How to Pave the Way to the Job of Your Dreams

Have you ever felt like you were being overlooked for a position you felt you were qualified for? Do you think your resume is amazing, but you’re still having a hard time finding a good job?

Maybe you should create a position for yourself!

It sounds like hard work because it is. It’s only for those who are willing to put in the time to build their career regardless of callbacks. GenTwenty has tips from Kali Hawlk on being a solopreneur and from Kevin O’Connell, founder of The Niche Movement, on What It Is Really Like to Love Your Job. Now I have more tips to add to your arsenal on how to get the job you know you deserve.

Here are my tips for creating a position for yourself:

1. The Power of Internships

We’ve all heard how important internships are but they mean nothing if you do the bare minimum. At a lot of companies, they give a job description for internships that only scrapes the surface for what you really could be doing.

In a perfect world, you would get a job offer from the company you intern with, but in this day in age, many of us have very similar resumes, making it all the more difficult to move up from valued intern to full-time employee.

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Your internship should be a position where you flex your skills and show them that you’re more than a list of courses and a lover of animals. The internship description on your resume could be “assisted in ____ department” while it really should read that you “worked across departments, created tasks and collaborated with a team on big projects.”

Related: Getting Past the Grunt Work: Making the Most of Your Internship

Taking the initiative to do tasks you’re not asked to do or even trained to do will put a spotlight on your internship position. That spotlight could turn into a job offer from the company or at least put your resume at the top of the pile for your next round of job hunting.

2. Mentors and Connections

Everyone mentions networking, but no one mentions how to network. In my opinion, the best way to network is to become “career friends” or have a flexible mentor-mentee relationship with someone in your field or a neighboring field that can give you great advice and give you assignments.

Related: Networking 101: It’s Who You Know

This person can be like a unicorn to track down (and get them to email you back before next year), but once you become hooked up with someone who really wants to help you out, you can gain a lot from the connection.

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Ask if they’re working on any big projects they need help with or can pass any work over to you that they’re too swamped to finish themselves. To them it may be a small task they’ve done thousands of times, but to you it could be your time to gain much needed experience and feedback.

Related: Will You Be My Mentor?

It’s great to work alongside someone who isn’t necessarily your friend but isn’t your boss either so you can grow but don’t feel pressured when you make a mistake. You can list the professional projects on your resume, on your LinkedIn and get recommendations and references from your mentor.

3. Your Own Business or Website

I’ve said this thousands of times throughout my GenTwenty articles, but it’s still true! Building your own online business or website could launch you farther than sitting at home making someone else money while your own bank account is dwindling.

You can even create an online store to have a professionally designed space to sell your goods with ease.

Become well-researched in your field or side hustle and get moving! Even if you don’t make a ton of money, you’re getting exposure and you’re gaining more work for your overall brand and portfolio.

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How I Paved the Way to the Job of My Dreams

I gained my current position and am building my resume with a combination of all three of these options. I was a freelance writer, which turned into an internship and a week later the internship turned into a position. I was always available when she needed anything so she kept me in the loop when an internship opened up.

When I went in to intern, I was considered for a permanent position and I got it! In the midst of freelancing, I have been helping my cousin with a few online projects and I started my own website and blog with my own work that I added to my resume along with the skills I gained from building and beginning my own website.

It definitely takes time to be where you want to be but when you work and finally get a position, the end result is worth it. Take a chance on yourself and know that you can do beyond what you learned in a classroom and succeed in your next position.