Not every job is created equal. No matter who you are, there are a lot of careers that just aren’t a good fit, and at least one that is nearly perfect. But few of us are lucky enough to have that job fall right in our laps—instead there are a few steps we need to take. And these are some of the most important:
1. Be Yourself
This is absolutely the last time to be someone you’re not. If you genuinely want this job, and truly feel that it will make you happy, then you need to be genuine and truthful. It’s okay to feel uneasy and worry that you won’t be able to live up to expectations—everyone feels that. But you must also make sure that you are not saying things you can’t back up. If you do that, you risk turning your dream job into a nightmare.
2. Realign Your Resume
What makes a resume impressive is completely subjective based on whoever is looking at it. And yet some of us have been using the same tricks over and over simply because it’s always worked for us before. But if you’re still getting those same mediocre jobs, then you may need to start from square one. Look at each section of your resume, from top to bottom and ask yourself, “How can I make this align closer with what I truly want to do?” If that involves different descriptions of your job responsibilities, new names for your old positions or a completely revamped cover letter, then that should be a top priority.
3. Do Your Homework
No one likes homework, but if you want to make sure that your goals will be fulfilled by a job, you need to dig as deep as you can into the company. That means using your Google-Fu and checking sites like Glass Door for past employee ratings, or anything else that will give you a comprehensive look at your prospect. And if you can speak with an HR person or anybody that doesn’t mind giving you a few brief notes on the atmosphere and expectations before an interview, then all the better. Don’t get your hopes up until your know what to expect.
4. Make the Bosses Friends
You can’t work at a place you love if you can’t stand those you work with. And one way to feel out how much you would enjoy a career with a company is to know the kind of co-workers you have. This is the way networking can really help your cause—by speaking with people outside of work you can get a better feel for how they’ll be behind a desk. It’s not always going to work, but it will give you an opportunity to filter out some places that look good on paper but are less stellar in reality.
5. Remember How Perfect You Can be
Every boss wants workers who are not only good at their jobs, but are happy in their positions. If you have the skills, and you are going to show up every day with a smile on your face then you are a gift. We get so wrapped up in how happy the job would make us that we forget how happy we’ll make the people doing the hiring. If you think this is a perfect fit, then go in there with the confidence of someone who can see how bright the future looks for everyone.