7 Tips to Find Your Dream Job

To me, it would seem more credible to get these tips from some successful gal who got her degree in less than 4 years & now works the job of her dreams (AKA: My Best Friend, Amanda) – but that’s not me. In fact, I’m nowhere near that. But what I do have, however, is some knowledge (due to painful hours of research) on where to start looking when searching for your right career path.

Try not to hurry this big life decision. Try not to jump into a degree program you might later regret. Your academic advisor can help you design a flexible schedule in case you aren’t quite sure what you want to do yet. I have about two and a half years of college credits and I’m still trying to decide which area of study I will graduate with. I am at a stalemate.

Here’s my advice to you: Map out a plan & then pursue your dream. I swear it will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Don’t be the person with enough credits to graduate, but only half of them will go toward the degree you finally decided on. I was very close to that happening to me. Spend a little time soul searching on what kind of career you want for the rest of your life. Maybe you’ll find yourself on a whole different path, in a good way.

Here are some tips that I’ve accumulated from teachers, friends, and websites throughout the years:

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1. Talk to a Career Counselor.

I know it sounds lame but it is extremely helpful. Almost every college has a free Career Counselor that you can make an appointment with, just look it up in Student Services. They will be able to give you resources and ideas specifically geared toward your situation.

2. Decide what truly makes you happy.

If helping people gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, look for a job in human services. If you are passionate about health and fitness, look into the organic food industry or maybe medicine. Everyone gets satisfaction from different things, and finding what makes you happy is the root to finding a rewarding career.

3. Figure out your priorities.

Imagine yourself on your death bed – what do you want to show for your life’s work? Will you regret not taking that job across the country? Will you wish you had made more time for your family? Consider these things during your job search.

4. Take online Career Quizzes.

These quizzes will do a lot of the work for you. There are many different quizzes and tests online, and they will take your personality, skills, likes, dislikes, and lifestyle into account while giving you the best career options. The more you take, the more results you get, giving you ideas that you may not have considered (or even heard of). Here are links to a couple of my favorite quizzes to start:

Career Test Center: Scroll to the bottom, click “Take the Test”. After you click “Results” read your four letter personality type (I’m INFP) and click on “Description”. Then click on your personality type. Here it will describe your results and list recommended careers for your personality type. This is based on a very popular personality test used by many career counselors.

What Career Is Right For Me? Click “Start the career test now.” Complete the four steps & fill out as much as you can for the best results. Click “Finish and Get Your Careers” and on the next page it will list the best fitting careers based on your answers.

5. Talk to people working in the fields you are interested in.

And ask questions. This is a very important step. Reach out to anyone who has experience in the field you are pursuing and they may tell you ground breaking info you never heard or thought of before (good & bad). Maybe they will have more insight on where that particular career is heading in the near future, or if the pay isn’t sustainable, or if the job is too stressful/very rewarding. Remember to take into account that everyone has different opinions and priorities, so talk to a few different people, if possible.

6. Volunteer or apply for an internship in your chosen career path.

For example, I wanted to be a journalist back in high school, so I interned at the local newspaper over the summer and realized it wasn’t for me. I hate having constant deadlines and journalism is just one huge deadline, day after day. I ignored my gut instinct and ended up in a college taking classes I didn’t enjoy, that probably won’t end up going toward my final degree. Long story, short: volunteer or intern at a workplace that you are interested in so you can see the day-to-day routine. If you end up hating it, at least you won’t be stuck doing it for the rest of your life.

7. Don’t be afraid to switch jobs or degrees.

Don’t force yourself to carry on in a direction that leaves you unsatisfied. Reexamine what you want out of life and pursue what will really make you happy. It’s better late than never.

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“The only goal you can’t accomplish is the one that you don’t go after.”
Vilis Ozols

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3 thoughts on “7 Tips to Find Your Dream Job

  1. westiemom says:

    Riveting reading. I so wish I had such advice while working two jobs in college. Here I thought I was bettering myself and actually living my life. I had no idea I was so silly. Thank ayla.. Had no idea how bad I was. Surely I should have realized I was smarter than the man. Disability and welfare is much better

      • Ayla Soma says:

        Just to clarify to everyone, I am NOT saying to not go to school. Of course in our economy today, we need as much help as we can get to stand out in the job market, which is precisely what a four year degree does. I am so proud of all of my friends and family who have graduated from college. My only message is that college has become extremely expensive, and it is forcing recent college grads to move back home with their parents because the student loan payments are so crippling. I just want everyone to know that it is important to pursue a degree in something you are passionate about, because it is hard to switch career paths after spending huge amounts of money and time on a degree you may not like. I’ve seen it with my own brothers, and a couple of my close friends. I encourage everyone to chase their dreams in every sense, including bettering themselves at college. Just spend some free time researching your career path to make sure it’s what you want to be doing, or brainstorming different ideas..

        I do not know what you are referring to about Disability and Welfare, but I have never collected either. I also had multiple jobs while at both of my colleges I have attended. I’m sorry that you must have misunderstood what I was saying, but if you are happy with the degree you got and everything worked out, this blog post was not intended for you. This blog post is for people who are either going to school or are in school right now feeling helpless about what their ambitions and goals are. Or maybe they have been bullied into pursuing a degree they aren’t happy with. This is meant to be an encouraging piece, and I never mean to pretend that I am “smarter than the man”.

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