The sad fact is that most Americans hate their jobs. Its pure drudgery and they’re just in it for the paycheck. It doesn’t have to be this way. You really can have a dream job, one that you really love and that pays you well.
No, I’m not in fairy tale land. For the 10 years I worked for AOL, I can honestly say there were few days I didn’t want to go to work. The challenges of each position and the company’s ups and downs were never easy, but I always believed my contribution meant something and I felt that I was being fairly compensated. When this was no longer the case, I found another way to grow my career.
But, unfortunately, my experience is not common. After even a few years into your career, you might be frustrated by any number of things Â work that’s not challenging, people who don’t value your abilities, being paid less than you’re worth, to name a few. You might even fantasize walking into your boss’ office and shouting “Take this job and shove it!”
That might feel momentarily satisfying, but it’s never a lasting strategy to build your career. The more productive thing to do is to “take this job and love it!” No, not the job you currently have that leaves you frustrated. I’m taking about a new job, a different job that is a great match for you, your abilities, and your desires.
But, how do you go from “shove” to “love” in your career?
Pounding the pavement searching for a more fulfilling career is one of the most stressful events in life. I read that it’s in the top three, right along with divorce and a death in the family. Having a road map can reduce your anxiety. Here are my six steps to get that dream job while you’re fully conscious:
1. Determine That You Need To Change Jobs
Sometimes, it’s worth trying to work things out at your current job. Often, you need to move on. In either case, the big thing is that you need to understand why you are dissatisfied with your current so that you can take that into account when you are looking for a new one.
2. Identify The Job You Really Want
The goal is to have a job where you are excited about getting up every morning and going to work. Allow yourself to dream what that new job might be and then explore what that job is like through online research and informational interviews with people who actually do that job now.
3. Find The Company That Has The Job You Want
Start looking in easy places, both on and offline. For example, check the want ads in the largest general newspaper in town plus the largest business newspaper in town. Go online and search job websites such as http://www.monster.com and http://www.careerbuilding.com. Don’t forget any schools or related associations who also may have job postings. One huge way people find jobs that’s often overlooked is networking. Get out and meet people and let them know you’re seeking a new opportunity. Often you’ll get a recommendation of a company or someone to contact.
4. Convince The Hiring Manager You Are The Person They Are Looking For
Be prepared for the interview. Learn all you can beforehand about the company and their current situation. Of all the questions you may get, the most critical answers are the ones where you tie your abilities and experience to the company’s needs. That’s what makes you truly valuable.
5. Negotiate A Fabulous Salary And Compensation Package
Never talk money and compensation until you’ve clearly discussed your value Â what you can do to meet the company’s needs right now. Know what the job is worth ahead of time using websites like http://www.salary.com. Let the hiring manager put out the first number, but never accept it immediately. Often this is their lowest offer. You will often get more in salary or benefits if you ask, but only if they believe you’re worth it.
6. Start Off Your New Job With A Bang
You’ve worked really hard to get to this point. Don’t wait for your boss or your new co-workers to make you feel comfortable and to give you direction. Reach out to them first. Continue to demonstrate through your results and by creating positive relationships that they made the right choice.