How to land your Dream Job
The ultimate guide!
Chapter 1: General Introduction
In 2021, a phenomenon dubbed “The Great Resignation” took hold in the United States and elsewhere. By mid-summer, four-million people voluntarily left their jobs even as the after-effects of COVID-19 continued to hurt the general economy. This left nearly 11-million jobs around the country open and unfilled.
\Rather than too few jobs available, there are now too many jobs compared to people looking for work. According to the Harvard Business Review, these open positions are not entry-level but those requiring experience. Could it be that these unhappy workers are looking for a dream job? How to find a dream job is no easy riddle to solve. Above all, those elusive dream jobs are discovered after thinking the matter carefully through.
Is a Dream Job the Same as a Dream Career?
What Do These Terms Mean?
One of the problems with finding that dream job, career or both is that we do not always have a good idea of what these words and phrases mean. What things characterize a dream job? Hours worked? Compensation? Friendly colleagues? Short commute? Or does the ideal job meaning relate more to talents and interests? Definitions are best decided in advance before a job search begins.
What Is My Dream Job?
Looking at the questions above helps searchers to realize that definitions are not always written in concrete. Rather, they are tailored to the individual. What is your dream job? What’s my dream job? Unless we are clones of one another, we will hold different preferences about the perfect position.
How to Land Your Dream Job
OK, so we’re not all identical in terms of what we look for in a desired career. Still, are there standard rules about how to find your dream job? The first step in finding your dream job is discovery. As entrepreneur and author Kevin Kruse observes in Forbes magazine:
“It’s all well and good to tackle your goals with gusto and to take steps to attain your dream job, but what if you aren’t sure what that might be?
It’s easy to feel confused about what you’re meant to be doing, and what occupation might be the best fit for your interests.” Thus, how to get your dream job begins with how to apprehend that calling. Getting clarity about yourself, your passions and your professional assets is the foundation of the answer to how to get the job of your dreams. So, how to land your dream job is a strategy that starts with the self and works its way outward.
What If I Don’t Have a Dream Job?
It could be that you work to earn a living and do not possess strong feelings about the kind of work you do. That’s OK. In fact, some people believe there is no such thing. Entrepreneur magazine writer Jon Levy argues for seeking varied experiences and interacting with all sorts of people as the keys to living your best life. We do not have to identify with any given occupation.
Dream Job Quotes
If you have found your dream job, or are still searching, you can rely on the wisdom of experiences men and women to help you along the path:
“If you want to be successful in this world, you have to follow your passion, not a paycheck.” — Jen Welter
“You have to present yourself. You have to know how to talk about your vision, your focus, and what you believe in.” — Anna Wintour
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Chapter 2: How to Manifest Dream Job
What does manifest mean? Think of your old high school U.S. history class learning about “Manifest Destiny.” This belief stated that the future of a coast-to-coast United States was obvious and undeniable. To manifest something is to make it clear through action or appearance. When you manifest a career you demonstrate your obvious suitability for it. So, to manifest a dream job is to develop a sharp vision of it, and make your image and actions fit that vision. How? Career writer Caroline Castrillon recommends employing the Law of Attraction, an idea fleshed out by Jack Canfield in his 2007 Key to Living the Law of Attraction.
According to this principle, how to attract the job of your dream is accomplished by the mind – the object of your focus, emotions, energies and attention. This is true even if the perfect job is nowhere to be found. If your dream job does not exist you must create it. It’s about being intentional: thinking constantly about that ideal occupation and willfully changing your mindset to become the optimal candidate. Easier said than done, right? Relax – though not completely – there are techniques to be employed.
Jack Canfield and others say that affirmations work powerful effects on the human mind. This is backed up by serious scientific investigation. The psychology journal, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, published research in 2016 that identified an activated response by neural mechanisms in the brain in response to self-affirming statements. That’s science-speak for inspiring energy and confidence. What, though, do these affirmations look and sound like?
Without fail, these dream job affirmations are positive declarations of one’s own abilities and resolve. “I face challenge with courage and intelligence” is one example. “I perform well in job interviews” is another. An aspiring manager might affirm: “I lead people to accomplish tasks with excellence.” Meanwhile, a candidate for an engineer’s position could repeat “I always think and design outside the box.” These help the dream job to find you.
A vision board is a creative montage of images that keep the mind fixed on a goal, in this case the ideal job. It could include photographs, drawings, clippings, quotations and artwork that remind you of your career aim. These visuals can be clipped from newspapers and magazines; designed and generated from computer software; traced from other pictures; or copied by hand, to name a few methods. At their best, vision boards keep our attitudes positive, according to Psychology Today. As noted above, mindset is key to the optimal job finding the eager candidate.
A career vision board can feature images of a successful executive, professional or manager. Other career vision board examples feature a stack of $100 bills to represent better compensation; a picture of a spouse or significant other for whom you wish to provide; or even an image of that coveted corner office. Concentrating on what reminds you of your strongest motivations will make your job vision board an action kick-starter. Make sure to add to it on a regular basis.
Chapter 3: Dream Job Examples
Casting a wider net makes a potential match with the ideal position more likely. To that end, job-seekers do well to maintain a list of dream jobs and dream job ideas for which they are best suited. After all, a dream job list of one is harder to land than when you have a lineup of seven or eight options. This is why creating a menu of realistic dream jobs improves your chances of getting one.
Making the list realistic does not mean it excludes unique dream jobs that ignite your particular passions. Fun dream jobs – in fact the best dream jobs – are roles in which you fit well; where your talents and experience mesh with the job description. To find them starts with making lists. It might seem hard at first but giving yourself the time and space to do it will pay off. Think of one dream job example, and then another…and another. It might surprise you how many cool dream jobs you come up with. Keeping such lists makes the whole search less daunting and more exciting. Start with a clean sheet of paper – or blank screen – and let the mind run wild.
Common Dream Jobs
The job search website, Indeed.com, puts together a list of the most common dream jobs. Its own benchmarks for this category are:
1. They keep the worker interested.
2. They are of concrete benefit to other people.
3. They make full use of the worker’s aptitudes.
4. They offer helpful and friendly co-workers.
5. Company culture is healthy and non-toxic.
6. The leadership respects the need for rest and family time.
According to Indeed.com research, the five most coveted dream jobs are video game designer, actor, musician, baker and illustrator. While they each sound like fun, you have to be at the top of your field to command the best compensation in these jobs.
High Paying Dream Jobs
What careers, then, offer excellent pay – and all of the other good stuff noted above – without having to become a movie star or celebrity chef? What are the dream jobs that pay well? One interesting thing about lists is that some jobs have narrow descriptions and others are broad. An entrepreneur, for instance, can be anybody who is self-employed, regardless of product or service. On the other hand, dog walker – number 10 on the Indeed.com list – describes exactly what the job entails (pardon the pun!). Then again, a dog walker who picks up enough customers is by definition an entrepreneur. The point is that dream jobs that pay well can also pay modestly, depending on the size and scope of the business.
Some occupations, nevertheless, command high salaries in and of themselves. Engineers, trial lawyers and surgeons are good examples. But not everyone’s perfect vocation is among the big league dream jobs. Some wish to be personal shoppers. As with dog walker, the pay is underwhelming for the faint of heart. However, building a shopping business is much like getting the right job for those who employ vision boards, affirmations and the Law of Attraction. Customers will find you if you excel at your craft. Georgetown professor Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You even suggests that the less than perfect job can become the dream job for those who continually improve at it. The bottom line improves, too, for salespeople, models, bakers, actors and in any other coveted career.
Dream Jobs Working from Home
Knowing that workplace culture is one of the major elements of a dream job, it is not surprising that more people – especially having tasted the benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic – prefer working remotely. Dream based work from home allows the worker to control the atmosphere and environment. While it might get lonely from time to time, you can enjoy peace and quiet as you focus on the task at hand. You can take lunch during a natural break in the work flow rather than according to an artificial schedule.
As technology evolves, dream based home jobs are proliferating. Voice-over actors with home studios; journalists and writers connecting to the world via the internet; physicians treating patients via telemedicine; and information technology professionals managing office systems from a distance have discovered the joys of dream jobs at home. Dream jobs for women often include this type of setting since it allows them to stay home with young children.
Childhood Dream Jobs
When the New York Post polled 2,000 American adults in 2019, they found that 66 percent of them never realized their childhood dream jobs. Of course, we all change as we grow older but the survey also showed that over half the respondents who never became what they wanted as children wished, in fact, that they had.
Among the most often-mentioned kids dream jobs were doctor, teacher, veterinarian, movie star and musician. Each requires its own level of education, entry requirements and talent. When we are kids anything is possible and everything is interesting. As we age, some of those interests will strengthen and others will fall by the wayside. Likewise, the early limitless potential will sharpen and narrow to a few identifiable abilities. So, it is not a disaster when our adult vocations do not line up with the dreams of childhood. It is unfortunate, though, when a passion survives adolescence yet is never manifest.
People unhappy at work are prone to remember those childhood dream jobs with a mix of happiness and regret. Some may feel it is too late to pursue them; others take action to bring them to an admittedly late fruition. While quitting a job and going to dental school five years out from retirement benefits seems impulsive and irresponsible, doing so after retirement is not impossible, as daunting as it seems.
Chapter 4: Dreaming about Work
Dream about Work
Our jobs are significant parts of our lives. We spend a third of our waking hours, often more, engaged in our occupations. It is expected that they will enter our subconscious minds now and again. What does it mean when you dream about work? Clinical hypnotherapist and dream analyst Kelly Sullivan Walden told Fast Company that work dreams simply indicate the importance of work to you. She argues that certain dreams afflict certain personality types.
Dreaming about forgetting a meeting or appointment is most common among high-performing, highly motivated employees, for example. Meanwhile, a dream where you are freaking out because you are unable to solve a problem means that your brain is actually working on that problem, according to Ms. Sullivan Walden. Far out dreams set in the work place are worth paying attention to, she adds, because they are rich with clues on how to be more successful. Then there is the old standby dream: showing up to work naked. This dream reflects fear that a secret will be found out. The remedy is to be as open and honest as you can.
Dreaming about an Old Job
Lauri Loewenberg, another popular dream analyst, believes that dreaming about the past Is always related to a present situation. A dream about old job, whether happy or troubled, suggests the dreamer is discontented with the current career path. Maybe one of those elements of the ideal job – company culture, helping others, engaging work – was present in a prior role but absent in the job you have today. The mind, then, gravitates to the good old days.
Dreaming about Getting a New Job
Dreaming of a new job is more often experienced in a conscious state. At the same time, our subconscious minds store a lot of what we think about during the day – so a dream about getting a new job is definitely possible during slumber. How do we understand a new job dream meaning? It is completely natural to dream of yourself in a job that you never had. Think of it as a reminder that you have abilities and powers that are under-used in your present role. It does not necessarily mean that you should quit. Simply find ways to make the best use of all your talents – in your present position or the next one.
Dream about Getting Fired
A dream about getting fired can induce anxiety in anyone. Yet it’s important to know that a dream is not the same as a prophecy. Also, like any work-related dream, a dream about getting fired from your job can reflect some other insecurity apart from work. It is, nonetheless, a huge sign that you are stressed out. Psychologist Michael Lennox shared with BusinessInsider.com that this type of dream is actually a rehearsal for a day that could never come: “So you can go into work feeling confident that if you get fired, you know how to do it. I mean that in a weird hyperconscious sort of way.”
Dream about Job Interview
When you dream about job interview, it could signal anxiety, e.g. dreaming about being late or missing it altogether. It can also be a sign of hopefulness or, again, a subconscious practice session for the real thing. Above all, it is not in any way predictive of how the interview will go or turn out. Instead of getting nervous about it, accept the dream as nothing more than the mind making its preparations.
Chapter 5: Professional Help
Using a Coach
When trying to figure out – and then get – a dream job, you do not have to struggle all by yourself. The age we live in offers a bunch of folks with expertise in fitting people into the most suitable jobs. If you’re unhappy in your present job, yet wrestling with how to replace it with something better, a job coach could be a good option. The ideal career coach knows the score from both sides of the process, i.e. from the job candidate perspective as well as the recruitment and human resources point of view. When picking one out, it’s a good idea to find that kind of diversity in the prospective coach’s background. If you’re a college graduate, consider the career counseling staff at your school. Most serve alumni as well as students.
Other Career Guidance Resources
Retaining an individual career counselor is just one option. The Princeton Review and other online platforms develop quizzes and questionnaires that help people to assess their own skills and interests. Dream job courses are also internet-based, and can walk you through the process of determining the best job – and then going out and getting it. Don’t forget job fairs either. Getting companies and recruiters right in front of you also helps to see things differently.
If anyone knows about dream jobs, it is Ramit Sethi, founder of GrowthLab.com and author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich. The success of the Ramit Sethi Dream Job program is testified to winning entrepreneurs and careerists. Those trying to navigate this journey in search of ideal work can visit IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com to learn more about this innovative curriculum.
Chapter 6: Written Essays and Speeches
Dream Job Essay
If your dream job demands higher education, colleges and graduate schools like to see your passion and knowledge in a dream job essay. You might also be called upon to speak about your ideal career vision. Even if it never becomes mandatory, your dream job essay is a good way to sharpen your thinking and describe your optimal dream job. The Baylor University career center advises students to – after brainstorming their ideas – “uncover your main point” at the outset of the essay. Next, construct the story of your dream job journey with stories and details about your experiences and thoughts that led to your ambition. Finally, conclude the essay with a strong dream job paragraph summarizing of the main point.
Speech and Presentation
You may have to deliver a speech about dream job goals to an admissions committee, scholarship committee or employer committee. True, public speaking is among the most intimidating and dreaded phobias. Toastmasters International recommends emphasizing connection over perfection. Your dream job speech will flow better if you see your audience as fallible humans rather than cold-blooded judges. The speech can include media like PowerPoint (ppt). A dream job ppt should have eye-catching slides, but not too many. Why? You never want the slide show to eclipse the speaker.
Chapter 7: Tests and Quizzes
Vocational counselors administer batteries of tests to their clients to discover hidden talents and undefined interests. These range from a multi-page examination to a simple online dream job quiz. People who are serious about finding ideal work should not grow weary of the dream job test. Consistently challenging yourself can only help strengthen self-knowledge. Be open to new versions of “my dream job worksheet;” these help you to see issues from different angles.
Chapter 8: Applying for That Dream Job
Let’s say you have concluded your search for the best job for your education, talents and temperament. It’s out there waiting for you. The time for action is now. You might be a little anxious applying for your dream job after all this time. That is where all those affirmations and vision board images come into play. Confidence is central to success, especially in the interview.
Getting to the interview will not happen unless your resume is powerful. Still, a recruiter might not even look at the resume without a compelling cover letter. Even more than the resume, a cover letter allows the job candidate to demonstrate competence in written communication, according to career counselors at Andrews University. A cover letter for dream job will tell the story, briefly, of who you are and why this employer appeals to you. You might, however, have to communicate in greater depth.
Whoever sits on the other side of that desk at your dream job interview will have a lot of say whether you get that desired job. You want to go in with strong communication skills and a friendly demeanor. Recognize that recruiters like detailed answers and not fluff like “I’m dependable and have a strong work ethic.” Keep your side of the dialogue going without interrupting or dominating the conversation. Above all, demonstrate knowledge of the company and the market it occupies.
Getting a handle on what questions you may be asked always works to your favor. Career coach Lauren Hamer argues that this is both doable and necessary. You can reasonably predict questions by looking at the company’s reviews on sites like Glassdoor.com; by reviewing your own resume thoroughly; by examining the job description; and – this is not a weakness – by asking the recruiter about the interview process when scheduling the appointment.
Knowing the answers in advance, of course, gives you an edge when formulating answers. How to answer what is your dream job should be easy if you have done the work of self-examination, soliciting feedback and researching the possible employer. While details and substance are important to every answer, brevity is also attractive in a candidate. Needless to say, try not to over-answer.