If you’re working in a job that you may not love, it may be hard to find the motivation to look for something new. Sometimes the feeling that you’re not going anywhere in your current position can hold you back from seeking new opportunities, or maybe the people you work with are why you stay. Whatever your reason, the New Year is a great time to evaluate your current situation and seek out opportunities that will benefit you. Here we’ll explore some tips for resolving to find your dream job:
1. Take Stock.
Take a step back and really evaluate your current situation. Is there something you could do in your current position to make it bearable for you, like avoid that nasty co-worker as best you can, speak up about what’s making you unhappy, or start a new project with the fun, creative person you’ve been meaning to work with? Keep in mind that finding a new job is not a quick, easy task in most cases, so if your situation is such that you must earn a paycheck, might as well make it quasi-enjoyable.
2. Evaluate Yourself.
The goal here is to land a job that will make you happy, so it’s best to choose one that fits you. Make a list of your ideal job, and a list of your qualities (ask friends, trusted co-workers, family to help). As you’re job hunting, keep the list beside you so that you only apply to the jobs that fit your requirements.
3. Review your Benefits.
If it’s a raise you’re after that you’re not getting, take a look at the entire picture. If you receive benefits, make sure you are utilizing them to their full capacity. Check to see if your company does 401K contributions, or if your company-paid medical insurance has a gym membership reimbursement, or maybe it offers free yearly physicals for preventative care. All of these things equal more money for you, even though you may not see it in your paycheck. It’s good to keep this in mind while job hunting, so you can be sure you’re making an equal switch or moving up salary-wise.
4. Do your research.
As they say, the grass is always greener. Make sure you do plenty of research on the companies you’re applying to. Glassdoor.com has reviews of companies direct from employees that can shed light on company culture. If you know anyone that works at the company, that’s even better. If you’re going to make a switch for the money, be sure that you’re confident it is the right move. The last thing you want to do is make a big salary move for a job that is so terrible that you’re never in a good mood to enjoy your accomplishment.
5. Stick with it!
Remember that you’re being selective- your dream job may not fall into your lap right away. Keep applying and interviewing, at least it will give you good experience. Think positive and don’t give up!
Have any other tips? Success stories? Leave them in the comments!
At first, you may think the Hunger Games, which revolves around a battle to the death among young men and women in an arena, would have nothing to do with job searching. You, my friend, couldn’t be more wrong.
For those of you that have read the book, and are anticipating the movie, there are a lot of parallels in your reading and in your job hunt. If you took a few keynotes from Katniss and friends, it could give you a competitive edge in the job arena.
Put on a show
You can’t expect your future employer to ask you the right questions during the application process or during the interview process. It’s up to you to make sure that you stand out from the crowd, just like Katniss and Peeta did with their flaming costumes.
While you can’t go into an interview with any type of clothing on fire (if you for a second thought you could, you should probably read our past post on what to wear to an interview), you can go in with confidence and a great portfolio. Even if you haven’t had a job before, use examples from school where you have shown leadership and excellence.
For example, you can take in a paper that you scored highly on to show how well you can communicate.
If you’ve worked before, gather examples of how your performance was above average. If you can, have some of your former co-workers or bosses write you reference letters to take with you to the interview.
Always know your strengths and how to showcase them
Katniss knew her strength all along would be her incredible ability to hunt. She had experience unlike anyone else due to always breaking the rules and going outside her district with Gale. Now, what happened when the Game Makers didn’t pay attention to her strength during her time to show it? She made sure they saw her by shooting an arrow directly at them, luckily only piercing through the pig’s mouth. That got her just the attention she needed.
Now, we’re not asking you to break any rules, or to scramble under electric fences, but we are asking you to think about what your best attributes are and how you can showcase them to catch someone’s eye.
Are you a great organizer? Do you have a personality that lights up a room? Are your leadership skills fantastic?
Use your strengths to your advantage while applying for a job and during the interview. Showcase them in your cover letter or resume, and be sure to provide solid examples of how you are an incredible worker during your interview.
Don’t wait for the interviewer to ask the right question, either. Be sure to let them know by cutting in, respectfully, and saying, “I’d also like to quickly mention a time where my leadership skills shined through…”
Landing a job doesn’t mean that you have all of the qualifications and experience that they require. It means they think you will be a good fit for the position and you’ll be able to complete the tasks successfully.
Katniss had to spend a lot of her time in the arena coming up with different ways to defend herself, show her self-worth and show her creativity in order to survive.
During a job interview, you’ll need to do the same.
Just because your qualifications don’t directly match up with the job description, doesn’t mean that you aren’t a great fit for the position. Look at what is required of the person in that role, is it something that you know you can do? Is it the next level for you on your career path?
Be sure to outline exactly why you are great for the job in your cover letter and resume. Also have a game plan for your interview You don’t want to leave any room for chance that the employer won’t be able to draw a parallel. It’s up to you to sell yourself for the position.
Rue and Katniss were great allies. She gave Katniss strength because she reminded her of Prim. After Rue was killed and it was announced that two people could be named winners, Peeta became Katniss’ next ally, fatefully.
In life, you’ll never get by without networking in one shape or another. The business world, your personal life and everything in between is about forming relationships that can either build you up, or tear you down.
If you are applying for a position at a company, look to see if you know anyone that works there currently. Reach out to them and ask them about the company, the culture within the company, what they like and do not like about it, and more.
If you are close with the person, you may even ask them if they can put in a good word for you.
Networking in the business world allows you to get a leg up on the competition that may not have any inside connections.
Know when to buck the system and when not to
Those berries, right? They could have been the death of Katniss, and for all we know, they very well may be in the end. She bucked the Capitol when they decided to revoke the ability for two to win by almost swallowing poisonous Nightlock berries along with Peeta in order to show the Capitol that they weren’t its pawns.
Of course, this sparks a whole new debate, but it gets the attention of different districts, does it not?
Knowing when to go out of the ordinary during a job interview or even the first few days on the job is definitely a talent. You always want to remain respectful, but always want to showcase what you can do.
Don’t allow others to put you into a mold that you do not deserve. If an interviewer says, “Well, you do not have any experience in X, Y, or Z” you do have the ability to kindly retort that “While I may not have the exact experience in that, I do believe that my experience in this, this and that make up for that. I am also a quick learner, and have no worries whatsoever when it comes to picking up the skills you are looking for.”
Landing a job isn’t about being complacent. It’s about sticking up for yourself, believing in yourself and showing what you’re worth.