You’re going to spend about a third of your life at work, so you’re probably going to be miserable if you don’t find a job you really enjoy.
How can you find a job where you have meaningful work, enjoy enriching relationships, and your contributions are rewarded?
How to Find Your Dream Job
Follow these 9 steps to find the perfect job and career opportunities for you.
1. Be a Dream Employee
It all starts with understanding your interests, passions, strengths, and weaknesses. The better you know yourself the easier it’ll be for you to find a job you truly love.
That’s why the first step to finding (and keeping) your dream job is to make sure you’re the dream employee for the job.
A good analogy for this is a romantic relationship. To find your ideal life partner, you must become the person who would be the best fit for that partner. If you want someone who is athletic, funny, and hardworking, you should make sure you’re athletic, funny, and hardworking.
Unfortunately, many people overlook this crucial first step.
Want to learn more? Read our post on 7 key things you can do to become a better employee.
2. Identify Your Strengths
One step on the path to finding a deeply satisfying job is to know your strengths: your talents, interests, and temperament, what makes you tick, and what motivates you.
- What are your strengths?
- What kind of work do you love to do?
- What are you naturally good at?
We all have different talents, interests, and temperaments. If you’re an extrovert, for example, working by yourself on a computer will probably be really boring for you. And if you’re an introvert, working at the front desk of a busy office talking to people all day long will probably be too much social interaction for you.
3. Identify Your Weaknesses
Once you’ve identified your strengths, take a look at your weaknesses.
If you’re great at taking care of details and making sure every little thing is done perfectly, your weakness might be an inability to see the big picture. You probably wouldn’t want to be a high-level manager because you’d be more interested in taking care of small details and not interested enough in the big-picture tasks that have to be done.
Here are some questions to help identify your weaknesses:
- What kind of work do you hate doing?
- What kind of jobs make you feel miserable? Why?
- What kind of tasks do you find yourself failing at over and over again with little hope for improvement?
- What kind of tasks do you consistently put off or forget about?
Ideally, you should find a job where you can work in a way that you get to use your strengths most of the time. And it would be great if you also had people on the team you could go to for help when it comes to working on areas related to your weaknesses.
4. Define Your Ideal Work Environment
What’s your ideal work environment? Ask yourself these questions:
- What hours do you want to work?
- Do you want to work at an office or from home?
- If you want to work in an office, which city and location is ideal for you?
- Would you choose to work for a huge company, medium-size company, a small company, or a startup?
- What kind of relationships would you like to have with your coworkers and managers?
- How much would you like to be paid?
Your work environment will determine how you feel and how productive you are on a daily basis, so don’t overlook this critical step!
5. Create a Dream Job Checklist
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of yourself and the type of work environment that would be most fulfilling, it’s time to start researching companies that meet your needs.
Create a list of everything you’re looking for in your dream job, including the elements that you identified in the first 4 steps. Here’s a sample list:
- Full-time position as a writer
- Work from home
- Collaborative work environment where my ideas are valued
- Be recognized for my achievements and contribution
- Be myself without having to play politics
- Learn new things every day
- Set my own work schedule
6. Research Job Titles
Once you have your checklist, it’s time to identify job titles that might be a good fit for you.
For example, if you wanted to become a full-time writer, you could search job sites like Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and Payscale, to find different job titles for writers like:
- Blog writer
- Blog manager
- Content writer
- Website content specialist
- Freelance writer
- Remote freelance writer
7. Search for Positions
Now you’re ready to start searching on Google for open positions using terms like “now hiring blog writer,” “hiring blog writer,” or “blog writer position.”
8. Find the Right Company
An open position doesn’t mean you’ve found your ideal job. So when you find an open position, go through your checklist and make sure the company would be a good fit and that the job would meet your needs.
If you’re looking for a very specific type of job, like pharmaceutical research, it might be better to identify companies instead of individual positions because opportunities will be concentrated in those firms. Once you’ve done this, research each company to find the ones that seem like a good fit for you.
This can also work if you’re looking for a very generic position like administrative assistant. You could target a list of companies in a specific region or neighborhood. If you want to work in a certain neighborhood in New York City, for example, list the companies in that area that seem like they would be a good fit and start applying.
9. Don’t Give Up
Finding your dream job isn’t easy, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’re not at your dream job right now and have had to take a job that’s less than ideal, you can conduct your search for a better opportunity on nights and weekends.
If you hate your current job or are just looking for a better opportunity, know that there is a better opportunity out there waiting for you. But it won’t find you—you have to work hard to find, get, and keep your dream job. But the effort is so worth it!
Optimize Your Resume with SEO Tricks
Rather than looking at your resume as a summary of your career and accomplishments, think of it as a marketing document.
When you’re looking to attract people to buy your book or visit your website, you optimize your campaign for what potential customers are searching for, right?
Do the same to your resume!
Use Keyword Targeting
Every resume you send out should be customized to the job you’re applying to.
But this goes deeper than just changing the “objective” section at the top to mention the job title. You should revamp your bullet points for each position to closely echo the keywords that appear in the job description itself.
By targeting your resume to the exact keywords used in the posting, you’re demonstrating that you have the precise qualifications the employer is looking for.
Make It Clickbait
Once you’ve made it past the automated screening process, the next step is engaging the human HR manager reading your application.
SEO to the rescue again!
We’re all guilty of falling for a click-bait headline from time to time—there’s just something irresistible about those 7 Weird Tips for Walking Your Dog.
Use that to your advantage on your resume! While this isn’t the time to get cute and clever—recruiters are busy people who skim potentially hundreds of resumes a day—you can use the theory of clickbait to make your resume more active and memorable.
Rather than repeating the same tired verbs over and over—responsible for, responsible for, participated in, responsible for—try punching up your language using your creative writing skills.
Don’t settle for “increased efficiency by 20%.” Think like a marketer and go with “slashed waste, eliminated unnecessary meetings, and turbocharged communication to increase efficiency by 20%.” Much more engaging…and informative, too!
Keep It Skimmable
The average attention span is already small, and it’s falling—soon, goldfish will look like Zen masters of concentration compared to your average smartphone-wielding human.
While long-form reading is still popular, that’s not the experience you want to give a hiring manager. They’re looking for something bite-sized and easily digestible—a resume they can skim for the highlights.
Just like when writing a blog post or promo piece, you should break your resume down into small, simple chunks. Ditch anything that isn’t specific, targeted, and relevant—“great team player,” “highly motivated,” and “results-oriented self-starter” have to go.
Fluffy modifiers like “great,” “excellent,” or “highly”? Gone.
Generic puff pieces like “Looking for a rewarding, challenging position”? Bye-bye.
When you’ve killed the clutter, break your resume into clearly headlined sections, like Summary, Past Experience, Education, Skills, Certifications, and Awards. Treat these like section headings in a blog post, bumping them up a font size or two so that the recruiter can easily skim to what they’re interested in.
Then keep the information in each of those sections streamlined, using subheadings and bullet points to organize everything for easy reading.
Work from Home
If you love the idea of working from home with a great company and team, you should know that TCK Publishing is hiring! You can apply online for one of our current job openings.
Good luck finding your dream job!
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below!
If you liked this post, here are some other articles you might love:
- 31 Leadership Quotes to Move Your Career Forward
- How to Quit Your Day Job and Be a Full-Time Writer
- How to Use LinkedIn to Improve Your Career, Grow Your Network, and Become a Social Media Master
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.