If you’re still scouring job listings for that perfect position that uses your skills and meets your career goals, and striking out every time, you may be tempted to give up and settle for a job you can do instead of the job you really want. But don’t lose hope — because if your dream job doesn’t exist, you might be able to create it.
You don’t have to limit your job search to advertised positions. With strategic research, active networking, and a sharpened pitch, you have a chance to carve out the perfect job and take control of your career.
Here’s how you can make your dream job a reality, even if it doesn’t exist.
Identify your dream employers
The perfect job starts with a great employer — one with a mission you can get behind, co-workers you’ll fit right in with, and opportunities that will help your career move forward. Begin creating your dream job by developing a short list of employers you’d love to work for.
Once you’ve researched and chosen 10-to-20 possible employers, start looking further to identify potential opportunities for the position you have in mind. For each company, find out everything you can about:
- What department(s) your dream job might fit into
- Which departments are underdeveloped or emerging
- What areas you could apply your skills that the company hasn’t considered yet
- Whether you have any potential contacts or other ins at the company
Look to social media, career websites like Glassdoor and Indeed, and the companies’ websites, blogs, and press released for insight into this type of information, and then reduce your list to the most likely companies. Remember not to limit yourself to the positions the company has listed as available — you’re going to offer them something unique.
Activate your network
A network is the most powerful tool available for today’s job seekers, especially when it comes to applying for an unlisted job. You’ll substantially increase your chance of getting hired if you can connect with someone who:
- Has inside information on what’s happening in your dream companies
- Is able to offer you tips on getting noticed by the company’s decision-makers
- Can directly vouch for your skills and abilities to potential employers
Look through your existing network, and your extended network, to find out what kind of connections you have or can make. LinkedIn is the best source for business connections, but you might also find connected people on other social media networks, at the college or university you attended, or even among your friends and family.
Once you’ve found potential connections, send out a short message that explains what you’re looking to do, and whether they’d be willing to make an introduction for you. However, if you can’t find any personal inroads to your dream employers, you can still try contacting recruiters or hiring managers directly.
Prepare your perfect pitch
Landing a job that doesn’t exist yet is a bit more challenging than applying for a listed position. Instead of just convincing employers that you’re the right person for the job, you also have to convince them that they need the job done in the first place. This means proving that if they hire you for the position you’re pitching, you’ll have a real impact on a key component of the company — whether that’s efficiency, lead acquisition, sales, or the bottom line.
Use your best skills and achievements to prepare a pitch that explains just how you can help their company grow. Make sure your pitch incorporates ties to the specific company’s background, and be passionate about why you want to do this particular job for this particular company.
Finally, if and when you land an interview, go in prepared to talk about the company itself, the industry in general, and even its competitors. Bring examples of similar positions at competitors, and demonstrate how you can help them achieve results. Remember that you’re selling not only yourself, but the actual job you want to do.
Creating your own dream job is a challenging but worthwhile endeavor. With research, preparation, patience, and persistence, you can turn a nonexistent dream job into a personal reality.
For help finding or creating the perfect position for you, reach out to the career experts at The Armada Group. We understand what it takes to find and fill a perfect IT position, and place candidates every day in top industry jobs.