How to get your dream job

How to get your dream job is.. well…what we dream about. It is something that we aspire to. It’s the thing that keeps us going when times are tough, and when the work that we are doing at the moment isn’t inspiring us.

There will always be days when not everything goes to plan, or when we wake up feeling under the weather, or too exhausted to do our best. Those days need to be in the minority and the excitement and joyous days need to out number them in the long run.

Getting your dream job

How do we get our dream job?

It sounds obvious, but we need to start with a picture of what our dream job is. It’s no good saying “Something better than this“, or “A job where I get to be creative“. You need to be specific. Start by asking yourself what you like about the job that you are doing at the moment. Is it the contact that you have with the public, or the chats that you have with your work colleagues. Or do you love the brain storming sessions that you have with one of your pals there?

You might be thinking “But I hate everything about my job at the moment!“. If this is you, I’m going to ask you to dig deep and think of one positive thing about your job for every day of this week, no matter how small it might feel. Think about the commute you make, the people that you come into contact on the way, or the feeling that you get when you hand a finished piece of work in. These small moments can build up into a bigger picture of the elements that you would like to have in a dream job.

Maybe you hate your commute and think that you want to work from home. Have you tried it before? Do you find that you can’t get motivated when there isn’t a deadline hanging over your head, or you feel lonely at the end of the first month as you haven’t seen anyone else? Working from home might sound like the dream, but unless you have tried it (taken it for a test drive) how will you know if you like it or not.? This leads me onto the next big question.

You can find out more in the podcast:

How to find out what your dream job is

You might have an idea of the elements that make up your dream job, but you still aren’t sure what it is exactly. I want you to answer these next few questions (do this even if you have an idea of what it is that you want to do, as it will help you narrow down your plan of action to create it).

  1. What makes you happy? (This is a long answer question. Put down as much detail as possible).
  2. Whose work do you admire?
  3. What kind of lifestyle do you want to have in 3 years time?
  4. What kind of people do you want to work with or for?
  5. How many hours do you want to work a day,week?
  6. Do you want to commute or work from home-why?

We spend more than half of our life at work, which is why it is important that we enjoy what we do most of the time. I say most of the time, because we have to be realistic that we aren’t going to love every tiny bit of what we do. I want to make sure that you enjoy the majority of it.

Making a plan to get your dream job

Making a plan helps us to take action, otherwise our dream job stays a dream. Once you have a picture of what your dream job looks like I want you to make a list of people who have that job. A quick Google search will help you find them. Read about their biographies, the people that they work with, the colleges or Universities that they attended. Now, I don’t want you to get all stalker like on them- I want you to build up a picture of what it took for them to get to where they are now.

Of course there are going to be elements of their journey that we can never know, like how much financial support they had, or the family contacts who opened doors for them. I want you to focus on the elements that are possible for you to get inspiration from.

Where are you right now?

The next step is to look at where you are right now. Are you in a job that has a mentor programme, or offers you training and development? Are there colleagues in other departments who can mentor you, or offer contacts to help you on the footpath to your dream job?

If you aren’t in a job right now, or are temping and don’t have access to those benefits I want you to jump to the next part of the plan instead.

Make a diagram, list or mind map that lists the dream job you want to have at the centre. Next I want you to list the elements that make up the job like manufacturing, networking, writing, publishing etc. In each of those elements I want you to list the skills that you have right now, and the ones that you need to get.

I then want you to think of the 7 degrees of separation theory. The idea is that through our networks of friends we are only ever 7 steps away from making contact with a person we want to reach. I want you to think about the people who might be able to help you reach the dream job that you want. Do you need to reach out to a new company or open up a network you have no contacts in yet? List all of your friends who work in a job/ field that you are wanting to get into. Start to ask them if they know of any openings, networking events, or introductions that they can make to help you reach your goal.

What can you do next?

What can you do today (no matter now small) to get you on the path towards your dream job? Each day I want you to think of another small thing that you can do to get there.

I have created a help sheet to help you work on achieving your dream job. You can download it here:

If you still feel like you need more help, mentoring might work for you. I take on a few clients a year. You can find out more about it here: MENTORING

Other resources to help

How to find what creative career you want.

Creating a community to help your career. 

How to leave a corporate job for a creative one.