“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.” – Mark Twain
Let’s face it, the saying that ‘nothing in life worth having comes easy’, is definitely true when it comes to the world of work and finding your dream job. Whether you’re striving for a foot in the door of your fave organisation or you dream of being able to work for yourself, just know that is possible.
Here are my top tips for getting ahead and getting that dream job.
Network, network, and network a bit more
Industry conferences are a great way to meet people and gain new information about a particular sector. Everybody is there for the same reason, wanting to meet other people in the industry and expand their knowledge so you can meet people and get advice and potentially find work there. I always find this is often a better way to make connections because you can speak to someone face to face and make more of an impressions than a name amongst many in someones inbox.
Meet ups are another great way of networking, these are often a lot more informal than conferences and often involve meeting up at the pub after work to discuss things like industry trends. A great way to discover meet ups in your area is through Meetups. There are also likely to be many Facebook groups devoted to a particular industry in your area which are definitely worth joining too.
The thought of networking by myself used to genuinely terrify me, but I found the more events I attended the easier it became. Plus, I found many other people would turn up by themselves too and were likely to have been just as nervous!
Do you know the latest technology developments in your industry? Do you know what latest industry trends are? A great way to research and keep up to date is to read blog posts on company websites or sign up to newsletters from industry websites. That way you are constantly expanding your knowledge plus the information gained provides potential avenues for further research. Keeping up to date with potential changes and developments in your chosen industry because it will result in better…
A great way to practice is to start your own project or find someone who needs assistants with theirs and help out. That way you can learn from someone else whilst also making contributions. Whilst you are practicing you are learning and you can be gathering a portfolio of your work along the way which will give you something to show future employers/prospective clients.
I know there is often a debate over whether experience is worth more than qualifications but I have found gaining qualifications has gone hand in hand with experience. Getting qualified not only boosted my skills but my confidence in reaching out for new opportunities and taking on new projects. Plus, I have found some clients/employers have specifically required them.
Chartered qualifications in your chosen sector are great to get because they are high quality and widely recognised by many industry professionals. Becoming a member of an institute is also a good idea because you get alerted of conferences, events and other useful resources.
Keep a record of your progress
This doesn’t have to be online, maybe it’s a folder full of your designs, projects or anything else that shows off your skills. Having a portfolio of your work will definitely come in handy when you’re approaching a potential employer or client. This was especially helpful for me as I found it calmed me in job interviews as it almost takes the pressure off yourself, as the focus becomes on your work rather than how well you can ‘chat’, which when I’m nervous, isn’t very well!
If you want something online, a blog is a great place to start. A place to start is a free WordPress site where they have a ton of great portfolio style templates to choose from.
Goal setting is a vital step in the process of getting your dream job. Make sure goals you are setting are achievable within the time frame you give yourself and that you set short and longterm goals. Setting goals will ensure you remain on track and will help motivate you throughout the process.
Find a mentor
Already know the company you want to work at? A great why to get advice is to contact an employee directly who works in the sector you are interested in. Many companies have contact details of specific people on their website or you can search the company on LinkedIn and find its employees. This is not only helpful to gain tips but you never know who else your information could be passed to. Plus it always looks good to be being proactive!
This is probably the most important and the hardest tip in succeeding in doing what you love and getting your dream job. It is so easy to give up when you are not making as much process as you would like, or to listen to people around you who try to tell you that ‘it’s not worth it’. But you need to remember why you are doing what you are doing and that feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach that goal and get to spend your time doing what you love in your dream job. Because the hard work will be worth i, trust me.
I hope this has helped you get motivated and given you some tips for pursuing your dream job. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips?