One of the most important quests in life is finding out what you want to do as a profession. People start off with ambitious career paths as children, from astronauts exploring the vast universe to doctors pioneering medical breakthroughs. Unfortunately, as people grow older, they tend to lose these interests and instead go for day jobs to pay rent and food.
Having only one life to live, it’s essential that you find your dream job, regardless of what it is, and then work hard towards achieving it. To serve as a starting point, here are 10 things you’ll want to remember about this worthwhile undertaking.
Isolate Your Thoughts
What you think about every day can manifest itself physically, with or without your consciousness. What you’re thinking about every hour of the day may leave clues as to what your dream job is. Are you thinking about traveling the world and taking thousands of photographs in the process? Perhaps you find yourself frequently daydreaming about saving people in burning buildings or wearing law enforcement uniforms while patrolling the streets?
There’s a lot of cues you can pick up from your thoughts. One only has to pay attention in order to make sense of them.
Identify and Lead With Your Strengths
Choosing the right career requires you to find not only your passion but also your strengths. Exhibiting strong grasp and skills within a particular industry or topic doesn’t always translate to your dream job, but it does narrow down the fields you can or should choose from.
Are you a numbers guy or a math genius? Do you find talking to people and helping them address issues fulfilling and enjoyable? There are many ways to nail down your strengths and even weaknesses. For instance, determine whether or not you are an introvert or extrovert. If you’re an extrovert, then a career in the front-end of businesses may best fit your profile. On the other hand, introverts perform best at the back-end operations, handling the technical framework.
Know What the Job Entails
Simply knowing that astronauts fly to space or that doctors help save lives is too vague of a foundation to base your future career decisions on. Conduct meticulous job research to determine what the specific job duties and responsibilities of a particular professional are. Know what equipment they use, what fine motor and gross motor skills are needed, who you’ll be working with on a day-to-day basis, what work environments are you exposed to, and so on. Knowing the answers to these questions is imperative before you take any actionable steps.
Asking People Close To You
Nobody should just follow what their family members or close friends tell them to pursue. Your career should always be pivoted around your own interests and passions. On the same note, however, people close to you can provide an unbiased and objective perspective of what your passion is and who you are. What sort of activities do people associate with you? What projects have you collaborated with in the past? What do people think are your strongest assets?
Consider Your Financial Needs and Limitations
Finding your dream job should not cost you an arm and leg or student loans topping tens of thousands of dollars. Even if you do manage to pull off the educational trajectory you were aiming for, the debt you took on to achieve it can be a limiting factor to what you can actually do after graduation.
Sit down and look at your financial limits. How much tuition can you afford? What SAT scores can you show colleges and universities? Which ones do you have the best chances of getting admitted in? Do you have enough money to pursue a master’s degree? After getting your undergraduate degree, do you have enough job prospects to supplement your basic needs and possibly a master’s degree?
Search For Your Dream Position
Start off by looking at companies and employers whose operations/products/services interest you and are congruent to your own personal mission. You’ll get a clear sense of what they want to achieve as a brand by looking at their mission statement or their About Us page. Once you’ve collected a dozen or so brand names, narrow it down to who is currently hiring. Finding leads isn’t exactly difficult since the Internet has all the information you need. What is fairly tricky is filtering the dozens of options into which one offers the best pay and career advancement opportunities.
Ace Your Interview
Sound interview skills ensure that you ace your job interview and get the job position you want. When your prospective employers are industry giants like Google, Pfizer, or Coca Cola, there is likely no second chance for an interview, hence there should also be no space for error.
Ace your interview by practicing beforehand. Pronounce your name and other personal details correctly in front of the mirror. Practice your handshake, facial gestures, and posture. Be mindful of what you say and practice some interview questions in your mind.
Expect some curveball questions during your interview. Try to answer them as accurately and honestly as possible. Never oversell yourself to the point that you include skills or credentials that do not apply to you.
Networking is a good way to get noticed by prized employers in your respective industry. Start building your network while at school, irrespective if it’s high school or college. Keeping in touch with talented classmates can generate leads since they can refer you when they land a job or at least a job interview.
Even when you have work, network outside during off hours. Attend seminars, webinars, talks, and casual parties.
Expect a Rocky Start
No one comes into an industry and just flat out dominates the space. Overnight sensations indeed exist, but these cases are an exemption. Be prepared to work harder than your coworkers. Exercise initiative when your higher ups are in need of people to work on more complex projects that are beyond your pay grade. Regularly provide feedback and suggestions for the betterment of the company.
Showing initiative increases your chances of getting promoted. This is an especially vital quality for professionals in highly competitive industries, like tech and finance.
Calculate Your CF
CF stands for your Confidence Factor. Everyone has his/her number, yet few people know that this number exists, and even fewer people can compute for it.
The formula involves a range between 0 and 100 percent. A series of 10 variables is used to signify fundamental elements of doing just about any type of paid job. Each variable is ranked based on its relevance to your career decisions. The higher the CF, the more compatible you are with that said job. The variables will differ, but generally include Culture and Compensation among other variables.
Don’t forget to do regular self-assessments when you’ve been working in your dream job. Keep track of how happy and satisfied you are with the pay, experience, and environment. Remember that no dream job is set in stone. Some people will devote decades of their lifetime in one career, but then suddenly shift into a new career path for one or more reasons. The important thing is to always work towards a career you are interested in and are passionate about.