April 18, 2018

Do you get up most mornings, head to work, and proceed to daydream about that other job you want?

First: Know you’re not alone. So many of us have an idea of our “dream job,” but we’re not sure how to make moves to get there—especially if we’re already in another gig.

To get you off on the right foot, here are 10 steps you can take to start inching towards the job you’ve always wanted.

1. Ask Yourself Why

The first step you need to take is to ask yourself why you want to change jobs in the first place. What is it that you don’t like about your current job? Do you hate the people you work with, or dislike how your bosses run the place? Does the company culture feel like a mismatch, do they have low rates of pay, or are you just feeling bored?

Whatever is it, make sure you write it down—these learnings will help steer you to a better job once you start looking.

2. Think About What You Want From Your 9-5

Make a list of all the positive traits, features, skills and interests that you have. Are you technically minded or more hands on? Do you prefer working with a group or solo? Do you want to go to an office every day or work remotely?

Answering these questions will help you start thinking about what kind of job works for you and your interests.

3. Research Your Ideal Dream Job

With the list of traits and positive features in hand, you can now start to match up your skills with the job that best suits you. Think of it like a puzzle—try to align your interests and skills with a job that’s all about those things.

For example, if you’re great with people and have a passion for fitness and going to the gym, becoming a personal trainer might be a good option or getting certified as a Zumba instructor.

If you need ideas, spend some time looking at job boards and LinkedIn, just to see what kind of job titles and responsibilities might interest you.

4. Map Out Your Path

Once you know what kind of job or career path you want to take, now is the time to map out how you’re going to get there. Most importantly, it’s key to recognize how long it’s going to take.

Do you need to take a course? Do you need a special qualification? Plan backwards, and you’ll see the way forward.

5. Create Your Action Plan

Now that you know the path to your dream job, it’s time to take action. Let’s say you want to be a personal trainer. You’ll need to get a qualification, which can take anywhere from six weeks to six months. You may need to save money for this course, so set a date to start putting a little money aside.

6. Network with People in Your Dream Role

Once the plan is underway and the wheels are turning, it’s helpful to start talking with people who are already in the role that you want. These like-minded people can give you insight into steps you might not have considered as well as the reality of working in the specific field.

7. Enhance Your Résumé

Of course, an essential part of the job seeking process is writing a captivating resume to secure an interview. This means you’ll need to invest time updating and perfecting your resume to ensure it’s perfect for when you apply for that next job role.

Pro-tip: Once you feel good about your resume, have someone else look it over, too. A pair of fresh eyes always helps—they might be able to spot that typo that’s snuck through.

8. Analyze Your Progress

As the days, weeks and months fly by, you need to make sure you’re taking a step back every now and then to check if you’re on track. Revisit your action plan and check if you’re pacing well. If not, don’t stress—it’s OK to adjust your game plan as necessary.

9. Improve and Develop Your Skills

There are always ways you can enhance your skills for a particular role. If you have time, try to sign up for a course or go on a deep YouTube dive to learn a new skill that could help out in the particular field.

For example: Want to get into content strategy? Read some Medium posts where experts break down their secrets to crafting a good strategy. Now more than ever, it’s easy to learn from the best from the comfort of your own home.

10. Take Pride in Your Dedication

As you approach your end goal, remember to look back and appreciate your motivation and determination. Regardless of if you land your dream job right away or on the 50th interview, take pride in how far you’ve come and how you’ve grown.

You’ve proven that you can commit to something you’re passionate about—and the employer who gets to work with you is truly lucky to find someone with that kind of dedication.

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