How To Find Your Dream Position in 5 Steps (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 15, 2022 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated September 15, 2022

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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Finding a dream job is a common goal for many professionals. Ideally, holding your desired job means doing work you love in an environment you enjoy. Deciding on and pursuing your dream job is a multi-step process that may take anywhere from a few months to several years to achieve.

In this article, we discuss what factors to consider when defining your dream job and the steps you can take to find your ideal occupation.

What is a dream job?

A dream job is an ideal professional occupation or position. Everyone has different dreams depending on their personal preferences and goals. Several factors influence someone's choice, including salary, hours and daily responsibilities. For some, a dream job allows them to work from home or travel abroad. Others may search for a position where they can serve their community or improve society. When choosing a dream job, most people are looking for an occupation that challenges them and they enjoy.

Pursuing your ideal position often means making a career change, so finding your dream job requires consideration, planning and patience. Before you commit to making a career change, consider making a list of your career objectives and what you hope to get from your dream job. Setting short- and long-term goals can help you stay focused and motivated during your job search. Finding the perfect position can take weeks or months, so be prepared to dedicate adequate time to applying for jobs and interviewing.

Read more: How To Find the Best Jobs for You in 6 Steps

How to find your dream job

The path to finding your dream job can be different for everyone. Here are some common steps for how to pursue your dream career:

1. Contact established professionals

The first step in finding your dream job is deciding where to look for first-hand insight. Contact professionals who are already working in industries or positions that interest you. Schedule informational interviews and phone calls or ask for the opportunity to shadow them on the job. Gaining as much real-world information as possible on the occupation can help you decide if it really is your dream job.

When conducting an informational interview or job shadowing, ask questions about the job's primary duties, schedule and salary. Ask your contact about the impact that professionals in the field have on society and what they consider the most rewarding part of the job. You know better than anyone what you're looking for, so it's important to find out as much as you can before you commit to launching a job search.

Read more: FAQ: How Do You Find Your Dream Career?

2. Choose specific titles to pursue

Once you commit to a particular industry or field, choose one or more job titles to research. Depending on the nature of your dream job, you may have only one specific job title on your list. Alternatively, you may find several that involve similar responsibilities. Whatever the case, the next step is to research your chosen title or titles. You can research jobs using various resources, including job boards, online articles, blogs, libraries, job fairs and informational interviews.

When researching a job, learn about the educational and physical requirements. You should also know the average salary range and what kinds of benefits professionals in the field typically earn. Other important factors include the hours, location and workplace environment. Familiarizing yourself with these details can help you evaluate potential positions and apply to the jobs that best suit you.

Related: Top 24 Dream Jobs To Consider (With Average Salaries)

3. Consider continuing your education

For some, finding a dream job requires returning to school. This can involve finishing an incomplete degree, enrolling in higher education for the first time or pursuing advanced learning, like a master's or doctorate path. Each job has different educational requirements, so you should research your dream job thoroughly to determine what level of education is necessary. If you're making a significant career change, your original college degree may no longer be relevant. You may need to earn an additional degree to be a more competitive job candidate.

Many institutions offer opportunities for higher education. You can typically choose between enrolling in online or in-person courses. Depending on your learning style and schedule, you may qualify for an accelerated track and earn your degree in just one to three years. Going back to school is a significant commitment, so you should consider all your options carefully to find the program that works for you and your lifestyle.

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4. Research certifications or licenses

In addition to advanced degrees, some jobs demand all employees hold specific certifications or licenses. Jobs involving specialized equipment or technical expertise often require candidates to complete courses or pass tests that certify they can perform their duties. Jobs that involve providing health care, legal counsel or education typically require all professionals to earn licensure to work in their state.

When speaking to other professionals or conducting online research, find out if your dream job involves certifications or licenses. If it does, start researching the application process. Most certifications involve paying a submission fee, showing proof of practical experience and passing a test. Licensure requirements may include holding a specific degree, completing a certain amount of working hours in the field and passing an exam.

Related: 10 In-Demand Career Certifications (And How To Achieve Them)

5. Search for job openings

Once your research is complete and you have the necessary qualifications, you can apply for open positions. You can find specific job listings using your professional network or online job boards. When searching, experiment with different keywords and phrases related to your dream job to produce various results. Once you have found a promising opening, you can begin the application process. This may include writing an effective resume and cover letter, and it can also involve passing a skills assessment.

Many industries report a higher success rate for applications that include an employee referral. If you have a professional contact who works in your desired field, give them your resume or ask them to write a letter of recommendation. Employers are more likely to consider your application if you have the support of a current employee or industry professional.

Tips for finding your dream job

Here are a few additional tips to consider when trying to find your dream job:

  • Account for your strengths. If you're trying to find your dream job, consider your personal and professional strengths. Knowing what you're good at can help you find job opportunities that rely on your best qualities.

  • Ask your friends and family. Getting perspective from people who know you well may help you think of career options you may not have considered for yourself. Involve your friends and family in helping you determine what your dream job may be.

  • Practice self-reflection. Think about your work habits and preferences. Reflecting on your likes, dislikes, skills, weaknesses and habits can help you gain insight into what you want or expect from your dream career.

  • Consider hobbies and interests. You may find job opportunities through your hobbies and interests. If you already spend a lot of time thinking about your hobbies, you may also look for opportunities to pursue careers related to your favorite activities.

  • Try something new. If you're unsure about your career goals or interests, trying something new can be a great way to challenge yourself to change your routine, learn new skills or gain perspective about your likes and dislikes. Consider taking a class, joining an organization or committing to a volunteer opportunity.

  • Identify your heroes. Thinking about your personal and professional heroes can be a great way to find inspiration for your dream career. Consider what you admire about your heroes, whether it's related to their personal qualities or career path, and account for that perspective when thinking about your ideal career.

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