Why You Don’t Need That Dream Job to Succeed
If you’ve applied for your dream job and subsequently experienced the blow of a rejection, you may feel that you’ve blown your big chance for success. But this needn’t be the case at all! Read on for our guide to picking yourself up and re-setting your enthusiasm for the next step!
Success can be measured in many ways – and achieved via various routes. Yes, most people will see what appears to be their ‘ideal’ job sometimes and feel that success relies on getting it – but that isn’t always the case.
Remember, the reality of a job can very different from the advertisement. Secondly, there are plenty of opportunities in life if you know where to look for them. Thirdly, there are also different ways into your dream career – particularly if you define success clearly for yourself! Let’s take each point in turn.
Related: Are you unhappy at work?
1) The expectation versus reality:
If you’ve seen an advert for what appears to be your dream job, but you didn’t get it, don’t overly dwell on the outcome and feel despondent. Use the experience to reposition yourself for success. Firstly, identify what it was about the job that particularly appealed to you, and pin down the elements that you are really looking for in a job. Was it the sector? The location? The responsibilities or opportunities for advancement? Or was it the pay? By really understanding what it is you are looking for, you will find it far easier to gain it in a future, or even current role.
Also, seek interview feedback – if you reached this stage – and find out exactly what it was they were looking for, and why you didn’t succeed. Don’t be afraid to hear criticism. View it as a learning opportunity! Remember too, often the job will simply go to the person with the closest match on the experience and skills front; two areas that you can develop yourself to better position your application in future.
2) Look more broadly for your opportunities:
Once you’ve identified the ‘winning’ elements you want from your perfect role, work out how you could achieve them more generally. For example, if you were chasing a higher salary, then you may be able to have a pay review conversation with your line manager or take on additional development opportunities to earn more. Equally, if your perfect role involved you working on a specific project or interesting new area, establish whether there are opportunities to develop into a new direction or lead a new project within your current role. Perhaps you could take on training, or get involved with complementary projects outside of your day job? Think outside the box and look for ways to make your current situation more ‘perfect’ and in line with your ambitions. You are likely to find that your boss is as keen to develop you and see you succeed as you are – and managers are particularly likely to be flexible and accommodating to their top talent, recognising the value that they add to the organisation.
3) Look at alternative routes to get to where you want to be:
Most people in their dream careers didn’t actually take a linear route to rapidly arrive at their dream destination. Most will take winding routes over a period of years, building up knowledge, experience and contact as they go. Remember, most good things are hard earned! So if you have your eye on a particular role, find out if there are different routes into it, and position yourself accordingly. Equally, if you have your heart set on working in particular organisation, find out if there are various routes in. Some people will take on contract roles, for example, simply to get inside an organisation and make themselves known in it for future permanent opportunities. Focus on the long term direction, take on learning opportunities wherever you can, and enjoy the journey!
4) Two bonus steps to success:
Also consider getting help. A mentor or a coach is a huge asset in progressing your career and developing the skills and expertise that you need to bag that dream role! Seek out someone that you admire who is more advanced in their career than you, and approach them informally to ask if they would consider mentoring you. They will likely be flattered! If they cannot mentor you because they lack the time, don’t be offended. See if your current employer runs a mentoring scheme or would consider doing so. Your HR contact is a good place to start – just be prepared to repay the favour to someone in your position when you are more advanced in your career!
Finally, keep a clear picture in your head about where you want to be, and what you want to be doing. Write it down or create a mood board if necessary to really help you visualise it. Spend time visiting that visualisation daily and positioning it at the forefront of your mind, actions and intention. Research suggests that people who really create a sharp, clear and detailed picture of their dreams are far more likely to achieve it – so spend time really pinning down your big ambition, and you’ll find that things start to fall into place to help you achieve your dreams!
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