“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” –Langston Hughes
I had this quote up on my wall during high school. Here are other “dream” quotes:
- “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” (Disney’s Cinderella)
- “If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” (Disney’s Cinderella)
- “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” (Walt Disney)
- “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- (Put your own quote here.)
I know. If we are gonna dream, let’s dream big. But when it comes to job searching, I have heard too many people who have passed up good opportunities because it wasn’t their “dream job” or who are just waiting for their “dream job” to find them.
So here are a few ideas I have encountered for transitioning out of “Dream World” and into “Reality World” without killing the dream.
- Research companies that have your “dream job”. Make a list of them. See who you are connected to in those companies. Invite them out to coffee (yes, you are to pay for their coffee!) Ask them how they got their job there, what they like most about working there, what challenges they have, and what are the growth opportunities. Note: Do NOT ask them for a job or to refer you for a job! This is simply informational so you can add this pertinent info to your list. Follow up with more coffee, but don’t be a pest!
- Don’t know anyone who works in those companies? Find out who in your network is connected to someone who does. Take that person out to coffee (yes, you are to pay for their coffee!) and tell them that you would like to learn more about that company. Ask if they would feel comfortable connecting you to their connection. (If they pause for a nanosecond, take that as a “no”, graciously give them an “out” and do not take this personally.)
- Need to polish or perfect skills needed to work in one of your target companies? Take a job elsewhere, where you can work on these. Your next job may not be your dream job, but it can assist in making you better qualified for that dream job. You may also find that you end up being poised to become upwardly mobile in this company, and find that your dream changes.
There is a lot that can be learned about the dream job you want (and the companies that have those positions) by networking with people who do what you want to do, and work where you want to work.
So, do we stop dreaming? No. But do we start making plans to transform that dream job into a real job? Yes. Dream jobs can be taken out of “dream world” by taking the necessary steps to make those dreams realities, by cultivating relationships in our networks, honing necessary skills, and acquiring expertise.