Leaving high school or university is an exciting time – the next chapter is about to be written. Your future is like a blank page, and your fingers are on the keyboard – at the ready to document your life as you execute your plans. You might find you don’t have a concrete plan, but keep in mind that everybody is different. Some people do things less conventionally.
Not having a direct plan can be part of their process – they may be waiting for a bit of guidance or direction as they go along.
Whatever your personality or method, you’ll find yourself staring at the wide-open world, everything looking bigger and brighter in this new part of the world. Some may even find it daunting and somewhat different from what some people may have led you to believe. Hopefully, the tips offered in this article can help you navigate this transition by making the journey exciting and full of possibility and potential.
Some of these can be applied to someone looking to change careers too. The challenges facing them may be a little more complicated, but starting in a new direction is the same for anyone.
1. Make Sure It Is Your Dream Job.
No matter which one you have chosen, the same can be said for all career choices – make sure it is YOUR dream job. Whether you’ve had that dream or a plan since childhood, or one born from getting to know yourself better as you got older, it needs to be your own.
Don’t become a doctor or lawyer, or join the family business, just because it is expected. You might only discover later in life that it is not for you. Nothing will make your days longer and your life emptier than trying to be something for someone else.
2. Research The Different Industries.
Whether you have experience or a diploma, or a degree, you’ll probably find yourself faced with an important question – Where do you fit?
Not all lawyers handle criminal cases, and not all doctors deal with aches and pains of your daily variety. Most people, degreed or not, don’t have one specific sector they are aiming at. Your education and experience can be applied to a myriad of opportunities in the current job market.
Take some time to do some earnest research into your dream job but keep an open mind, maybe you’ll find something that stands out to you that you may have never considered or even heard of before. Do the same even if you have no idea where to start looking for your path.
3. Go Beyond The Job Listings.
In addition to sending your resume to companies offering what you are looking for, also send it to those companies you would like to work for.
Often companies offering vacancies are in the process of expanding, so if the jobs on offer aren’t exactly what you are looking for, send in your amazing resume anyway. When your resume has the desired impact that it will have, then it might be considered when their expansion calls for your vacancy.
4. Market Yourself.
You volunteered to feed the homeless; came first in your divisional cross-country race; had a lemonade stand at the local fair and sold toasties to our classmates – nobody but your close friends and family will know your history and potential.
You need to document your life and experiences and let your future employer feel comfortable and excited to have you on their team. The best way to do this is to attach a great resume to your job application.
5. Try An Internship in your dream job.
If the company offers internships, and you are a successful candidate, use your time there to learn as much as you can to get a better idea of what you want to be doing in your dream job. Even if they don’t offer internships, nothing will open the door to opportunity faster than the offer of free labor.
However, that will require a bit of fiscal savings in advance – or a supportive partner to fund your time at the company. Work hard to increase your value to the company; once you have achieved that, you can bargain to acquire a full-time job or, at least, monetize your input.
It is easier to be heard from the other side of a door that you are keeping open with your foot, than the one you are not standing at.
6. Utilize Recruitment Agencies.
Placement agents have a huge amount of experience. Not only can they place you in your dream job, but they also impart valuable knowledge and guidance to help you on your path to your new career.
Be sure to do your research into these to find the dream job that fits your needs.
7. Talk To Friends And Families.
Nobody knows you better than your family, be sure to value their opinions and consider their suggestions. Because they see you in a different light, they have a different perspective of your capabilities and strengths.
8. Talk To Professionals About Your Dream Job
If you have an idea of what your dream job is, talk to someone already in that job and find out how they got there. Ask their opinion as to how best to get there – no doubt they made mistakes along the way and there is no need for you to repeat them.
9. Reconsider Remuneration.
In these difficult economic times, it is not always an option, but if you value job satisfaction and fulfillment over money then make the change to the job you want.
You’ve heard it before and probably know more than one person who has benefitted from the old saying: “It is not always what you know, but who you know” – sometimes the path to your new job lies in the connections you make with people.
They may not always necessarily be in the industry you are aiming for but might know someone who is. Get your friends or family to introduce you to as many people as they can. Remember to market yourself as much and as best you can, much as we discussed earlier.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.