Are you looking for your dream job? In 2009, Tourism Queensland received over 35,000 applications for the self-described ‘best job in the world’ – being the ‘Caretaker of the Islands’ at the Great Barrier Reef.
Recent years have also seen jobs come up in everything from bed testing (where you are paid to sleep) and professional chocolate tasting.
Of course your ideal working situation might be completely different to these but any time that you are trying to get hired to do something you feel you were born for, it is important to have a strategy.
Here are nine great tips from Mike James, an independent business blogger working with Into the Blue, to help you land your dream job.
Skills are more important than qualifications
There are some jobs where your qualifications really are very important. If you want to be a doctor, for example, or a teacher, you are going to be need university qualifications to do so. But in the modern workplace increasingly these are the exceptions rather than the rule. In the vast majority of jobs, it’s much more important that you have the skills to carry out the work rather than a piece of paper that says that you can.
Take an example like web design – an employer is far more likely to hire a designer who has provable experience in creating sites than a graduate with a degree in web design but no practical portfolio. Being able to do the job is by far the most important thing for most employers.
Get the experience any way you can
So, understanding that skills and experience are the important thing, you’ll need to gain that experience if you don’t already have it. Unfortunately this may seem like a vicious circle – you can’t get the job because you don’t have the experience, but you can’t get the experience because no-one will give you the job. That means you’ll need to find ways to get that experience. The best ways to do this are to volunteer or offer to work for free in order to see how people doing the job work.
Be proactive and apply speculatively
Many people sit and wait patiently for their dream job to come up so that they can apply for it. However, this isn’t always the best move. If you see that a company has a need for a certain role and you feel that you can fulfil it, then apply speculatively. Many employers are very impressed that you have taken the time and shown that kind of passion.
Research and practice for the interview
It’s important to go into the interview full of confidence. The best way to do this is to research and practice. Far too many people get offered the interview for the job and assume that they have done the hard work and that it will be easy to bluff their way through the interview. This simply isn’t the case, you need to do your research and know what you’re going to say.
Show the employer what you’ll do for them
This job might be your dream but you still need to remember that you need to be providing your employer with value. Why should they hire you over someone else? Find a way either in your interview or beforehand to show a prospective employer exactly what you can bring to the role.
Embrace your weaknesses
It might seem counterintuitive in an interview situation to be ready to admit your weaknesses, but it is important. Understanding your own faults and knowing how you can work with others to overcome them is hugely valuable.
Be ready to sacrifice
We have already talked about how it can be necessary to work for free in order to the gain the experience you require to be paid to do the job. This is just one example of the sacrifices that you may need to make in order to get your dream job. Remember that almost any job that you really want to do will be coveted by others. That means you need to be willing to make sacrifices that others won’t in order to get it.
Find a way to stand out from the crowd
As we mentioned, it’s likely that if a job is the dream for you, it will be the dream for many other people too. That means it is vital that you stand out from the crowd. If a prospective employer receives 100 applications for the job that you want, how are you going to ensure that you are noticed? One option is to follow up for your application with a phone call to ask if it has been received and to express you desire for the role.
Take a risk
Sometimes the only way to get your dream job is to really take a risk. This could mean leaving your current work or moving to a new area – being willing to do this may make it more likely that you can get that job you want.