I Took Five Years to Get My Dream Job – Here’s How You Can Too

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Do you love your job now? Are you excited about what you do? If yes, congratulations!

For those who aren’t in their dream job, don’t fret – I’m about to tell you how to get it.

Personally, I love dealing with people – I love communication, information-gathering, and brainstorming for projects. Today I work in a dream job which incorporates all of those – human resources.

But how do you find your dream job? Is there a formula?

No, there’s no formula but I will share some of my personal tips with you.

Source: www.lynda.com

If it’s your first job, don’t be picky – do anything to gain experience first

Here’s my honest advice for freshies out there – don’t be picky!

I uploaded my CV immediately into Jobstreet after I finished my education. I did not give it a second thought and accepted the first offer after a successful interview.

It was a sales job for medical devices. It was a multinational company with great benefits, great colleagues, with plenty of training and guidance. I loved it.

You see, when you’re a fresh graduate, you most likely won’t have any of the basic skills needed for your dream job. You’ll need to develop them – by working your first job.

After all, the basics of any job is the same everywhere – learn how to work in a team, communicate, meet deadlines, etc. Most importantly, always be open to learning.

But at the end of my tenure, I felt that I had learnt everything I could there. At that point, things began to feel redundant, and I decided to move on to my next job.

Which brings me to my second point,

There’s only so much one company can teach you. When you’ve learnt and grown enough, move on.

I eventually moved on to my second and third employer after that. All this happened in 2016.

Yes, I switched two jobs in one year.

Why? Because I wasn’t happy with either of them. I’m not sure if it was because my first job had raised the bar for me, or it was just my bad luck with my managers.

I couldn’t work well with both my second and third employer. One of the reasons I had to leave was because I hate being micromanaged. On top of that, there was no flexibility in the work culture. I quit after the third job and was unemployed for a while.

It was early 2017, and I needed to reset my perspective on my career. I realised that perhaps selling medical devices wasn’t for me. But I’m from science, what can I do? I have no skills in finance, none in IT, or HR. Medical sales was all I know.

I was depressed. I didn’t know what else I could do aside from selling medical devices, but I was sure I didn’t want that as a career.

And that’s how I learnt the next lesson,

Don’t be afraid to try new things – even if it’s an entirely different career than what you had in mind

Eventually a friend of mine told me of a vacancy in this recruitment firm. I thought why not? There’s nothing to lose.

I went to the interview and landed the job. I loved my first few months as a recruiter, despite having no experience with it before.

Apparently, according to my colleagues, I have a hidden talent for recruitment. At the heart of it, it’s still a sales job – there are numbers to hit.

Maybe that’s what made it familiar – my experience selling medical devices gave me an edge on the job.

But what made me love being a recruiter was the human element – there was a lot of interaction with the candidates and clients. It fulfilled my need for communication and socialising.

There was a downside though – my boss was horrible. He was what most people would call a typical manager. He micromanages everything, chases you every day for sales, makes you feel guilty for not performing and so on.

I endured it for the next six months because I know I lack the experience to move on to another company. Plus, moving to another company so soon would not look good on my resume.

Speaking of managers, here’s one thing you should do in your dream job,

Work and learn from someone who recognizes your strengths, not your weaknesses

Surprisingly, after six months, a director from a bigger recruitment firm scouted me. She had a discussion with me and offered me a position in her company. She told me that I would be reporting directly to her.

I saw her sincerity, and the way she spoke convinced me that she truly believes I can change her company. I took a leap of faith and went for it.

I was heading a department that was not doing well and was not making profit. We were the underdogs.

There was nothing in the sales pipeline when I came in. But I gave it my best, and together with my director, we slowly turned things around. Today the pipeline is worth half a million in revenue.

Additionally, my director includes me in her HR consulting projects, which involves restructuring, reorganisation, and all HR-related matters for clients. These are things that you don’t learn until you’ve been in the industry for 10 years.

It wasn’t long before people in the company began to notice the changes that were happening in my department. People in the company I didn’t know had heard of me.

I was a little embarrassed with all the attention, but deep down, there’s a small part of me that felt proud because I know I played a part in the company’s success.

My point is this: Everything you’ve been through or are currently going through, is helping you grow. I know for me, the growth I went through was tremendous and I’m grateful for all my experiences.

Don’t give up yet and don’t compare yourself with someone else. Your time has yet to come. And when it does come, you’ll be forced to evolve into a better version of yourself.

As of now, I’m still heading the recruitment department but I’m also training juniors to take over my place one day. I’ve begun taking on more responsibilities from the HR consultancy department, so I can eventually be the department head.

Now I truly understand that the most important thing to having a dream job is having your hard work acknowledged, and having your boss recognise your strengths and not your weaknesses.

I bid all of you the best.

For more articles on career, read 4 Reasons Why You Should Change Your Job, and Millennials, Here’s Why Job Hopping Should Be Acceptable.

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