Millennials have a terrible tendency (and reputation) for jumping from job to job. Hey all — I’ve been there and I can safely say: it’s not cool. But I understand it’s hard to figure out what you want to do, and even once you figure it out — it’s hard to know how to get there.
And yet here I am — nearly 10 years after graduating college with an English Lit degree, 15+ years of acting experience under my belt, and now I know my future is marketing. I know my dream job, and guess what: I GET TO DO IT! Huzzah!
Here are my 5 tips for helping you get your dream job too!
1. be willing to live in the trenches
If you can get the dream job you want with benefits and a salary and all from the get-go, then good for you. That’s awesome. For the rest of us, we have to be willing to do some dirty work — that means hands-on (and time consuming/exhausting) prospecting, taking low pay from startups (but great experience, amiright?), and sometimes starting in an entry-level position. You might be just barely surviving paycheck to paycheck. It’s not a way of life, but it’s a start. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. It won’t be forever. But you need to live in the trenches a little bit first.
2. be a lifelong student — no matter the job
Never take a job for granted. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate position, a startup, or retail — there’s something you can learn. Make the most of every opportunity, learn as much as you can, and strive to go above and beyond your employer’s expectations.
3. negotiate a system
In order to try new things out, you might need a little support. Maybe that means asking someone to watch your kids for a Saturday or working out a give-and-take with your spouse, or asking your parents for a loan — whatever it is, don’t be afraid to ask. If you were in a position to help someone, wouldn’t you want to do it? I’d bet people want to help you too. Sometimes you need to ask.
4. network, network, network
Look, I’m not saying you need to go to every industry-related event possible (although that’s not a terrible idea — but it’s just not very practical if you have a family and life and all). What I’m saying is — if you are looking for a job or work on the side or trying something new, then just tell your friends. If I know a friend is job-searching in any form, then I’m on the lookout too. I send her stuff I stumble across — anything she might possible be interested in. On the flip side, if I don’t know you’re looking, then guess what: I DON’T KNOW YOU’RE LOOKING. You figure that one out.
5. go to the source
If you already know what you want to do (ie. “I want to be a copywriter,” “I want to be the Director of Marketing,” “I want to be in HR,” etc.) then start researching companies you’d like to work for. Check their websites often for career opportunities. I’d go directly to the SOURCE instead of searching on a career posting website — you’re more likely to get your resume seen by the right people.
What are your tips for getting your dream job?