Are you having trouble finding your Dream Job?
I know I certainly did when I graduated from university!
But in this article I’m going to give you the strategy I used to find (and land) my first two dream jobs.
Using a system which starts with first defining exactly what YOUR ultimate job is!
But first here’s a harsh reality of full time work…
Not All Jobs Are Created Equal
You could find yourself working in the EXACT same position at two different companies.
Company #1 stresses you out, overworks you (or even bores you to tears)…
While Company #2 excites and inspires you. Company #2 grows you both professionally and as a person.
Working for #2 is what you would call your Dream Job.
It’s pretty clear who you’d rather work for, right?
Well part of the problem is that many job hunters don’t have a clear idea of what a dream position is. In fact, they don’t even know that such jobs exist!
Here’s the thing…
Working 9-5 doesn’t have to be soul sucking, boring, and stressful.
It can be…
But it can also be fun, engaging, exciting, and more importantly it can be meaningful.
It can actually be a deeply satisfying and purposeful experience for you.
And like I said before – the first step to landing your dream role is knowing what that means to YOU!
Now I want to share with you what I call my ‘Dream Job Test.’ It’s a simple process that’ll get your mental gears spinning…
And will allow you to finally start building a vivid mental movie of what your exact Dream Job looks like.
Let’s get into it…
The Dream Job Test: 7 Criteria For Defining Your Perfect Position
Whenever I’m evaluating the next step in my career, I always come back to this fundamental technique…
As I said before it’s called the Dream Job Test.
I define a Dream Job as being a position where you absolutely LOVE…
- Who you’re working for (the company)
- Who you’re working with (boss, team, co-workers, clients)
- What work you’re doing (day to day)
- Your working hours (part time, full time, casual, freelance)
- Your office and location (both inside the office and location in your city)
- The mission, values, & philosophy of the company
- What you’re compensated (in terms of money and other benefits)
Okay, now here’s a quick breakdown of what you want to consider for each of these criteria.
Again, this isn’t something you need to obsess over in incredible detail.
It’s just to get the mental cogs spinning…
And help you to get a feel for your definition of a Dream Job.
You Love Who You’re Working For:
This is kind of a culmination of all the criteria below combined together.
But essentially, you’re in a position where you like the company you’re working for.
Ask yourself this if you’re considering whether or not two companies are suitable for you in terms of a Dream Job…
“If you were a business or person who needed what this business sells – would you want to become a client?
If the answer is “hell yes” then that’s a tick for this criteria.
You Love Who You’re Working With:
This applies to your team, your manager or boss, and the general culture of the workplace.
If you work full time then you’re going to spend 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month with these people…
So it’s important that you like them!
It’s important that they’re positive, fun, and like-minded people.
You Love The Work You’re Doing:
It’s important that the work you’re doing is challenging, fun, and exciting.
Sure, everyday isn’t going to be 10/10 no matter how good the job is. But you want to avoid jobs that routinely involve work that you hate.
And instead transition into roles where at least 80% of the work you do is stuff you love doing!
You Love Your Working Hours:
Some people love 9-5…
But others prefer to either start early and finish early. Or start late and finish late.
It comes down to what works best for you.
So it’s important that your dream position supports a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
You Love Your Office & Location:
What would you prefer – commuting 20 minutes to work, or commuting 3 hours?
Or would you prefer to be so close to your work that you can walk or ride there?
Sometimes this can be tricky, especially if you live in a remote area. But the idea here is to define what the most ideal situation would be for you.
Also, think about what kind of office space resonates with you. Do you prefer cubicle, open plan, or office?
Is your Dream Job in a studio loft, or the 19th floor of a skyscraper?
You Resonate With The Values & Mission Of The Company:
Some companies are committed to helping small business grow…
Others only work with big corporations.
Some companies sell boutique, high end products and others sell cheap, mass produced goods.
Some companies are dedicated to making the world a better, more efficient place. And others are committed to empowering people & communities.
What are the values you look for in a company?
What impact do you want to have on the world through your work?
You Love What You’re Compensated:
This is a no brainer – you want to be paid well.
Essentially, you want to be paid what you’re worth, in proportion to your skills, experience…
And the value you can bring the company.
So what’s your dream salary?
Do you get bonuses each year?
Other Questions To Consider When Defining Your Dream Position:
Now that you’ve gone through and begun thinking about what your Dream Job would look like…
Here’s what to do next.
I have a couple of other questions that you want to consider when you’re defining it.
This is more relevant if you’re already working (or have worked) full time, and are looking to pivot your path or level up.
However, it’s still important to consider if you’re going for your first job out of college & university.
Is The Business Growing Or Contracting?
Usually a Dream Job will be with a business that’s growing, not contracting.
Businesses that are growing tend to:
- Pay well to attract the best talent
- Treat their employees well (to increase productivity, morale, and loyalty)
- Be exciting, fun, modern places to work
- Be full of other fun people like you!
On the other hand, businesses that are contracting…
- Tend to be contracting because of a lost client or cash flow problem
- Tend to be looking for the next person to fire as they trim the fat
- Are looking to automate or outsource employees wherever they can
Businesses that are contracting can often be unpleasant places to work. Mainly because it just feels weird working somewhere that’s getting smaller, not growing explosively.
And you’ll run the risk of feeling like you’re fighting for your job with every task and project.
Are You Moving Up, Down, Or Across?
Career Mastery is all about moving up.
You want to scale from dream position to dream position – not in a weird political kind of way…
But you want to move up in terms of getting better at what you do – and taking on more responsibility.
So with each new job you go for – consider whether taking the position would mean growing forward, moving backwards, or staying at about the same level.
Do They Foster And Encourage Your Development & Growth?
This is a huge value of mine.
And it’s something I look for whenever I’m looking to move into a new position.
I don’t want to work anywhere that doesn’t invest in my knowledge, skill development, or growth.
When companies foster your growth – the benefit is mutual.
THEY get a better, more skilled employee (which is great for the business).
And YOU become more valuable to the market (and can ask for more money).
Do They Respect Your Mental Health?
This is a matter of self awareness.
Everyone has different tolerances for stress, fatigue, overwhelm, and pressure.
The important thing is to know YOUR limits and boundaries. And to make sure that your dream position is one that works within those boundaries.
On top of this, you want to work in businesses that actually care about their employees. A business that values happy, mentally healthy staff.
Places that view you as a cog in a production line should be avoided at all costs!
Bringing It All Together…
So that’s how you define your ultimate job.
Believe me when I say that I know all too well that the hardest part to actually finding your dream job is knowing what it is!
So hopefully this gives you some clarity on both defining and finding your dream job – so you can now take some big leaps towards landing it.
Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or feedback!
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- Harvard Business Review: Working Long Hours Makes Us Drink More
- University College London: Overtime ‘Bad For Your Heart’
- Pub Med: Long Working Hours & Sleep Disturbances
Will Vaughan is the Founder & CEO of Your Career Mastery. He’s dedicated to helping young professionals discover and land the job of their dreams using a mix of proven strategies, tips, tools, and mindsets. He currently works as a Content & SEO manager for a 100 million dollar tech company in Melbourne, Australia.