How To Define Your Dream Job

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Dream jobs are special because of the way they make you feel. At its most basic level, your dream job is something that you show genuine passion for. It is a perfect job that fulfils you, builds your self-confidence and makes you feel that you know what you are supposed to be doing with your life.

Ideally, your dream job should perfectly line up with your natural and learned skill set, but it should also challenge you to grow, evolve and succeed so that you are always improving, refining and learning — and loving it every step of the way. It should highlight your best qualities and abilities, pay you well for your time and energy, and turn you into the person you were meant to be.

If you can’t think about something that fits all of these requirements, there’s no need to worry. It will take time and patience to form a picture of what your dream career could be.

Before you apply for a specific position, you’ll want to clarify that you are applying for a job that is a perfect match for your skills, values and passions. You’ll only be happy and flourish in a role if you’re doing something that comes naturally to you, and is in perfect alignment with your natural strengths and attributes.

Understanding the Specifics of Your Dream Job

As you explore different positions, ask yourself the following questions to determine if they align well with what you are looking for in your ideal job:

Job Functionalities

The functionalities of the job are the fundamental and crucial job duties undertaken by a person in that position. It is a good idea to find out as much information as you can about the intricacies of the role in order to ensure that it aligns well with most of the attributes of your dream job.

  • What is the job title?
  • Are there different variations of the job title? What are they?
  • Is the role in a company or are you interested in working for yourself?
  • What are the job’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities?
  • What is the core activity? E.g. marketing, customer service, recruitment, sales, etc.?
  • How well does this job meet your financial requirements?
  • Is this a contracting role or permanent position?
  • Is this a full-time or part-time role?
  • Do you live near enough to the job’s location?
  • Are you willing to relocate if necessary?
  • Does this job reward you well for your special skills, knowledge, strengths and attributes?
  • What problems will you typically have to solve on the job?
  • What is the industry? In what specific field is it?

Personal Values

Your personal values are a key part of who you are. They are strongly held beliefs that you might not know you even have.

Values guide you through life and define your character, whether you are aware of them or not. They represent your highest priorities and include influences from your parents and family, education, religious affiliations, experiences and more. They influence your behavior and decision making including your career decisions. Once defined, your values have an impact on every aspect of your life, especially your overall happiness.

One of the keys to job satisfaction is knowing the values that are most important to you and ensuring that they are in-line with the fundamental values of the company that you wish to work for. When you become part of any organization, you bring your deeply held values and beliefs to the organization. Getting a job that undermines or is out of sync with your personal values could ultimately lead to a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the role.

Examples of Values Include:

  • Ambition
  • Competency
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation
  • Individuality
  • Excellence
  • Accomplishment
  • Integrity
  • Friendliness
  • Equality
  • Compassion
  • Diversity

For example, if you have a need to be efficient and believe in getting things done as fast as possible, you’ll be more suited to companies that pride themselves on devising innovative ways to speed up everything they do. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to work in a company with a bureaucratic management structure that shows no interest in values like innovation.

Consider the following questions:

  • Does the thought of working at this company energize or excite you?
  • Does the company’s values align with or undermine your personal values?
  • Will you enjoy working under the conditions stated?
  • How does this job fit into your personal vision for the future?

Strengths and Attributes

Utilizing your personal strengths and attributes at work are key to maximizing your job performance and flourishing in the role. It is only natural that you will want to work in a job and an environment that encourages you to use your key strengths.

  • What personal strengths will you make use of in the role?
  • What differentiates you from the competition for this job? What do you have to offer that no one else does?
  • What is it about the job that interests and excites you?
  • How will you be able to add value to the role?
  • Are you confident that your strengths will be utilized to their maximum to benefit the company?

Skills and Experience

Your skills are the core competencies required to carry out the basic functionalities of the role in most organizations. They are highly transferable and can be acquired through hands-on training courses.

  • Do you have the requisite skills to perform the functionalities of the job?
  • What are the key skills required to succeed and excel in the role?
  • Do you possess these key skills?
  • Do you have sufficient experience for the role?
  • Will you need to acquire additional skills for the role?
  • What transferable skills do you have that are relevant for the role?

Qualifications

The qualifications you bring to a job are crucial, both to the job and for your competitive chances of getting a job offer.

  • How qualified are you for this job?
  • What academic qualifications are required?
  • What industry-relevant certifications exist for the job?
  • Is a degree required for the job?
  • How do your current qualifications match up with the job requirements?
  • Do you need to acquire more qualifications?
  • What is your plan to attain any additional qualifications required?

It is important to take all of these factors into consideration when considering whether to apply for a given job role.

Keep in mind however, that there is no “perfect job” that will satisfy all your dreams, needs and desires. It is therefore essential that you focus your sights on a realistic goal.