Almost 30 percent of 25- to 33-year-olds know what their dream job is, but they aren’t sure how to get it, according to LinkedIn.
Are you one of them? If so, consider these five steps to landing your dream job.
1. Make sure it’s really your dream job
When Laura Mael was laid off from a banking job she liked in 2011, she did what many newly unemployed people do: She regrouped.
“I found my dream job by evaluating what I really loved to do over my 25-year career and listing the things I wanted to keep doing as well as stop doing,” said Mael, who works in public relations for a bank.
There were 17 things on the positive side, and Mael gets to do all of them at her current job.
Consider other strategies to ensure that the dream job you’ll be chasing is worth getting. Start by interviewing someone who currently holds the position you covet. Don’t just ask how they got it. See if you can shadow them for a day or more so you can get a feel for what the job is really like.
2. Create a career road map
Rachel Carroll had the benefit of knowing during her college years that she wanted to be a designer. Upon graduation, she sought out a junior designer role only to be rebuffed.
“Before landing my dream job, I was an intern,” said Carroll, who’s the senior head of user experience (UX) at StudySoup. “It isn’t always easy pursuing an internship, [as] the demands are high, and many internships are unpaid or provide only a small stipend. [But] the payoff is invaluable.”
If you find yourself in Carroll’s shoes, don’t think internships are beneath you. They could lead right into your preferred role.
If you’ve been out of college longer, see if you might have to retrace your steps to earn a different degree, continue your education, or take on an entry-level or midlevel position. You won’t want to be disqualified by hiring managers for your dream job because you never gained a basic certification.
3. Work your way up
Your road map should outline each step up to your ideal job. Carroll, for example, wanted to lead the UX team for her startup. So she started on a spectrum that included titles such as intern designer, UX or user interface designer, and head of design.
Make your career road map even more worthwhile by estimating how much time you should spend in each position. You can find hints by considering the job description for your dream role. The description could reveal what experience you need to qualify.
Getting hands-on experience is imperative. It could prove to hiring managers that you’ve experienced — not just read about — everything you need to know for your ultimate gig. It’ll also confirm your career choice for yourself. If Carroll didn’t enjoy the ins and outs of UX design, for example, she probably wouldn’t have loved managing a design team.
4. Build your network
Don’t be afraid to switch employers if it keeps you pointed north on your road map. You won’t be alone if you’re mobile. Thirty-five percent of employees have switched jobs in the last three years, according to Gallup.
Just remember that every former colleague and current co-worker is a connection that could help push you where you want to go. Include them as you network your way to the top.
“I started sharing with everyone, ‘I love to do this, do you know anyone who needs someone who does this?'” said Mael.
Mael also recommended that you:
- Attend seminars, talks, and conferences related to your dream job field.
- Find a career coach or mentor with experience in the field.
- Make connections at every turn and add them to your optimized LinkedIn profile.
Just remember that not all career advice is good advice.
5. Check for blind spots
Now imagine interviewing for your dream job. You’re sitting across from a hiring manager, and they have your resume in one hand and the job description in the other.
What isn’t going to match up? It’s healthy to ask yourself this question as you follow your road map — and before you start applying for your dream job.
Mael, for example, had more than two decades of experience working toward her dream job as a public relations professional. However, she identified four gaps in her resume, including lack of experience with TV or radio and lack of connections with influencers in her field.
One of Mael’s less-than-dream jobs on her way up the ladder, however, allowed her to interview C-level executives on-air. That experience helped her bridge some of the gaps on her resume.
When critiquing your candidacy for your dream job, be hard on yourself. When you identify areas where you’re lacking, strategize on how to improve. Volunteer to take on extra projects at work if you have to. Better yet, start a side hustle to build your expertise.
Start working toward your dream job today
Not everyone’s career path is as straight as Carroll’s. It’s likelier that your path will resemble Mael’s.
Like Mael, it’s OK to be flexible. Your dream job could change as you gain experience and build connections. What you want to do today might be different from what you want to do in five or 10 years.
As long as you’re working in the right direction, you’ll end up in the right place — where your dream job will be waiting.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.53% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|