Three Elements to Consider When Looking for Your Dream Job

woman standing on pavement with words 'dream job' and an arrow in chalk

Do you know what your “dream job” is? Would you be able to identify it if you had multiple job offers? Many people are in search of a dream job, but don’t really know how to find one and what makes it different than other average job opportunities. As a result, many life science professionals are simply going through the motions at work feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. With the popularity of social media, it’s easy to be bombarded with posts and images of people who seem to have it all: great jobs, rewarding lives, and exciting vacations. Before getting caught up in the online worlds of others, you want to ask yourself, "Do I know what I really want?"

Unfortunately, most professionals are unhappy with their careers, but they don’t have a clear idea on what they should be looking for or the steps needed to create change. This is difficult, because most people aren’t taught how to navigate their career, change jobs, or handle conflict in the workplace. When pursuing your dream job it's best to have clarity on a few key areas. Here are three elements to consider when looking for your dream job.

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Career Fit

Do you know the difference between a job and a career? Most jobs have a shorter-term focus on receiving a paycheck. Many people go to work at a job, complete a range of tasks and leave after a set period of time. A career goes much deeper than that, and usually has a longer-term focus in a specific occupational area or industry. Have you thought about what career encompasses your unique personality, interests, and professional skills? All of these factors will impact your level of happiness and are part of a dream job.What could you do all day that wouldn’t feel like work? Once you’ve determined your ideal career fit, locating job options becomes much easier. 

Company Values

What do you value in an employer? Are you interested in organizations that have a greater purpose than making money? Do you want to work for a company that cares about the well-being of their employees? Create a list of what traits you value in an organization. It’s common for professionals to think about qualities such as transparency, honesty, customer/client service, business growth, and employee development. Once you’ve narrowed down what’s most important to you, use those traits to compare companies with different career opportunities. You can search online and on company websites to determine their values. From there, you could read employee review sites to see how employees rate those organizations.  

Compensation

For most life science professionals, salary and overall compensation will come into play when thinking about a dream job. The ability to live comfortably and afford the lifestyle you desire is a major factor in job satisfaction. However, the topic of money is difficult for many people to discuss in the job search process and during an interview. It is also common for professionals to be unaware of the appropriate salary based on their education, experience, and geographical region. Researching salary information online is a vital step in deciding whether an opportunity is truly your dream job or not.

Most people have some vague concept of a dream job, where they’d be happy and fulfilled. Unfortunately, they have no way to determine what opportunities they really want. The first step is to gain clarity on what career is a good fit with your personality, professional skills, and interests. After that, deciding which company values you prefer is helpful in selecting the right environment for you to grow and thrive. Finally, having a realistic understanding of the compensation rates and incentives you need ensures that you can maintain the lifestyle you want. What is the main aspect you would focus on in a dream job search?

Porschia Parker is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.

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