Your Dream Job

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Jan 24, 2011 in , , , , , | No Comments

Everyone has their idea of a “dream job”, but too often where they wind up is in a place less than ideal.

Listen To The Experts

Richard N. Bolles, author of the classic job seeking tool, “What Color Is Your Parachute?”,  wants job seekers and those presently employed, to consider the following: “Ultimately, you need to answer the questions, what, where, and how. What skills do you most love to use? Where–in what field–would you most love to use them? And how do you find such a job?”

Currently Employed

If you are working, but feel you are not where you want to be, consider advice from Sharon Jordan-Evans, coauthor of, “Love It, Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work”, she suggests asking, “What do I want/need to learn next?” Figure out what skills you need to develop. She then suggests asking, “How/where/from whom can I learn it?”

Jordan-Evans states, “You can also ask another employee, your boss or someone who has the job you’d like to have, eventually what skills you need to strengthen, given what you want to do next.”

Climb the Ladder

You may find yourself in a position where you feel it’s time to advance, but aren’t sure how to approach that endeavor. Jordan-Evans suggests that you raise your profile, using a technique called “visibility by FYI”. You can begin this process by meeting with your boss and find out the requirements for promotion. Forward your successes to your boss with “FYI” messages documenting client satisfaction.

Ask your boss or colleagues what future projects are going to be difficult to staff–then volunteer. Taking a leadership role will show you are capable. Jordan-Evans says, “You create a bit of a buzz about you. As your visibility goes up, your odds from being promoted go up, too.”

Stay in touch with HR to see about possible openings or changes, be sure to check out the company newsletter to see management plans. By being “in the know” you may open new doors to opportunity within your present place of employment.

Expand Your Network

Opportunities that link you with other departments sets you up for advancement in more than one department. “If you want to move up the corporate ladder to your dream job, it’s all about expanding your network in multiple directions,” says Jordan-Evans.  Consider serving on a committee with employees from other departments to expand your contacts faster.

Action Plans

Make a list of your goals, including any road blocks, and draw a realistic timeline, you may then enlist the help of colleagues and friends who will serve as advisers. Here is where using the “brainstorming” method comes in handy (see my previous blog, “Stuck? Brainstorm!”).

If You Are Unemployed

The U.S. Department of Labor says the months of December, January and February, are considered the best hiring months of the year. This may be surprising to some job seekers who traditionally back off on their job search during those months.

Carry your JIST or business cards with you–don’t leave home without them! It wouldn’t hurt to keep several resumes in your car, just in case you find someone ready and willing to hand carry it to the right person in their company. Remember this: “If you can come in on the coattails of someone else, you’re much better off”, states Joyce Lain Kennedy, author of “Job Interviews for Dummies”.

Keep a pad of paper handy to write down names, their connections, and what you discussed. Be sure to ask for business cards, see if you can score a lunch date, or grab a cup of coffee, to discuss how they might assist you further. When someone takes the time to help you, do return the favor, networking is a two way street.

A One-Minute Commercial

Don’t be shy! Create a “one-minute commercial”, a short description of your background and skills, that you can easily say with confidence when someone asks, “tell me a little bit about you”. This will come in handy in an interview, when you have just a few moments to give a lasting impression. Make it natural, you don’t want it to sound like a memorized bunch of words. But, construct it so that you highlight your accomplishments and show your value to an employer.

Get Enthused!

Approach your job search with enthusiasm! If you aren’t excited about the prospects out there, people won’t be excited about you. Convey to people what you are most passionate about in life and work. Find ways to combine those two in a lucrative business opportunity.

Don’t limit your thinking, when you do, you limit your possibilities.

©2009 Judy Anne Cavey, who resides in the S.F. Bay Area of California, is a credentialed, certified, higher education instructor who taught Work Experience/Cooperative Education and ESL at three community colleges. She is also a freelance writer and grant writer currently authoring a textbook, has designed other learning programs, and worked with several nonprofits. Her Edublog, “Work Experience”, is a not-for-profit endeavor designed to assist job seekers of all ages.