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“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need ” – M. Jagger/K. Richards
If you are a member of that very rare group that is already working in their “dream job”, then there is no need to read on (although you would probably not be reading CareerAlley in the first place). In your deepest darkest secrets, if you could have anything you wanted, what would be your “dream job”? This is the job that you may (or probably have not) expressed to others (but certainly have thought about). I know what mine is. It’s changed over the years based on prior experiences and, if you are anything like me, you probably have varying “degrees” of the dream job. Maybe it starts with being a movie star (your dream job) and slowly works its way down to working in the accounting Department of a movie studio. But just because your dream job may seem unattainable does not mean that it is unattainable. So, just like today’s quote, while you might not always get your dream job, you should get a job that meets your needs.
What is Your Dream Job? – Before you can search for your dream job you need to define what it is. Whatever you’ve selected (let’s say it is head of marketing at a fashion magazine), you should ensure that your external view of the role is in fact reality. Maybe there is long hours, or high pressure deadlines. Maybe it pays less than you want to earn or maybe you don’t actually have the skill set. You need to research the role, try to talk to people who have have your “dream job”.
Land Your Dream Job – Okay, you’ve done your research and now you are ready to go out and get your dream job. So, where to start? For one, you should make a list of companies where your dream job exists. Find a list of recruiters that specialize in your job/industry, contact industry groups and leverage social networks like
Look at the Bigger Picture – Okay, maybe it’s not a short path to your dream job. Maybe it is a mid or late career position. Nevertheless, you still need to get there. In order to do that, you need to see the big picture and plan it all out. Understand the steps and roles required to get to your dream job. Take a look at the career paths of those who are already in the role (see if you can meet them and talk to them). Set goals of when you expect to reach level and off you go.
Sometimes There Are Detours on the Road to Your Dream Job – Sometimes even the best of plans don’t work out as you would have hoped. Sometimes circumstances are out of your (a bankruptcy, downsizing, industry issues, etc.). These are but bumps in the road. Yes, some may seem like mountains while others are but a blip, but wherever your detours may take you it is but one part of your overall career journey.
Good luck in your search.
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