How to Find Your Dream Career in a Demanding Economy
Whether you know exactly what you want to do already, or you feel clueless as to what to do next in your career, the economy is more demanding than ever in terms of jobs available, skills required, experience needed, and salary expectations.
If you feel as though finding a job is like looking for gold in a minefield, then please know that you’re not alone. It’s a tough market out there and many candidates are having to change their approach slightly and lessen their expectations somewhat, to get to where they want to be.
Decades ago, you would have found a job after university (or school, if you didn’t go to university) and be set for life. There was less encouragement to try out different roles until you found the one for you; you needed stability, and work was more of a means to an end.
Nowadays, life is more about balance – or at least, we’re trying – and most people want to go to work each day to do a job they love. Here are some tips to help you find the job of your dreams while the pressures of the economy linger on.
Don’t run before you can walk
It might sound ridiculously simple, but the pressure to find a job after university can feel extremely overwhelming and push you to run for that dream job.
But what about walking towards it instead and keeping a look-out along the way? Taking a temporary or casual job initially isn’t a bad idea at all, if it helps to give you time to decide on your long-term goals.
If you can afford to wait it out – perhaps by moving back to your parents – you could even choose to undertake some intern or work experience placements to help you discover your passions.
These types of roles will look great on your CV too, as they will show your commitment to your career as well as your motivation to develop personally and professionally. You never know what opportunities might come your way from it!
Internships are worthwhile
We touched on this above, but it’s very true that internships can be a fantastic foot in the door for many candidates.
Many interns go on to be offered a permanent role in a company, as it’s usually a good opportunity for a company to see how you fit in and what you might be able to bring to the role. It’s a chance for you to show them what you’ve got.
If your sights are set on a full-time, well-paid position and you’re not having much luck finding the right job, don’t be ashamed to lower your expectations and consider placement work. There are plenty of people who’ve found success from such opportunities and would highly recommend them to you.
Make realistic decisions
Pressures and expectations can cause you to follow the crowd and make decisions based on what others are doing. What’s important to remember, is that any decision you make should be right for you and your position in that moment.
If you’re not ready to take a bold move, then don’t feel like you must. Are you living at home but desperate to move out and willing to take any job that comes your way? Remember that any situation is temporary and a little while longer won’t hurt.
If you’re being rejected for jobs because you’re aiming too high, don’t be afraid of applying for more junior roles as there could be development opportunities in the future. Whatever your situation, make the decision that’s right for you – regardless of what others are doing around you.
Money shouldn’t be your ultimate goal
Of course, we all want to earn enough money to live a comfortable life. But when you start to strive for more and more you lose sight of what really matters to you.
What should matter to you is that you are healthy, you have the support of – and give support to – your family, you have a roof over your head, and you have food on the table each day.
We often consider more money as the way to a better and happier life, but the reality is that when you start to earn more you increase your lifestyle choices to match – yet the fundamentals of your life remain the same.
If you find yourself wanting to earn big bucks to live the lifestyle you dream of, try to bring yourself back to what’s truly important to you and choose a job based on the role that’s on offer and how much satisfaction it will bring you.
You’re going to spend around 40 hours a week doing that job, so you want to ensure you’re going to wake up every morning excited to go to work!
Leila Wright writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and graduate jobs.