Have you always wanted to be a writer, a designer, or a chef? Whatever your dream job is, one thing’s for sure—waiting around for opportunity to knock on your door is not going to help you get to it. The likelihood of a billionaire philanthropist accidentally stumbling upon your skills and insisting that you work for him (or falling in love with you, but that’s another article) is unfortunately very, very low. However, that’s not to say that your hands are tied. Here, a few tips on how you can get to your dream job faster.
Use your connections.
Got a friend who works for the company that you want to get into? Pass your resume along or ask him or her to inform you of any vacancies. These days, it’s not unusual for employers to rely on their employees to recruit new blood for them. “Because in many instances, it’s faster, cheaper and, at least in theory, more likely to result in a hire who excels in the job and aligns well with the culture of the hiring company,” reports The Muse.
If your friends are a dead end, try your LinkedIn network. Do you have a second-degree or group connection who might be working at your dream company? Initiate contact, but “approach like an affable, genuine, and sane person.” Don’t gush, stalk, or pretend to be someone you’re not.
Be the best in your field.
Watching Next Great Baker for hours on end isn’t going to help you become a better pastry chef, so get off the couch and into the kitchen. Hone your skills to perfection every time you have the opportunity to do so because at the end of the day, skills still trump everything else.
Let your portfolio speak for itself.
According to Forbes.com, you can’t rely on your resume too much. “Create a portfolio that represents who you are and what you stand for, which you can add to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.”
Create your dream job
If your dream job doesn’t exist yet, create it instead. James M. Clash is an adventure columnist at Forbes, but before that, he was a reporter and a fact checker for the magazine. And way before that, he had immersed himself in different fields and gained a wide range of experience, which included writing for an aviation magazine, playing music, going to business school, and spending some time in advertising. His tip: Find “a point of business that can be leveraged—a niche that makes you different.” This’ll give you the opportunity to create something for yourself.
PHOTOS: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde/MGM (2003), The Other Woman/20th Fox Film Corporation (2014), Rock of Ages/Warner Bros. (2012); FLASHBOX PHOTO: Iron Man 2/Solar Entertainment (2010)