Everyone wants to have their dream career, Some people have grand ambitions of an executive-level job, others want to own their own business, and some just want a job that affords them the freedom and flexibility to do more of the things they want to do in their personal life, like traveling or devoting time to hobbies.
Whatever that dream career is for you, it’s always attainable. Sometimes it takes longer to get there, depending on what your objectives are and how long of a ladder you might need to climb. And, of course, there’s some luck involved, too. That said, there are things you can do to be proactive and work your way towards the career you want at a more rapid and productive pace.
Here are three ways you can start making your way towards the career you’ve always dreamed of.
It’s easy to feel bogged down by school and even wonder sometimes why you learn some of the things you learn (especially prior to your college career). A lot of people feel this way about mathematics especially, despite it ultimately being an extremely beneficial subject in the “real world.” Math aside, though, education is paramount in virtually every career path. One of the best things you can do for yourself to work towards your dream career is getting an education, particularly pertaining to your desired field.
Whether it’s the type of education that requires a four-year or more degree or an apprenticeship that gives you hands-on experience with a particular skill you’re trying to hone, education is a good first step to take on any path towards your dream career.
Research and network
No matter what you’re trying to do in your life, market research is always beneficial. You don’t have to do anything especially tedious, but even doing little things like searching online to see what the landscape in your field of choice looks like at the moment will help you get an idea of what you’re entering into. Take that research and figure out how exactly you fit into that world; you can even map out what it is you want to do and make a loose plan that can help you take steps to get there.
Within each of those steps in your plan, ask yourself how you can accomplish these milestones. Oftentimes, much of that will come from networking. Put yourself out there on LinkedIn by messaging people in your industry. Attend conferences and events that will put you among potential colleagues and key contacts and ask around about internship opportunities that can help you get a foot in the door. Making your presence known in the industry of your choice is perhaps the single most impactful thing you can do to get off on the right foot in your career.
As always, make sure you have a solid resume and cover letter. Even if you don’t have a ton of experience yet, a strong resume and cover letter that makes an impression can go a long way.
At the end of the day, it takes time and work to reach your dream. Don’t get discouraged if you find yourself getting rejected for job opportunities, especially at the beginning. Use those rejections as learning experiences; you can even touch base with hiring managers to get a sense of what you can improve on going forward. Take it one day at a time, and understand that things don’t happen overnight. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do in life—nothing is immediate.
Don’t overwhelm yourself, either. Any goals you have should be loose enough that you don’t feel tied down to them too much. If you’re 25 years old and aren’t a C-level executive of a major corporation yet, don’t worry. There’s always enough time to achieve the things you dream of in life. Take everything as it comes, and use every experience as another step in the right direction. With that mindset, you’ll get to where you want to be exactly when you’re supposed to get there.
— Article by Sean Kelly, an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter