Are you finding that your Monday is more frequently your “moan-day?” Are you yearning for your dream job? Landing that job won’t happen overnight. It will take time, perseverance, patience, and passion but it can happen.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s break it down.
January is traditionally a hot month for job seekers. The holidays have come and gone and the new year gets us thinking about fresh starts. But before you start applying, be crystal clear on what your dream job means to you. Does it mean that you want to make a six-figure income? Are you looking for remote work only or do you fancy working for a non-profit? Perhaps you want a total career transformation. Blindly applying to online postings won’t get you far because if you take any job that comes your way, you may not be on the path to what you innately desire.
KEY CONSIDERATIONS in changing jobs
When you are clear about what you want, you can tailor your strategy to one that is unique to you. You’ll have homework. There will be plenty of planning and researching you will need to do before you make a move.
What are your non-negotiables? It’s equally important to know what you don’t want if you make a move. Where can you be flexible and what’s a deal breaker? If you have something in your current job that gives you angst, don’t trade one job for another one if the issue is not resolved.
- How far are you willing to commute?
- What benefits are most important to you?
- What salary are you aiming for?
- Would you consider relocating for the right role?
- What kind of company culture would suit you best?
- What kind of boss do you want?
Who do you know or who do you need to know to help you? What personal connections do you need to make? If you are not sure where to start, talk to other people who work in a similar field to see how they landed in the job you want.
What locations do you need to be in? Are you in the right physical area where you can learn, prepare, perform and grow professionally in your field?
Scour job ads. What are the specific skills, technologies, expertise that companies are asking for when they advertise these types of jobs? Do you lack any skills that you need to be successful in this field? If so, what is your plan to close that gap?
How much will additional education or training cost me? If you need to bridge the gap on your skills, how will you do that? Beyond the monetary costs, you must be able to allocate the time to do this. Also, what is a realistic timeframe to close the gap?
Are you willing to do what it takes? Are you prepared to put in the required hard work and energy it will take to be able to live your dream?
If your answer to the last question is yes, then let’s get busy.
READY, SET, GO
Be ready. Get your resume, cover letter, and branding in order. Positions that are not the exact job you want may arise and those jobs may inch you closer to the job of your dreams. Be prepared to act. Some examples of this may include:
- Entry-level or lateral positions: You may take on a role that is close but not exact to your dream job. This is known as “getting your foot in the door.”
- Internships: Shadowing someone or taking an internship at the company you want to work for can help you grow your expertise and help you make connections in your field.
- Volunteering: If you have the time and financial means, volunteering is a way to gain experience even if you can only dedicate 5-10 hours a week to it.
Build an online presence that positions yourself for the job. Establish an online presence. This may include professional social network sites or creating your professional website containing your portfolio, videos, resume and any other relevant materials that highlight what you can offer.
Know your story. Your resume is the snapshot of your professional experience and skills you have to offer. But, you’re more than a resume. You have a story to tell. What is it? Give the listener a reason to keep listening. Work on your elevator pitch, which is a brief and succinct story that answers three questions: who you are, what you do, and what you want to do. This is your chance to establish your individual brand.
Connect and build relationships. Ask someone who has a job like the one you want if they would be willing to grab coffee with you. Then ask them how they got where they are and if they have any professional insights to share. The proper relationships can lead to interviews and new jobs.
Location, location, location. Put yourself in places where opportunities can arise. This could be networking events, workshops, training, or formal and informal affairs. When you physically position yourself around the right people and in the right places, your visibility increases and your chances of getting the job you want will magnify.
Don’t get stale. Once you close your skills gap, stay on top of what’s happening so you can lead the way and not lag. Keep on top of industry events, knowledge, and technology.
Make moments count and make the journey personal and fun. There is so much talk today about doing what you love and living your passion that it may put undue pressure on you if you don’t have a passion yet. Trust me, sometimes it takes years to figure that out. This makes it that much more important to understand that it is not the destination but rather the journey that counts. Ensure the job strategy plan you make is one that has milestones so that you can celebrate your journey and success along the way. It is the individual moments that lead to the grand finale. If your focus is only on the end, you forget to make those individual moments count.