How to Get Your Dream Career: 5 Key Tips
Contributed by @ms_tomilola
I’m currently working in a role that I love but in the words of Arnold Palmer, “the road to success is always under construction”. The path towards my current career involved two years of postgraduate education and a further three years of hard work and additional training. The journey towards securing your dream career can be quite daunting, especially when you feel as though you are not quite qualified. Sometimes we just don’t know what direction to take and quite frankly sometimes we are just too scared to do so.
Here are 5 key tips to help get you started towards getting your dream career.
Until you know what your dream career entails, you won’t be able to plan towards securing the role. You must be intentional about gaining knowledge and understanding of what the job role and profession involves so that you can make a fully informed decision about if this career path is for you or not.
The reality of some professions will make you think twice. Are you prepared to work overtime, as the demands of the role mean that you will rarely complete your tasks between the hours of 9 am - 5 pm.
2. Tailor your CV and Covering Letter
Generally, we are told that our CV’s should be no longer than 2 pages, therefore you don’t have much space to sell you and your skill set. Despite the limited space, there should be nothing generic about your CV and Covering Letter, apart from your personal details.
You should ensure that your CV and Covering Letter include buzz words related to the job role.
Your CV and Covering Letter should also briefly address the job specification.
3. Do not despise humble beginnings
Just because you were unsuccessful the first time does not mean that your dream career cannot become a reality. No one knows what opportunities will arise in the future.
Sometimes you have to take a few steps back and build up your CV or skill set before being able to apply for some roles. Make sure you aim to close the gaps in your competency.
Always make a point to ask for feedback from interviews, whether successful or not and use your areas of development as motivation to gain additional experience.
4. Be confident in your ability and skills
I know the feeling of reading a job description and feel completely out of your depth, but knowing deep down that this is the perfect role for you. Nonetheless, if you are competent in your skill set, apply for the role and showcase your abilities.
We all have transferable skills that are useful in roles and you owe it to yourself to showcase these. If you show a willingness to learn and don’t cover up the gaps in your knowledge or skill set, employers will appreciate that.
It’s always good to make connections, I’ve applied for roles and been unsuccessful but they’ve liked me enough to advise me on what steps I should undertake before I reapplied.
5. Be willing to learn
The majority of the time, it is about working your way up. If there is a specific company you wish to work for, consider looking for a junior position. This is not necessarily the preferred route for everyone nonetheless you have to ask yourself how far are you willing to go to ensure that you get to live out your dream?
Once you work within an organisation, you have the benefit of being known to your employer and you will be able to discuss your career development within your appraisals. However, if there is no scope for movement within the company, I would always advise for you to re-evaluate your options. Never get complacent and forget the goal.
It is good for networking and finding professional job vacancies. It also allows you to see the profiles of people who are already in the roles that you aspire to gain. It’s useful to see what roles and education others undertook and it provides insight into other possible routes of entry. Be bold and send private messages to other professionals, ask questions. If you do not ask, you do not get.
Just do it.
Honestly, every promotion I’ve received, I’ve asked for. If I’ve needed to undertake professional courses in order to be promoted, I’ve done so.