How to Secure Your Dream Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 January 2021 | Published 17 December 2020

Updated 27 January 2021

Published 17 December 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many people want a job that is interesting, fulfilling and well paying. However, finding that dream job often proves challenging, even for veteran professionals. In this article, we discuss what makes a dream job and the steps required to secure this position.

What is a dream job?

A dream job is an ideal professional role. However, because people have different tastes and wants, what a dream job looks like varies from person to person. For example, some people believe a dream job is one that lets them travel regularly. Others long for remote employment. Despite these differences, dream jobs are often:

  • Interesting: What people find interesting varies, but most agree their dream job should be a role that excites them in some way.

  • Engaging: Engagement is essential for motivation and productivity. What people find engaging also differs, but a dream job should encourage active participation. Engaging jobs usually involve a variety of tasks, with employees typically having greater freedom over how they complete them.

  • Fulfilling: People want to feel good about the job they do. However, what is fulfilling is unique to each individual, which might be volunteering, learning new things or being creative.

  • Allowing success: Dream jobs are generally ones where people feel successful. They may have challenging aspects, but usually, dream jobs make people feel competent as they carry out their duties.

  • Providing recognition: Dream jobs typically encourage feedback that lets employees know they are doing good work. Recognition may come from customers or senior staff, and may involve praise, promotions or accolades.

  • Offering fair salary: This may not be a particularly large salary, but dream jobs make people feel they're earning what they're worth. Basically, dream jobs help people feel financially comfortable.

  • Including a good team and atmosphere: The people you surround yourself also define whether a job is the dream job. A fair and supportive boss and pleasant colleagues are both important to how you perceive your role and how comfortable you are in it.

  • Ensuring security: A dream job offers some degree of security that lets employees know they are likely to keep the job for as long as they perform and want the position.

Finding a dream job generally takes time. Many people work in entry-level jobs first to gain the experience they need to secure their dream job. For example, a medical student who hopes to become a surgeon must complete their internship, their residency and a fellowship before securing their dream employment.

How to find your dream job

What makes up a dream job varies, so pursuing one requires careful consideration. Once you know what a dream job looks like for you, it then takes deliberate actions and patience to find the right position. Taking the following steps will help you find your favourite employment:

1. Make your plan

Just as with any career moves, finding your dream job requires careful planning. Planning helps you identify your dream job. Begin by noting your career goals and the job characteristics you consider important. You may also write down any professional strengths or interests you have. Your notes should help you better visualise what your dream job looks like. Analyse your notes and jot down dream job titles and companies that fit your requirements.

Once you know what your targets are, consider what you need to do to meet them. You may be ready to start applying for jobs now, but you may also need additional training and experience. Further, outline the steps you need to take and turn them into short- and long-term goals. These goals should keep you motivated while you work on securing your dream job. Then, start working through your list of goals until you are ready to start your dream job search.

2. Assess your existing job

Think about your current job, and you might realise it could become your dream job. Turning a current role into a dream job is a great option because it lets you keep your existing network and shows company loyalty. Follow these steps to turn your existing job into your dream job:

  • Have a positive outlook. Thinking positively can help you see the strengths of your present job and company, rather than their weaknesses. Also, making a list of all the benefits of your current role can help you focus on your existing perks.

  • Talk about what you want to change. Any new skills and experience you recently gained can help you transform your existing role. Speak to your boss about assuming more responsibility, diversifying your workload or earning more money. Talk about whatever you think you need to be happier in your current role.

  • Be realistic about your dream job. Be realistic about your current role and your dream job. Another opportunity might seem more appealing, but few jobs are perfect. Consider whether a dream role somewhere else is really worth pursuing.

  • Weigh your long-term future. Certain positions are usually too advanced for employees without the right skill set. However, these become more attainable as they gain more experience and skills. So, think about what your long-term future looks like at your current company. If you can see your dream job in your future, it may be worth making the most of the opportunities in your current position as you bide your time and become more experienced and skilled.

3. Search for job openings

It is possible you feel your dream job isn't with your current company, so consider searching for job openings outside your business. An online job board like Indeed is the ideal starting point as it shows jobs from around the country. You can also filter your job search according to your desired salary and working arrangement. Filters let you narrow your search to only those jobs that meet your dream criteria. Experiment with synonyms for your dream job for the most comprehensive results. Then, apply for the jobs that meet your criteria.

4. Contact people connected to your dream job

Contacting people connected to your dream job demonstrates your initiative. These may be influential people within your dream industry/company or employees with your dream job title. The contact you make could lead to a great opportunity. First off, if your dream job isn't vacant, these people may have suggestions about how you can secure another dream position. They may even let you shadow them on the job so you can learn more about the position and its suitability. Additionally, they may encourage the hiring managers to keep your resumes on file until there is an opening.

Tips for securing your dream job

Once you find your dream job, you'll need to convince the hiring manager you're the right candidate. These tips can help you earn the position you want:

Apply with a tailored cover letter and resume

Customise your cover letter and resume to showcase your suitability for each specific role. Cross-reference your cover letter and resume with the original job advertisement. Furthermore, ensure your application includes all essential skills, experience and keywords. If you have desirable skills and experiences, highlight these too.

Read more: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

Use your network

The people you know can often give you a competitive advantage over other candidates. If you know anyone working at a company you've applied to, ask them to endorse your application. Also, assemble a list of referees who are influential in your industry. If the right people think you deserve your dream job, they can sway the opinion of the hiring manager with their glowing recommendation.

Conduct thorough research

Thorough research helps you learn more about your dream role and the organisation you're applying to or interviewing with. Read through the company's website and follow its social media pages to know more about the company culture and recent developments. The information you learn will help you confidently answer questions about why you want your dream job.

Read more: The Complete Guide to Researching a Company

Practice your interview technique

Practising your interview technique will help you feel in control during the interview. Research popular questions employers usually ask candidates for your dream job, such as 'How would you describe yourself?', and prepare answers for them. Think of anecdotes that emphasise your skills and experience. Additionally, engage a friend or relative to ask you the questions you've prepared so you can practise and refine your delivery. Ask them for feedback that can improve your interview technique.

Dress to impress

Your clothes can help you make a positive first impression on your interviewer. Dress in a smart, professional outfit. It's also a good idea to select your outfit and iron or dry-clean it a week before your interview so you know it's ready when you need it.

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