Dream jobs are spoken about like they’re available on every shop corner, but the reality is they’re pretty difficult to come by. And for many, the idea of a dream job is just a fantasy. We certainly aren’t going to tell you what your dream job is, but we will give you a few helpful tips and ask you the right questions that will help you identify this yourself.
What’s a dream job?
Before undergoing any investigation into what you’re destined for, you first have to understand what a dream job entails. A dream job shouldn’t be based on a fantasy – yes lots of us may dream of being a food taster at a Cadbury’s factory, but our skills and expertise may be better suited for something a little more realistic.
A dream job should never stress you out or take over your life. This has little to no longevity and as desirable as a job may seem from the outside, if it’s not best aligned with your wants and needs, it’s not going to make you happy in the long run. Instead, you’ll want to focus on the dream that empowers you, challenges you to succeed, develops your potential and puts you on the right career path.
If you find a general industry of jobs that you’re passionate about, utilise your expertise, and pays you for your time, you’re on track to finding your dream job – but why stop there?
The dream job recipe
Think of your dream job as a Chocolate Soufflé. You’ve no idea of how to make one, but all you know is that you want one. First, you need a bunch of ingredients. Below we’ve listed a number of ingredients that you’ll need to identify in order to discover your dream job
- Work alongside your friends – This isn’t to say you start recruiting one night in the pub, but surround yourself with people you could consider your friends.
- Ensure you care about it – If you don’t care about what you’re doing, you might soon get a little fatigued and lose all motivation.
- Utilise your skills & expertise – In order to develop yourself, your dream job will need to constantly challenge and enhance your current attributes.
- Choose your location – If you have the freedom to be wherever you want, you shouldn’t think twice. Live your dream in your dream location.
Now you’re starting to get an idea of what a dream job entails, it’s time to start asking yourself some questions. Don’t feel the need to answer these instantly – it’s not uncommon to think of a solution or an answer to a question when you completely remove yourself from the problem.
Who do you want to work for?
This could refer to a specific industry, a company, a customer base or an individual. Whoever you work for will become a big part of your life, so take time to consider this.
What problems do you want to solve?
Most companies out there are solving a problem, and it’s the main factor as to why they exist. So you need to think about what problem you want to solve, whilst also considering why you’d be good at solving it.
Where do you want to work?
Location is a big part of any career, try not to pigeon-hole yourself to one place. Spread your wings and go places you’ve always wanted to.
What do you want to get paid to do?
This brings your dream job back to reality. Yes, your fantasy may involve spending your 9-5 playing Mario Karts, but this won’t necessarily help you with your expenses. So consider what you want to do that’d bring in that monthly income.
What are you an expert in?
Everyone’s great at at least one thing. Are you able to identify what this is, can you weave this into a dream job? If you don’t think you’re quite an expert you’re probably just being modest. Ask a friend or a colleague this very question, and you may just find you’re an expert in multiple areas. Find what you’re great at and run with it.
What makes you great?
We’re yet to find a person that enjoys answering this question. It seems to be a natural trait of the human race to be sheepish about our talents. But in order to identify our potential, we must be upfront about what we’re best at.
In order to help you identify these traits, we’d suggest involving a few of your colleagues to help you answer this question. Horizontal Evaluation is a popular appraisal technique that allows your colleagues who you work alongside to identify your strengths and weaknesses. As these people work with you on a daily basis they often have a better grasp on your ability than your senior manager.
Finding the right company
Identifying your dream job won’t ever be easy, but finding the companies at which you want this dream job can often be a little simpler. We recently ran a survey and found that over 50% of job hunters consider ‘culture-fit’ to be the most decisive factor when finding their next job. So you must think what’s the most important factor for you when it comes to your ideal company.
It’s normally a good start to narrow your search down to industries. People tend to stick to a specific industry due to their knowledge within this area, and so you’ll want to ensure the industry is the right one for you.
Growth / Risk
Once you’ve identified one or two industries you can start narrowing down into companies. Think about certain technologies you use and which companies within this industry use these. Also, think about your growth – newer industries such as FinTech are growing fast, but there’s a significant amount of risk attached to a lot of newer companies within this space. Older companies, whilst almost risk-free tend to move a little slower, and you may find it more difficult to move up the ladder.
Manage your managers
Right now you should have around 3-5 companies who all fit your dream-job blueprint, but we can probably narrow that down further. Not many people consider the people they’ll be working for when they’re looking for their dream job, but this is an incredibly important factor.
A poor relationship with a senior manager is a far too common reason for job resignations. You’ll spend over 40 hours a week working for this person, doing tasks they tell you to, and checking in with them on a regular basis – so it’s vital you get on with them if you’re to be happy in your job.
You can get a taste of your potential manager in a number of ways. Find them on social media and check out their likes and dislikes. Common interests go a long way in building strong relationships. You can also browse their LinkedIn profile and read through their recommendations. You may even be able to find ex-colleagues that are willing to give a reference.
If you’ve followed these steps you’re now in a much better place to identify your dream job – now you have to go out there and find it. Right now, it may not be available but it’s within this time you can be moulding yourself into the perfect candidate for when it is.
You may find you’re not yet experienced enough for your dream job, and so you’ll need to build your resume before you go for it. Siliconmilkroundabout will have a whole host of desirable jobs on offer in May. If you’re still in need of some research or need to develop yourself as a professional our tech jobs fair is the event for you.