How To Get That Job You Want (A Step-by-Step Guide)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 1, 2022 | Published September 7, 2021
Updated December 1, 2022
Published September 7, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
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Finding your dream job can improve your life in many ways. You can align your passion with your work, making you happier and more creative. To do this, you must determine what your dream role is and how to get that job. In this article, we look at the benefits of getting a job you want, a step-by-step guide to doing so, and tips to improve your chances.
Benefits of getting a job you want
While many of us require a job to live comfortably outside of work, there are plenty of benefits to getting a job you actually enjoy, such as the following:
Increased happiness: Working in a job you enjoy can make you happier as you're able to express your creativity and passion. You feel more satisfied and energized at work. You may even like going to work, as you know you can have fun and enjoy your day.
More in-depth connections: When you enjoy your job, you can make deeper professional connections. You have something in common with everyone you work with, making networking much easier. This can also help improve your interpersonal and communication skills.
Improved career development options: Working in a job you want means you have more opportunities for advancement. If you're happy to stay in the same industry and at the same company, you can apply for promotions or advanced roles, helping you develop new skills and experience.
Align your values with the company: Working in a job you want typically means you agree with the company's culture and values. This means you can embrace your values and beliefs at all times, in your professional and personal life.
How to get that job
While every career has a different path you need to take to obtain it, here are some general steps on how to get that job you've always wanted:
1. Think about the job you want
The first step to getting your dream career is determining what that job is. Consider what you're passionate about and the skills you already have. To narrow your search, think of industries you're interested in pursuing. Whether it's healthcare, technology, or marketing, choosing an industry in this stage can help you research particular roles.
2. Research the role
Once you pick an industry, start looking up potential career paths. It's important to remember that you may need to start in an entry-level role to gain experience before you can apply for your dream job, so factor this into your decision-making.
Start by researching your list of potential dream jobs and determine what experience, education, or skills you need to gain. You may already be qualified for certain positions which helps improve your chances of getting your dream job. If not, determine whether you would be happy to pursue further training or whether a different role is better suited to your needs.
3. Pursue the necessary education or training
Once you've narrowed down your list to your dream position, you can start working towards it. Every role has different requirements. For example, a doctor needs to go to medical school while an electrician needs to complete an apprenticeship. To get your dream job, you need to meet its unique requirements.
You may need to go to college or university, get an entry-level job, complete an apprenticeship, or pursue a certificate or license. This can take a lot of time, but receiving the necessary education or training helps prepare you for your dream job. If you already have the necessary requirements, you can move on to the next step.
4. Develop unique skills and attributes
Along with the necessary education and training, you need specific hard and soft skills or attributes to be successful in your career. Soft skills, also known as transferable skills, are ones you can use in a variety of jobs. For example, communication and analytical skills are both considered transferable. Hard skills, also known as technical skills, tend to be specific to a role or industry, such as computer programmers that need to know how to code.
Determine what skills and attributes you need for the job you want by looking through job postings or descriptions. Make a list of skills that come up a lot, then make a list of skills you already have. Compare these lists to determine what skills you need to improve or develop before applying for your dream job.
5. Identify the company
Once you're prepared for the job you want, you can start applying for the position. To do this, you need to identify the companies you'd be happy working at for a while. Search for job openings in your area, or other cities if you're happy to relocate, and see which companies are hiring. Research those companies to see if your values align with theirs. If not, consider applying elsewhere to ensure you're satisfied with your work.
6. Write a strong application
When applying for jobs, you're not limited to only one company. If you found multiple companies you'd be happy working for, you can apply to several open positions or just apply to one until you hear from them. Either way, it's important your application is strong and unique to help you stand out over other candidates.
Read every job posting and application carefully to ensure you meet all the requirements. Then, ensure you include all the necessary information and paperwork. You may have to fill out a physical or digital application form and still include your resume for employers to consider. Some employers may even require you to complete an evaluation or test in the application stage to assess your knowledge before inviting you to interview.
7. Prepare for the interview
If your application is successful, you may receive some invitations to interview. To improve your chances of getting the job, prepare for the interview beforehand. One of the best ways to do this is by researching potential questions the interviewer may ask you and preparing an answer. Many employers ask a mix of general and role-specific questions to get to know you and assess your knowledge and experience, so it's important you prepare for both types of questions.
Thinking of your answers ahead of time can help you feel more calm and confident in the interview. It also shows employers you took the time and initiative to prepare, making a better first impression.
Related: Interview Preparation Tips
8. Make a good first impression
The interview is likely the first time prospective employers see you in person, so it's important you make a good impression on them. There are several ways to do this. The first is to dress professionally. Research the company's dress code to determine what they consider professional.
Next, you want to arrive early and greet everyone you come into contact with in the office. This shows employers you're punctual and friendly, great qualities for any role. During the interview, show you're interested in the conversation by maintaining eye contact, smiling, and nodding when appropriate. Also, ensure you sit up straight and try to stay still as it emphasizes your confidence.
Tips for advancing your career
If you got your dream job, you need to work hard to keep it. The best way to do this is to develop yourself and advance your career by following these tips:
Continue your education: Many industries are constantly changing. To keep up with these changes, it's important to continue your education in your free time. Consider attending seminars, taking additional courses, or networking with people in the industry.
Set goals: It's always important to have short-term and long-term goals. This gives you something to work toward at all times and motivates you to work harder.
Establish effective routines: Having a routine can help you maximize your time and be more productive. Consider developing a morning routine to prepare you for the day or an evening routine to help you wind down before bed.
Be accountable: In every career, it's important to hold yourself accountable for completing tasks and reaching your goals. If you need help to stay on track, consider asking a friend or colleague to help.
Network: Getting to know people in your industry and developing professional relationships with them is a great way to advance your career. You can learn about new opportunities or gain valuable experience.
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