In this article, I’m going to give you my views on the topic of how to find your dream job, which I still believe is hugely possible, despite the tough times we are going through and in fact, now may be the best time to start that search.
Even before this global pandemic that has decimated the global economy, we were facing tough and challenging economic times that would have seen a massive change in the way we work and the type of jobs that are going to be around in the future.
Finding your dream job is all about taking control of the process…and ultimately your career.
Too many people leave one of the most important aspects of your life in the hands of others and thankfully in today’s Internet-enabled world, it’s never been easier to reach out and connect with people.
Finding your dream job may require you to have a radical change of career, thinking, or both…but that, after all, is what a dream is all about!
And by taking control in the manner I describe in this article, you may well find that you create opportunities, rather than having to go after existing ones.
In the face of growing automation, here are some of the jobs I believe will thrive in the future:
- Jobs that rely on the human element to translate technology into a business case.
- Executive and senior management leadership roles.
- Healthcare jobs that require empathy — nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, elderly care, etc.
- High-level sales jobs requiring a great deal of commercial understanding.
- Customer experience and service roles.
- Psychologists and therapists.
- Property development and key construction management roles.
- Cybersecurity and data applications analysts.
- Roles that use advanced communication, literacy, critical thinking, and emotional analysis.
- Entertainment and sporting roles.
These are of course, wide-ranging, but they have one thing (as of today) that humans possess and that machines do not:
The ability to understand and act upon human emotion and the ability to motivate and lead others.
So how do you prepare yourself and more importantly, land that dream job?
You have to learn to “break out of the egg,” so to speak — it is easy to live in a world of security and confinement…the yolk and white of the egg are contained in a protective shell that affords some kind of protection and putting into context, it is easy to live in your comfort zone of where you are today, whatever that looks like, rather than breaking through the shell and exploring the great wide world!
We are talking about a “dream” job, aren’t we?
Well think about your dreams and as I told one guy I am working with right now — it’s so easy to put your head down on the pillow at night and live in your wildest dreams and fantasies…but come the morning, you will switch it all off and go about your normal day.
It’s about taking action on those dreams if you really want to achieve your full potential in life…so you may as well start with your job!
And before we go on, I am not in any way, some self-styled “guru” or expert trying to sell you some kind of “secret sauce,” or any kind of program — I am a self-made entrepreneur who has been in business for nearly forty years and most of it spent in the recruiting/staffing services sector, so I know a thing or two about the job world!
The process is ridiculously simple…if you are prepared to do some hard work and take yourself a little out of your comfort zone.
But before I go deeper into the steps, there are a couple of points I want to cover first.
Social media and jobs
Everyone and their dog is talking about the “new economy” and one being driven by digital and online activity, which brings me to the importance (or not) of having your social media profile optimized and making sure you use the relevant platforms.
And they would be absolutely correct!
But…you must never come to rely on social media or the many applications that go along with it and simply because the rules of the game can change in a heartbeat.
Facebook, Linkedin, and the like are great tools…until they are not, plus you have to remember that the ultimate control rests with them.
Before social media, you had to do things the hard way and that meant attending as many face-to-face networking events as you possibly could…with the sole idea of building your own network.
Then it was a matter of doing exactly what I am going to outline to you in the steps that follow a little later if you wanted to find those opportunities that are “under the radar” and not advertised in the mainstream.
There is also the trend today of applying for many jobs using automated processes, which serve to take away the legwork of the hiring process (at least from the company that is hiring) and the only problem here is that you become reliant on that particular technology for the outcome of your search for a job.
I would rather talk to someone directly and have more control over the process…but who do you talk to and how do you make that approach?
I will detail that later.
Social media is a great tool to build your personal brand — it is an “enabler” and one that has changed the way we interact with others.
For hiring managers in companies, they can now target the people who they feel will be the best for any job roles they have and if yours is optimized, you may well find that the job market will “come to you.”
But that is no way to rely on finding your dream job…far too much is left to chance and out of your control, for my liking at least.
So use technology for what it is and make sure your profiles are up-to-date and optimized because one thing is for certain these days…they will be looked at!
How to find your dream job (3 steps)
There are 3 very simple steps to the process:
- Take a long, hard look at yourself and discover what it is that you really want and that will more than likely be in line with your passions.
- Make a list of the companies that you would like to work for and ask yourself why?
- Contact them at the executive leadership level and get interviewed.
Now let’s break them down:
1.What do you really want?
I’ve personally struggled with this question for most of my life and that was because I avoided the information that was sitting right under my nose, plus each time I confronted that information, I ran away from it in fear.
I talked about dreams earlier and the fact that so many people including myself, by the way, are great at having the most vivid dreams and then not taking any action as a result.
I’d had dream jobs that covered most of the job spectrum and looking back, I should and could have followed any one of them, but I was too fearful to take the chance and breakthrough my own eggshell to find out.
Don’t make the same mistake.
You have to start the process of deep discovery and that means taking a long, hard look at who you are and what you want to do with your life.
Much is talked about this subject and you will see the adverts from the various life and career coaches telling you to “follow your passion” and they are of course right…but…you have to dig a little deeper than simply following your passion.
Take me as an example — I am passionate about business, entrepreneurship, music, psychology, philosophy, martial arts, cooking, wine, golf, reading, and investing just to name a few.
And I could easily consume all of my time in any of…or all of those subjects and thankfully I have a wide range of passions enabling me to have enough choice to make a choice.
I am a natural sales and marketing person, so I would feel comfortable taking up any kind of sales or marketing role in those fields and I would be a dream employee if I did.
The foundation of success lies within you
Digging deeper means that you must go beyond the initial attraction of the subject and test yourself to see how much interest you actually have in it.
For example, I love golf, to the point of obsession — I’m constantly looking at the golf swing to see how it can be improved and that involves looking at the golf swings of the past, present, and future to see if I can find just one thing that will help me improve mine — it’s exactly the same with philosophy.
When you go deep into a subject, it forces you to widen your thinking and stay with me on this, because when you start to look at all possibilities, rationally and are not frightened to test them because you are passionate about them, you will start to build some critical qualities that are essential for employers.
Become a linchpin
The great Internet marketing guru Seth Godin explains that if you can write down what you do, as far as your job goes, then you are in danger of having that job automated or performed by someone else who can do the same for less money.
He goes on to explain his definition of a linchpin as a person who is indispensable to an organization, which will certainly take care of any job security issues!
The only issue I have with Godin is that I don’t like the term “indispensable,” as for me, I don’t want to have employees who I feel could hold me to ransom and I prefer the term “invaluable.”
But that’s me just splitting hairs and I have written my own article, giving my views on how to become a linchpin:
I cover a lot about what I’m talking about in this article, especially about the phase I am talking about here, so it’s worth a read, and here are 2 more articles that may help you as well.
Take your time to dig deep and really find your passions, because, in the next step, you are going to apply them!
2.Who would you really like to work for?
This is where you start to turn the tables on the hiring companies and it’s a philosophy that I have successfully employed for most of my recruiting and staffing life.
Having run my own companies, I was of course an employer myself and I can tell you that nothing impressed me more than having a potential employee contact me directly explaining that they had researched the market, identified a list of companies that they would like to work for, and my company was on that list!
That approach told me a lot about the individual concerned — how they took control of their destiny, how they had put some thought into the process, and most importantly, how they had tailored themselves to the values of my company and its objectives.
Now, the best approaches came from the people who didn’t even talk about the job role first — they talked about values.
The specifics came later.
That approach is exactly the approach I am recommending you follow when it comes down to finding your dream job and I defy you to find any executive leader of any company that would not look at this approach favorably.
When you target the right people, you get to the people who have nothing but a vested interest in the success of their company; there are no “powerplays,” no empire protection or building, and no bias other than to find the people that can make their companies more successful…and in line with their corporate and personal values.
If you can overcome your initial fear and trepidation to make contact with this top leadership layer, you will not be disappointed, I can assure you.
3.Making the approach & Getting Interviewed
It is not difficult to get to this layer and this is where social media comes into play, as well as the Internet in general.
The first stage is to conduct deep research and that involves taking a look at online profiles, interviews that have been conducted, where applicable, and generally trying to build a picture of the people concerned and linking them to the research that you will conduct on the company in general.
Remember, you are selling yourself, or more importantly, what I term as your “compelling value proposition.”
This goes way beyond your resume or cv — it outlines what you can bring to the company and the outcome that can be expected.
It is a commercial proposition and I go into this in more detail in an article I have written about sales and selling, so take a look at it:
If you take the information from the linchpin and the above article, you are combining the commercial application of your own emotional intelligence (EQ).
This is the perfect combination to making sure that your dream job is one that has some longevity to it and machines as of today, are not very good at displaying emotional intelligence!
There are so many ways to connect with people today and if you have done your homework, so to speak, you will have a ton of information at your disposal and all you have to do now is to use it.
But there is one golden rule here when it comes to making the first contact:
Absolutely no selling!
I did explain to you that you are trying to “sell yourself,” and that still holds true…but it is the way that you sell yourself that counts and let me give you an example:
I receive a lot of direct messages on Linkedin, which I don’t mind because I fully understand the purpose of the platform and it’s only right that people try to sell and market themselves or their services.
But for me, the days of “going for the close,” in selling terms are long over…if they really ever existed in the first place.
Most of the messages I receive explain that the person concerned would love to connect, which is fine and then a few minutes or a day later they pitch their services to me or ask me to jump on a call and kindly send me their calendar, which of course never has any availability at that moment, only a week later because they are “so busy.”
Now if they had just reached out and made the connection, after taking some time to research me and probably gave me their opinion about an issue I have commented on, then I would be far more likely to take note of them.
A reflection of you
When you first make contact with your target executive, you are showing them exactly how you approach others and when I was employing people and received direct approaches, I would immediately envisage the same person contacting one of my customers and how that customer would feel.
You must think in this way.
I use a variety of methods to connect with people and my favorite is a straightforward cold call…only it’s not “cold” because I have done my homework and am ready to talk about an issue that I believe is relevant to them and offer my own opinions.
When I was representing specialist technology people in the telecom industry, I would contact the executive assistants to the leadership team and ask for their help.
I would explain that I have a person(s) who wanted to work for their organization and one that could provide high-end skills a great deal of commercial value and I need some help to navigate through the organization to find the right person to talk to who operated directly in that field.
The approach worked like a dream and all I am sharing with you right now is to take the same approach when it comes down to your own career.
It gives you a great deal of control over the process and takes you away from the hiring “rat race.
I don’t want to seem arrogant here, or for you to be arrogant in your approach…but in reality, you are going to take the stance of interviewing the company!
It’s time to turn the tables and remember, companies who are going to thrive in the future, need people as well as automation to make that happen.
The job landscape has changed…but only for the right people and those that are going to continue to drive change.
Interviews are a two-way street and you should never feel inferior to any interviewer or any company — one is dependent on the other, but that doesn’t mean that you should be arrogant in any way.
You are simply going to take the interview as an opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the market concerned, your knowledge of the company in question, and the compelling value proposition that you offer.
You can find out more about my approach to interviewing in this article:
Putting it all together
Landing your dream job is firstly understanding that you have to take control of the process.
The start of that control is to understand the job market as a whole — the history of the job world, where we are today, and what it is going to look like in the future.
From here, you have to make a plan.
I have talked about the importance of developing emotional skills and the importance of emotional intelligence and this is the area to focus intently on when it comes down to finding out what you really want to do and in line with your passions.
It all starts with what you are passionate about as you will not view any passion you have as simply a job…it is something that you will gladly spend a great deal of time on and relentlessly.
Your goal is to find the companies that can best utilize, develop and challenge your skills — so search those companies out and go after them!
It may involve a total change of direction as far as your career is concerned, but that is what this is all about…finding your dream job.
When it comes down to making contact with those companies, you must never worry about targeting the executive leadership level, no matter how inexperienced or experienced you are in making direct approaches or calls.
You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
It’s the same as an interview — enjoy the opportunity to showcase who you are, what you do, and the value you can bring to that organization.
Interviewing is a two-way street.
Go after your dream!
If you need any help or clarification on what I’ve written here, then please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help in any way that I can.
Last modified: February 23, 2021