September 22, 2015

One universal truth is that every person wants to do what they love. The sad reality is most of us never attain a dream career. Instead, many work endless hours at a job that is unfulfilling or even mind numbing. After a few simple calculations, you’ll find how many hours that really is across a lifetime.

So why not devote that time to something meaningful? You can do it. Your dream career is possible. Here are 4 ways to make it happen:

Analyze Your Dream Job

In staffing and human resources, a job analysis is used to assess a position’s requirements and what is needed to perform the functions, such as KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities). You must similarly analyze your dream job in order to have the understanding necessary to form a path. Whether the position exists today or not, you can start by rigorously assessing or researching the following:

  • Basic Information (e.g. job title, hours per week)
  • Required KSAs
  • Recommended KSAs
  • Job Functions
  • Required Achievements (e.g. formal education, certifications)
  • Required Experience Level

This process will give you an idea of who would likely be capable of performing your dream job and how you compare to that person. You can then build a step by step plan to gain the qualifications that are essential for both entry into the position and job success.

Find A Mentor

A mentor is someone who has knowledge relevant to your career path. Most importantly, this person is willing to freely impart what they have learned to you. Behind many people who achieved their dream job has been a great mentor that helped them along the way. Although finding the right mentor is not always easy, they can be instrumental in developing your skills and creating opportunities. A good mentor will offer valuable advice and recommendations at key points while also employing their network on your behalf.

Develop A Network

Your network is a resource in of itself. It can, for example, provide opportunities, information, influence and even more chances to connect. In fact, knowing the right people may be equally as important as how good you are. Therefore, devote a similar amount of energy to building strong connections as you do actually improving your skill set.

Gain Documented Experience

Your credibility is key to building a career in any field. Experience and achievements (e.g. education) are crucial. Both are used to understand how well you can perform a set of job duties. The difference between each is an achievement generally only shows that you are likely capable while documented experience proves you are. For this reason, search for a position where you have a chance to apply your talents to many different projects with varying difficulty levels. This may require a cut in pay now but afford entry into your dream job later.

Many ponder a dream job but still tend to believe it is inaccessible. Yet, the truth is simple: its not in almost every case. The path starts with creating a blueprint of your dream job and a plan to achieve it. After you take the first steps forward, you must establish resources and the credibility to continually progress. Perhaps the most important point is understanding that  failure will happen. Remember to treat these instances as another opportunity to grow.

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