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Five Tips to Getting Your Dream Job

Student working with laptop and coffee.

Meredith Silverman

by Meredith Silverman

4th-Year Student in Accounting

It can be scary to think about the future, especially when you are surrounded by fellow classmates who are all obtaining amazing job opportunities that they have always dreamed of. To help put your nerves at ease, consider the following five tips to start you on your journey to getting your dream job.

1. Perform a self-assessment

Assess your skills, interests, and values. This means developing a list or a mind map of the key skills you currently have, what kind of job you are looking for and how it would match with these skills, and what you would like to accomplish through that job. For example, you may be a master at public speaking and a job as a news anchor could benefit from this skill. You also value integrity so providing an honest representation of current events while captivating your audience would match the skills required. As you create this list, you will be able to see where you lack knowledge and then be able to research for opportunities to improve on these weaknesses. To aid in this process, meet with the Career Counsellor at the Telfer Career Centre through Career Launch.

2. Do not be discouraged by a seemingly irrelevant work experience 

If you have worked as a cashier at a retail store for the past few summers, you may feel that this puts you at a disadvantage compared to other candidates. However, your customer service experience has likely provided you with the ability to communicate effectively with various people, perform in a team environment, and develop strong leadership skills. Make sure to include this on your resumé. Your various volunteer experiences, hobbies, and extracurricular activities may even have allowed you to gain useful skills. Map your resumé around what these opportunities have taught you, and not on what you are missing. To learn how to craft impactful skill statements for your resumé that will wow recruiters (yes, even for a barista summer job), book an appointment for a resumé critique with the Professional Development Coordinator at the Telfer Career Centre through Career Launch.

3. You may not get it the first time

Your first job might not be your dream job and that’s okay; your first job may not even be in the right industry. Start small. If your dream job is working for the Bank of Canada, maybe starting in an office setting, or working as a teller, are both steps in the right direction. As you hold more positions, you will expand your knowledge and develop your resumé towards the exact career and employer you want. Everyone starts somewhere.

4. Start planning now

Start thinking about your future now. It is easier to move positions early on in your career when you do not have as many financial or family responsibilities. The Telfer Career Centre holds various networking events for professionals, in addition to career workshops that can help you identify your abilities and market yourself effectively. Use these networking opportunities to talk to professionals in your area of interest and collect their business cards so you can follow up with them to answer any outstanding questions.

5. Be realistic

No job is perfect. For every job, there are going to be good and bad factors to be considered. You must be realistic: you cannot expect your dream job to be without any drawbacks. Most importantly, you must focus on the positive points, because they can outweigh the negative ones. For example a collaborative and supportive work environment, flexible work hours, and interesting projects to work on, can more than make up of the occasional long hours.

Go get that dream job!