attainable.” Sound familiar?
It’s difficult because it’s confusing. It sounds like it would be simple but, in reality, it’s a huge decision with multiple conflicts. We are conflicted by our desires — passion vs. skill vs. show me the money. Then, there’s the conflict of worry — the worry of uncertainty, change, and failure.
For a lot of people, finding their ideal job indefinitely remains on the back-burner. There’s no real sense of urgency, partly because people are hesitant, confused, or fearful of where to start. People are so scared of getting it wrong that they don’t put the work in to get it right. On top of all these uncertainties and confusion, there’s also the fact that a lot of career advice out there is terrible and leaves you more confused than ever.
The power of getting specific
Researching any old job is a good start but to really dig deep into the different roles out there, you need to get specific.
The chances are you already have a few vague ideas of what type of roles sound interesting to you but you may not necessarily know the ins and outs. To get specific with your research, take one of your job ideas, and start with an overarching view of what the role entails.
This can be as basic as typing in a search term like ‘introduction to [job role].’ Once you have a basic understanding of what the job is, your work isn’t done. This is just the beginning, my friend. It’s time to get detailed. And, the only way to do that is to be specific and ask the right questions.
What is the workload in an average week vs. a busy week? Is there any continuing education or progression? What are the salaries like? What types of companies have this role? And so on.
Be specific in your research to get specific results.
Identify what’s important to you in a dream career
It’s not all about the job role itself. It’s about you. Be selfish. Yeah, focus on your skills and experience, but also, go beyond that. List what’s important to you in a career — personally and professionally. Dig deep.
People look for different things in a job. Some look for career progression or high salaries. Others look for ways to use their creativity, and some prioritize work/life balance. Knowing what is most important to you and figuring out your career values is key to finding your ultimate landing place.
Sure you can take an online personality test, but those can be vague and misguided. This self-discovery has to come from you personally. What type of working environment do you thrive in? Do you hate office politics, big competitive teams, or long hours? Perhaps you prefer to work independently, or you’re more of a team player.
All of these career values and expectations from a role/company need to be factored into your research. It could be that the idea of a job sounds interesting, but other aspects of working in those types of companies don’t appeal to you. There’s nothing wrong with that. This exercise is to rule out roles just as much as it is to find the right one.
Step-by-step guide for researching your dream career
The key to finding your end-goal career is good research. This goes beyond personality tests and snapshot career summaries on job sites.
Want to know how to achieve your dream job? Follow the four following steps.
Step one: Choose three job roles
The first step is to write down a list of potential jobs you think you might be interested in. We call this the Cloud Technique. Write down any career or job title you’ve been interested in, even if it just pops into your head. Then, head over to LinkedIn and other job sites to take a look through job descriptions. If anything jumps out, write that idea down too. Also, think about the skills you already have and search for careers that fit them. Are you creative? Google something like ‘best careers for creatives.’
Once you have your ideas listed, choose the most appealing few, and move to Step two.
Step two: Research each role
The next step is to spend quality time with your new potential job roles. Aim for at least an hour of solid research on each job title you have selected. In that hour, learn and absorb everything you can about the role. This is where you will want to find answers to those specific questions you had earlier.
- What is the day-to-day of the job?
- What is the career path?
- Do you need qualifications?
- What’s the average salary?
- What is the company culture for typical roles like this?
The more specific you can be with these questions, the better. Find out more information beyond the snapshot introductions to a role. It’s good to learn both the positives and negatives ahead of time. At some point in your research, you may realize that a specific job is 100% not for you. Walk away and move on to the next idea.
After this exercise, decide whether you would love these jobs and whether you can get these jobs.
Step three: Prioritize your job titles
If you have three job roles you are still interested in working towards, prioritize them. By this point in your research, you should have a better understanding of which of the three you are most interested in and why. Keep in mind, we’re just brainstorming for now. Don’t worry if one of these doesn’t end up being the winning dream career.
Think carefully about how you prioritize the list. Is it by salary, average working hours, the day-to-day of the role? This will teach you more about what you value the most if you don’t already know.
Step four: Naturally network
This is where the real work begins. It’s time to break out of your comfort zone and head into networking among colleagues and leaders in the industry. Find experts or business leaders in your potential field and see what they have to say. Comb websites, follow experts on YouTube, and engage with professionals on social media or with a short email. Yes, they are busy people but with the right communication skills, you could capture their attention and win them over.
This will teach you more about the job role but will also give you insight into the type of companies you could potentially work for. Notice everything — from the language that leaders in the industry use to the company’s ad campaigns.
This may sound like a lot of work. It is. But it’s worth it to find a career you feel happy and fulfilled in. Laying the groundwork now is the hard part, but having insight into and understanding different job roles and companies is invaluable to your dream career search.
Do the legwork, get the job
Many people are on the lookout for the perfect online tool, personality quiz, career advice website, or just a spark of inspiration, but the truth is, finding your dream career takes work.
Before you dive into research, take some time to understand what it is you want from a career. What are your values? In what type of working environment can you see yourself thriving?
If you are ready to love life and all its potential, enter your email addy below to download this free Discover Your Dream Job PDF we put together to help you set you in the right direction for positive change.
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