The HR Kid: How To Land Your Dream Job
Looking over my last few posts, I realized…in order to capitalize on this huge network of users – I must focus my posts on the pulse of mass need. Whether that be through controversial posts or feeding information to those who are hungry for it…I will deliver. Today’s post will be in the latter category. Almost every day, I see articles left and right talking about how you can achieve all of your goals, meet destiny at the door and one day land your dream job. These posts are so interesting and I love hearing the different perspectives and routes people have taken. The one thing I fail to see however, is the acknowledgement that there is NO right answer to this eluding question of how one can achieve their dreams. There is NO master key to the door of success. There is NO one size fits all method for people to try on. Instead, you must pick and choose elements of success from all sources, understanding that you and only you know what will make you happy. Personally, I have always believed in having strong mentors both internally and externally to learn what it took for them to get to where they are today. But no matter how influential, rich, powerful or successful these people are, I take every piece of advice with a grain of salt...ensuring I can insert my own beliefs and ideologies – knowing full well there will be bumps and bruises on the way…
And such is the first tip towards landing your dream job.
Learn From Every ExperienceYou just graduated from College & are ready to take the world by storm…or so you think. You begin applying for dozens of jobs, looking for generous salaries and amazing perks. You want to dive headfirst into the corporate world and break the chains of academia. Your optimism sees no limits and you are full of life. While this is all great – you soon realize no one told you how hard this process would be. No one told you about how hard rejection will hit you. No one told you how mundane and unchallenging certain entry level jobs might be. No one had told you that work for 90% of people is just work and being able to be passionate about what you do and still make money are rare feats few and far between. What you must realize however, is that you are not alone. We all have gone through or will go through similar experiences en route to our dream job. (This goes for experienced professionals as well). You must be prepared to walk through the shards of glass, work hard and see the glimmers of light in the tattered ceilings to push forward. One of the most important things I have learned from poor job experiences, is that there is always takeaway value. Whether you had a horrible boss or lack of growth opportunities, you still invested time. The most important asset you will ever have is your time – and so you must never let anyone rob you of that…as it will never be returned. Use negative experiences to help guide your roadmap and understanding of what you want and require in your dream job.
Create a VisionOnce you begin going through both positive and negative work experiences, you begin learning what it is you like to do. You begin developing a set of skills that will help you succeed in many different roles and career tracks. It is up to you now to begin developing a vision of the future. To start you will need to ask yourself some guiding questions. (Examples below)
What problem are you looking to solve?What are your primary motivators?Where and how do you want to make an impact?These are types of questions that can help you begin to define your set of values. Core values you vest interest and passion in will shape your career path. It’s vital to begin identifying these elements. To give you an example, I will share a personal story.
I recently engaged in a casual conversation with someone who wanted to learn my goals. When explaining my interests and expectations of next roles in the coming years, I was challenged and given the feedback that my scope of interests was far too wide. I was told that because there was not one unique role, title or team I could dedicate myself to, that I would probably lack the ability to perform as passionately as others who knew exactly what their next role should be. At first, I almost agreed…But the more thought I gave this, the more I realized, this person could not be more wrong. You must be asking yourself , “Isn’t this section about creating a vision? How can the person be wrong?”
This section IS dedicated towards creating a vision. A long term vision. There is no way anyone should know exactly what their next job should be. The most talented leaders of the world are ones who have had diverse experiences, and been put in areas in which they are not comfortable with. This is the foundation of learning and growth. While there is nothing wrong with if you want to be in a specialized role like a recruiter, accountant or office manager your whole life, the majority of people out there are ambitious and have lofty goals & expectations… All in which they have every right to chase. Maybe its the millennial in me speaking here, but I believe whole heartedly that everyone should cast wide nets of jobs they wish to pursue. We live in an age of adaptability and agility – the best workers are those who can utilize their prior experiences and leverage them in new and unique ways on different teams in a short amount of time. So yes…Create a long term vision of where you see yourself finishing your career but understand the pages between now and then are all unwritten…waiting to be filled in. You and only control the pen.
For me, I have always envisioned myself finishing my career having a significant impact on the lives of employees through focusing on people development, culture and innovation. And so – as shown below my title will be Chief Architect of People, Culture & Innovation. The tree and leaves between my current role and my future goals represents all of the different experiences and exposures I will need to reach my end goal and vision. The takeaway from the below visual is to understand there is much diversity in the roles and experiences between now and the future. In order to land your dream job, it is most important to identify ALL of the things you need to continue to learn, not the exact title of your next job.
Network Religiously Last tip of this post will be to network religiously. I am sure this a topic you have seen all throughout LinkedIn and for good reason. Another key component of landing your dream job is speaking to people who currently have that job. What better way to understand what its really like to be in a certain position, team or company, that to hear directly from the source? All too often, I have seen people talk about how much they wish they had a certain job and then they get it!….But they then realize it is not as great as they had hoped. This is an unfortunate position you do not want to find yourself in, especially if you have invested all your time and experiences towards reaching this role. This section coincides directly with creating your vision and set of values. As you begin building your roadmap, you will be able to mitigate these types of risks and know full well what you are most passionate about doing. Networking with leaders and individuals who hold of positions of interest of yours are invaluable resources of information that will help you along your career. Start developing your writing skills and actively message these individuals on LinkedIn – explaining your interest in wanting to learn about their experiences. You will be surprised at how many people are appreciative of individuals who want to talk to them to learn and not ask for a job. While LinkedIn is a great platform for getting opportunities – it is just as a great a tool to get information and build relationships. Look out for a future post teaching you how to craft the perfect InMail!
While there are many more technical and traditional forms of advice on attaining your dream job, my goal was to present a more strategic approach to long term career thought. I hope these models help spark your vision and allow you to begin developing the picture of your dream job. In order to get it, you must define it.
More to come…
-The HR Kid