The job you want: How to get there

get job you want corridor careers

photo credit: Lindsay Henwood, unsplash

Whether you are recent college grad or at any stage in your working career, you’ve undoubtedly been in a job where you weren’t quite where you wanted to be.  How to get the job you want is not always easy to understand. It happens to us without even knowing it, we take a job because we need a paycheck, without much thought as to how that job pertains to our career path.  If you’ve found yourself in this position, don’t worry – you aren’t alone.  So how do you move out of a job that met your needs at the time, to a job that could become a long term career?  Let’s explore some ideas.

Talk to people to get the job you want

Some call it networking.  I don’t love the word “networking”.  I do like the word “communicating.”  Talk to others about what you want to do with your career.  Don’t be needy about it, but in the course of conversation with friends or family, I would find it pretty normal to say something like, “I’m working here right now, but what I would really love to do would be this.”  Leave it at that.  Those who take an interest in you will offer help if they can.  I have friends that have gone out of their way to help me in my career, and I’ve done the same for others.  Humans have this desire to help each other out when they can.  Especially when it doesn’t seem forced.

Asking someone that you just met at a networking event for contacts in their circle would seem forced.  This creates awkwardness on both sides.  I’m not slamming networking events, but there is no need to force your career desires upon someone who you met two minutes ago.

That said, there is a growing trend of humanism happening on sites like LinkedIn, where people are encouraging people to reach out with the hashtag #OfferingHelp :

Find a Mentor to get the job you want

Or a role model.  Who do you want to become?  We all have others that we look up to, and perhaps the easiest way to become the person that you want to become is to hang around with others that do what you want to do.  Keeping our lack of neediness in mind, you don’t have to ask someone to mentor you, especially right away.  In fact, you never have to ask them to mentor you if you don’t want.  Simply ask them to hang out.  Or ask them for a zoom happy hour during this crazy COVID time.

If you have a friend you consider a mentor, spend more time with them.  Or at least try to.  Text them more often.  Take an interest in their life.  Find out what makes them tick and why they chose the career they did.  I have a couple friends that I look up to for a variety of reasons (career, leadership, personality, business).  You can bet once I am vaccinated these will be the people that I am asking to happy hour or taking a weekend trip to go play golf with.

Give thanks for the jobs you’ve had

No matter what the job, I know you learned something – either about the industry you worked for, or about yourself. Both are very valuable lessons. Just learning a job is not a good fit for you is a great lesson. And you got paid to learn it? Even better. Sometimes after a job change or job loss, there is a period of time where you feel damaged by the process. That’s okay, and normal. Give yourself time to recover. Once you have accepted the situation, then you can take stock. The skills you learned can potentially transfer to another industry. You can even compare salary ranges to find a role that has a real shot at helping you reach your potential. You’ve only got one life. Stewing over a job loss vs. investing in gratitude can be the choice you make. Make one that benefits your future.

Job Search and Job Success