The average American spends 90,000 hours at work, which accounts for one-third of our lives. It would be a shame to spend that time in misery. While it’s unlikely you’ll stumble upon your dream job, you can take an active role in forging your path. You’ll need the patience to see this through.
How to Find Your Dream Job or Career in 2022
There’s a stark difference between what we do for money and what we do out of love. If you follow our tips, both of these factors could combine into your perfect dream job or career.
1. Match What you Want to Your Lifestyle
The first step to finding your dream job is actually knowing what it is, but that’s not easy to figure out. This is usually because we feel pressured to pursue careers that make us the most money. Unfortunately, our passions tend to be low-paying, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t necessary.
You also have to consider your lifestyle. If you plan to have kids, travel, or volunteer on Sundays, you have to find a career that supports these choices. Use online job searching sites, like Lensa, to match your resume with like-minded employers who value work-life balance and remote work.
2. Network and Make Industry Friends
You’re more likely to be hired from a referral than with a job application, so start making friends in your desired field. When you network, you’re able to speak to talented business people in your industry. These business people can provide guidance, mentorship, or a recommendation.
Networking events happen all year, and you can find industry-related seminars, meet-ups, and organizations online or in person. Just search “(industry) networking event” on social media.
3. Get Qualified but be Willing to Start Small
Depending on your career of choice, you may need to go back to school. You can’t be a doctor or a lawyer without the proper certifications. At the same time, you can weigh the pros and cons of going to college if your career path doesn’t need a degree but makes finding a job easier.
For example, a cybersecurity bachelor’s degree will help you jump into a lucrative industry, but if you have coding, security, or IT experience, you can transition into this field without a lot of hassle. Either way, you’ll have to start at the bottom rung of the career later, so be prepared.
4. Stay Humble and Take Calculated Risks
Humility is a great trait to have. However, being humble is difficult when you’re 35, 40, or 50 with a new career. We often tie our self-worth to our jobs, which is why “quitting a good thing” is so hard in the first place. Pay attention to why you made this choice to stay motivated and confident.
Confidence is also necessary when applying. You may find jobs that you’re unqualified for, but it’s in your best interest to take a chance. Take a few risks here and there, and you may land the job.
5. Take Charge, Be Formal, and Prove Yourself
Communication and leadership skills are the most sought-after soft skills recruiters look for. It’s essential that you make even the smallest opportunities matter. Take charge of your career by sending the appropriate follow-ups to clients, employers, and partners, because you never know.
There may come a time when you have to prove yourself to a potential employer. They may ask you to do a test or spend a few days on the job to examine your skills. If you already have a job, that might be difficult, so consider booking time off or coming in on evenings and weekends.
6. Don’t Just Focus on the Money
We often sacrifice our own happiness in exchange for a higher-paying job, but this isn’t what this exercise is all about. You’re trying to break away from the mundane drudgery of your previous career. Don’t settle for less than what you need, and try to place the focus on mental health.
Teachers make $36,000 a year, which isn’t fair by any stretch. But if you love that career, look at alternatives, like online tutoring or international language teaching. Or, start a paid side-huddle.
7. Know That it Won’t Happen Overnight
Even if you’re educated, experienced, and connected, there’s no guarantee that you’ll land your dream job right out of the gate. There’s also no guarantee that you’ll make money right away or work in a fulfilling office environment. You’ll still need to go through the regular hiring motions.
It’s vital to stay positive and focus on your goals. If you feel like you want to give up, take a break and get back to it. Or break your goal into smaller, more obtainable ones. Try to find enjoyment in the process itself, and look for ways you can stand out, improve your skills, and grow elsewhere.
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