Made this happen
How To Land Your Actual Dream Job
The Debrief: And how the devil does Linkedin actually work?
Illustration by Marylou Faure
I am a person who has recently moved jobs. I’ve spent the majority of my career as an adult working in marketing, and have just moved to a job that allows me to write an awful lot more – which is something I love. It was a little daunting & scary, but I did it and I’m loving my new, more creative, life. Here are my top tips on how I was able to #LiveLifeOnImpulse and score my dream job.
Talk To Someone
So, several years ago my mum and I decided to get our tarot cards read (bear with me). I had a chat with the nice lady about all the things I liked and didn’t like and when she turned over the cards, she said ‘You will be a writer’ (I literally just called my mum to confirm these were her exact words). Now, I’m not saying that she prophesised it and it’s happened, but it sort of gave me the confidence to believe that I actually was capable, and it’s always been stuck in the back of my mind.
Now, there’s a chance that all of this tarot stuff is complete fallacy, and I’m not saying the solution is to get your cards read and then believe the prophecy. What I am saying is that you should talk to someone about what you like, don’t like and what you’re good at - it can be a really good way of working out what you really want to do.
Get Some Experience
If your ‘thing’ is something you can try out on-the-side of your regular job, then that’s a good way of checking that it’s really for you. In my case, I used my contacts from previous roles to do some freelance writing whilst working as a Marketing Manager, and that helped to build my confidence, add to my portfolio and give me the relevant experience.
If you can’t really do this, how about asking your networks (wanky term) if anyone is able to give you any (probs unpaid) work experience days, or work shadowing opportunities. The more you’re able to immerse yourself in the role, the more you’ll begin to understand whether it’s actually for you or not.
Give yourself time & enough budget to look properly
If you’re really certain you want to do this, it’s gonna, in the words of George Harrison, ‘take ti-ime, a whole lot of precious time,’ and also ‘a whole lotta spending money to do it right’.
When I found myself coming to the end of my previous contract, and wanting to change roles, I stopped paying four billion kazillion pounds a month to rent a room in a London flat share and moved back in with my parents. It’s sort of hell, but in the nicest way, but it let me take a little bit of time out to find the right job without financial pressure.
I appreciate this isn’t an option for everyone, but if there are changes you can make to ensure you’ve got an extra bit of cash – like walking to work instead of buying a season ticket, or swapping your expensive gym membership for home yoga and running in the park – it might be a little shit for a while, but having that freedom to not worry about money whilst you change your life is priceless.
It sounds properly wanky, but networking is SO important. I’m not talking like, emailing everyone you’ve ever worked with ever and bothering people with LinkedIn messages, but when I knew I was looking to change tack, I started going to a lot more conferences, and work drinks, and ‘company meetings’ and things. A lot of the interviews I had were from people I knew, rather than applications.
LinkedIn & Job Search Tips
The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more discoverable you are on there. DON’T start posting your dinner time Instagrams all over the shop, but links to blogs about your industry, following relevant groups etc. will all help recruiters (a necessary evil) find you.
When it comes to actually applying for jobs, the market is tough and saturated out there. It doesn’t help to apply for one or two jobs every month – you’ll most likely end up disappointed. Make sure your CV is on point, and you have a variety of Cover Letters that can be easily adapted, then apply for a few jobs everyday that you really think you could do and would want to do. Then forget about them until the closing date.
Don’t forget the rest of your life. Waiting for responses can be infuriating and anxiety inducing. Sitting around refreshing your inbox and waiting for the phone to ring is only going to make time go slower and make your more likely to email them prematurely. Keep on with whatever you usually do, gym, seeing friends, drinking gin, whatever. It’ll happen when it happens. Everything happens for a reason, and such other clichés.
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