In 2020, having a job – any job – feels like a victory.
With the constantly rising unemployment figures and an already crowded job market, many of us have put the search for the dream job on hold because we need to find a job that will pay the bills and keep us afloat through this difficult period. So the reality is, even though if we’re lucky enough to have a job to see us through this crazy period, odds are you’re not in your dream job or even your dream industry.
As grateful as you are for a job it can be hard to keep your head up when you’re facing day after day of monotonous, mind-numbing work, annoying co-workers and drab grey offices in harsh fluorescent lighting. Maybe you’ve got artistic ambitions and you’re stuck filling at a temp agency, perhaps you’ve always dreamed of opening your own restaurant and you’re filling in spreadsheets from nine to five – whatever the specifics of your situation are, there’s no doubt that the whole thing can be a bit depressing and you might start to doubt you’d ever manage to land your dream job but you mustn’t lose hope!
So, even though you’re working just to pay the bills and your dream job remains just a little out of reach, here are five tips to keep you motivated and on track so that, one day, you’ll be landing the position of your dreams.
Knowledge is power. It’s imperative that you never close yourself off to the possibility of future learning. You can always keep learning more about your industry. If you’re interested in design and media you can take an online course in website design, if you’ve dreamt of running your own restaurant, take a course in patisserie, event management or hospitality or even take a course in marketing, if nothing else it will help you market yourself better while you’re on the job hunt! So, enrol in a course and continue your education in your industry and commit to keeping on learning.
Ask ‘why not?’
A lot of the time, applying for jobs can feel like a full-time nightmare. Having to format and re-format your CV, write cover letters that try and straddle the line between professional and yet still personalised, and apply for entry-level positions that require decades of experience is a draining experience. So, when you’re looking at a job description it can be easy to despair and talk yourself round to the idea that you’re under-qualified and it’s not even worth the effort of applying. Switch up the way you’re thinking about everything – you know you’re amazing so, ask yourself – why wouldn’t they hire you!
Keep Putting Yourself Out There
In the same vein, it’s important to keep putting yourself out there. I can feel intimidating to send an expression of interest to someone out of the blue, to message a stranger for advice over every young person’s least favourite networking site, LinkedIn, or to approach a friend of a friend and ask for advice but remember, the person you’re approaching will never think less of you for asking for their help or advice. Just be polite, engaging and professional. Remember flattery will get you everywhere in some situations and never count yourself out of the race because you think you’re too young or too disconnected from the industry. Sometimes a captivating, engaging and well-written cover letter is enough to snag you an interview then, the rest is up to you! How out of the box can you get with a cover letter? Check out this famous cover letter from way back in 1934.
Reward Small Milestones
To deal in cliches, the road towards your dream job is a marathon, not a sprint. When you’re on a long road towards a major goal it’s important to reward the small milestones along the way. Give yourself a little break after every completed job application, set yourself a goal – ‘I want to apply for three new jobs this week. I want to polish my resume, perfect my cover letter.’ – and then, when you’ve reached your goal, declare it your own personal weekend. Reward yourself for putting in the hard yards along the way to the end of the ultimate marathon. In case you’re in need of inspiration to how to reward yourself – check out this article about how to treat yourself!
Never Lose Sight Of Your Goal
While you might be working in a nine to five gig that pays the bills but doesn’t feed your soul, you need to remember that this is a temporary situation and that one day you’ll have a job that is both financially viable, mentally stimulating and rewarding. So don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal and remember and just keep chipping away and working on it every day!