Life is short. When you’re young and you have your whole life ahead of you, it can seem like an endless stretch of time. You have years and years to tick everything off your bucket list and enjoy the fullest existence possible. But as you get older, you start to realize how little time you have left.
You become conscious of every missed opportunity and every wasted hour, lamenting the time you squander stuck in traffic or procrastinating on social media instead of making memories and having great experiences. The time you spend working takes up almost a third of your adult life, so you don’t want to feel you have thrown all this valuable time down the drain for a career you don’t even enjoy.
Your job should not make you feel unhappy or bored, but rather it should align with your true goals and values. Of course we all need money in order to do the things that make life worth living, but wealth should be seen as a means to an end, and not an end in itself. When you’re on your deathbed looking back at your life, the figure in your bank account doesn’t make a difference. What truly matters are the memories you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had along the way.
And for this reason, we should all strive to find careers that bring happiness and meaning to our lives. If you ask any child what they want to be when they grow up, they will give you hopeful, ambitious answers like astronaut, movie star, or explorer. But at some point on the journey to adulthood, this optimism tends to fade for many people and they resign themselves to mind-numbing office jobs, joylessly slaving away to earn enough money to pay the bills.
The truth is you can have any job you want, as long as you work hard to achieve it and don’t give up. Of course this journey will always be easier when you’re young, as you have more time to gain the necessary experience and skills required. But it’s never too late in life to make a career change.
To help you make the most of your life and pursue your professional dreams, here are five tips to get any job you want.
Set a Goal
The first step to landing the job of your dreams is to figure out exactly what you want from life. It’s not enough to vaguely hope you become a movie star one day. You have to envision your ideal career and plan out your route for getting there.
It may be that you know exactly what you want to be, in which case you can start taking steps to achieve your goal. But if you’re still undecided then you have some work to do. The best way to figure out your dream job is to consider your passions and interests. Ask yourself what you care about most, and what brings you happiness. For example, if you love reading and literature then you might be suited to a career in publishing, or even a writer. If you have a way with animals then you could become a vet or a zoologist.
There are numerous career tests online that assess your personality and help you figure out what job matches your specific character traits and skills. This can be useful if you’re at a complete loss for inspiration.
You don’t need to be an expert in your chosen field in order to pick a career, but you need to be willing to put the hours in to learn your craft. Some professions allow you to simply start in a junior role and learn the skills on the job. But for many, skilled career paths you will need to undergo some training or a course of education.
If you want to be a lawyer or a doctor, you will most likely have to gain a law degree or a medical degree respectively. Becoming a contractor may require a residential license, and to be a professional mountaineer there will be a whole range of technical qualifications to acquire. The best thing to do is to conduct some research into your chosen industry and figure out what you need to do to gain the requisite knowledge.
Live the Dream
In order to get a headstart in any industry, one of the best things you can do is to make your dream job your life. If it really is your passion, your career choice will not just be a job to you. It will be a lifestyle that brings meaning and joy to your existence and you should act as such.
Let’s say you want to become an astronaut. As well as gaining a degree in astrophysics and working on your fitness, you should also take pains to incorporate your love for space exploration into your everyday life. You should read books about the universe and memoirs of famous astronauts. Watch documentaries about historical space launches and visit museums that will teach you more about the history of the industry.
Find a Mentor
There are few substitutes for lived experience, so it is invaluable to seek advice from someone already established in your chosen field. Finding a trusted mentor to coach and guide you through the job application process will give you a leg up in the industry and a helpful source of knowledge and guidance.
The ideal mentor will have worked in your target profession for several years and will be in a relatively senior role. This way, they have a great deal of firsthand experience and industry contacts from whom you can benefit.
There are numerous ways to find a mentor, but one of the best ways is to ask friends and family members if they know anyone who works in a relevant role. This way you already have a connection who can introduce you. Alternatively, you could browse relevant industry forums and social media groups to find someone willing to take you under their wing.
Once you have set your goals and gained the necessary skills and qualifications, the time has come to start looking for experience. With any industry, you will have to start with an entry-level role and work your way up the career ladder.
Make a list of companies for whom you would like to work and browse their websites to see if there are any vacancies suited to your experience level and skill set. If there is nothing listed, then it could still be worth contacting the company to ask if there are any positions available.
In the early stages of your career, you might need to begin with an internship or apprenticeship role to gain experience and learn the tools of the trade. Although this can be a financial hardship to many people, it often makes you more likely to be offered a full-time job at the end of it.
The interview process is probably the most difficult part of trying to get a job, and there’s a good chance you will speak to a number of companies before you are offered a position. Just remember to stay positive, and always ask for feedback after an interview so you can turn a negative experience into a learning opportunity.
In summary, there is no reason you can’t land any job you want as long as you are motivated, committed, and willing to work hard to achieve your goals. Follow these five tips and eventually you will have acquired enough experience and raw talent to get any job you apply for.