A lot of talk has been going on about finding your dream job right after graduation, but for almost all cases, your first job won’t be your last. You could be content with what you’re doing on some level, but when asked, “what did you want to be when you grew up?” your answer wouldn’t be what you’re currently looking for.
Looking back on graduation day, the commencement speaker always made it a point for graduates to “follow your passion” but that is easier said than done, save for the valedictorians and overachievers who have it all figured out. Turning your passion into a real moneymaking career might be tricky but it is possible.
Identify your passion.
It might sound silly for some, but not everyone has distinct passions or interests. These are things that are developed, not something you were born with. List down what motivates you and move towards it. You might not necessarily be an expert in your craft, which is why you have to constantly hone your skills. To make that list, ask yourselves these questions:
• How do I like spending my weekends and spare time?
• What do I look forward to the most when coming home?
• What sort of work would I do for free?
• What do I never get tired of doing?
Once you’ve settled on a shortlist, you can work on polishing and learning more about the industry you plan to get yourself into, but nothing will ready you enough until your full immersion into a job itself.
Identify your work habits.
Building a career is not a cul de sac. You have to consider the type of working environment and company culture that fits you. Think back to your previous work experiences and pinpoint what you liked and did not like about it. Consider your talents and what you would like to learn, what kind of people you would like to be surrounded by, and what kind of environments do you thrive in.
Aside from these, think of everyday work tasks that keep you engaged the most, whether it be attending daily meetings, planning team building activities, field experience, or conducting interviews. Ask yourself this, “is this the sort of work I would be comfortable doing daily?”
Think about whom you care about the most and how you could help them with your passion and your line of work. For some, this could mean service, while for others, it could be manufacturing goods for a certain client. To avoid a life crisis months into your job, which is common even for those in their 20s, you have to own a purpose or some sense of fulfillment and incorporate that into what you’re doing.
Visualize your future self.
There’s a purpose as to why interviewers ask the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” You’ve got to envision yourself actually working in that dream job. Picture how you’d like to go about every hour of your day, whether it’s staying next to an office window at 3p.m. or taking conference calls from home, every little detail matters. From then, plan out where you’d like to see yourself the following year, and so on. Set goals you would like to reach, as well.
Go for the goal.
Map out how you plan to achieve your dream job and apply to potential companies. Don’t waste time by going for jobs you know you won’t last in, it’ll just be firing a gun without aiming at any target. During interviews, you may ask questions to get to know more about the job, the people you’ll be working with, and the company to help you make your decision.
It might take a few job swapping to find the ideal job for you, but it will be worth it. Be smart and think about each and every step you take before you take it. Show a good front and consider how the company will benefit from you, apart from you benefiting from the company. Act professional throughout each process and whether you’re accepted into a company or not, finish strong.