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It’s been years since you answered the common childhood question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But despite the passage of time, you may still have that dream job in your sights. And even if your dream job has changed over the years, it’s still possible to achieve it with the right preparation and mindset.

The Benefits of Landing Your Dream Job

A recent survey revealed that only one in ten people feel they’re currently in their dream job. But landing the position of your dreams doesn’t have to feel like a lofty, unattainable goal. Whether you’re in the early stages of your career or are more experienced and feel ready for a career change, getting the job of your dreams is certainly within reach.

There are numerous advantages to attaining that position you’ve always desired, but perhaps the most important is personal fulfillment. Reaching an important goal—whether in your career or personal life—can be incredibly satisfying. Achieving your ultimate career goal can also help you:

Gain high earning potential.

Although pay isn’t a top factor for everyone, some dream jobs also come with higher earning potential, especially if it’s the top job within a specific function. For example, if you’re a marketing professional who wants to become chief marketing officer (CMO), you can expect a much higher earning potential than other marketing roles.

Make an impact.

For many, the job of your dreams aligns with your calling—that vocation you always felt destined to. You will be much more impactful in your position if you feel truly called toward it. Additionally, if it’s a position that helps others, such as a teacher, nurse, or social worker, your dream job can help you make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Improve your work-life balance.

Your dream job may also be a better fit for your ideal work-life balance. For example, you may aspire to work in a field in which you can pursue self-employment and have more control over when and where you work.

Steps to Making a Career Change and Finding Your Dream Job

Your career goals may start with a dream, but you’ll need a concrete plan to make them a reality. Follow these steps to get on a successful career path to the position you’ve always wanted:

Step 1: Define your dream job.

As you think about your future career, you may have visions for your dream title, the company you want to work for, and how you’ll spend the work day. It’s helpful to be specific when envisioning your future, as it will help when you need to take action to reach your goals. If you need some guidance, consider the following factors and how they might look in the role you hope to attain:

  • The work you do: What kind of impact do you want to have in your company, on others, or on the world?
  • The people you work with: What work relationships do you envision? Do you want to manage people or work as an individual contributor?
  • The company you work for: Do you see yourself being self-employed or working in a small or large company? Do you have any industry or location preferences?

Step 2: Get into the right mindset.

When pursuing any critical goal, mental preparation has a tremendous impact on your success. Reaching any important career destination doesn’t happen overnight, so you need to be patient and stay motivated as you get closer to the job of your dreams. The following attitudes can help you get into the right mindset:

  • Commitment: It’s not uncommon to encounter setbacks and obstacles as you strive toward a goal, but having a strong commitment will prevent you from giving up during challenging times.
  • Initiative: Pursuing your dreams may require you to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and connect with new people. By taking the initiative in these areas, you’ll open the door to new opportunities and pathways to reach your dream job.
  • Optimism: Even if your career goals involve going back to school and pursuing a new professional license, it’s essential to be optimistic about the potential outcomes and where your new skills and knowledge can take you.

Step 3: Craft a plan.

Once you’ve defined your dream job and adopted the right mindset, you need to specify what you can do to reach your goal. Creating a detailed plan will allow you to determine how much of your time, energy, and financial resources will be involved. It will also help you to prioritize action steps within your plan. Make sure your plan includes the following elements:

  • Skill development: Even if your dream job requires a career change, you likely have soft skills you can use in any role, such as communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. As you develop your action plan, consider other skills you’ll need to acquire to reach your career goals, such as project management skills or proficiency with specific digital platforms.{{cta('d297ffd8-0b29-47b8-99d9-d395c79e49b7','justifyright')}}
  • Education: Some roles require a specific level of education, whereas others are simply more attainable with a specific degree. For example, if you aspire to be in a financial management role, you may be qualified to apply for more opportunities with an MBA in Finance. Or if you’re a licensed teacher but your dream job involves helping students with learning disabilities, you’ll need to pursue a degree program that prepares you to get an intervention specialist license.
  • Experience: Consider the work experiences that will prepare you for success in your dream job. Perhaps you’ll gain relevant experience in your current role. Or maybe you’ll pursue a degree program that includes virtual and on-site experience. Keep in mind that gaining relevant experience doesn’t always require a promotion. Lateral moves can also be a source of valuable experience for future roles.
  • People and resources: Several resources can help you hone in on your dream job, including career guides, conferences, and professional associations. Making your career goals a reality also involves connecting with people who can share their knowledge and help you identify future job opportunities.

Step 4: Pursue the plan.

Once you’ve finalized your plan to land your dream job, it’s time to begin implementing it. If you’ve decided to go back to school, you can determine how an online degree program will make it easier to fit college into your busy schedule.

As you gain new skills and knowledge in your field, you’ll also be ready to pursue new job opportunities. So update your resume, sharpen your interview skills, and continue building your professional network. The more you invest in yourself, the more you’ll progress along the path toward the career you’ve always wanted.

Land the Dream Job You’ve Always Wanted

Following the path to your dream career takes hard work and determination. And when you have the preparation you need to take advantage of opportunities along the way, the journey can be even smoother.

If your career action plan includes going back to school, consider MVNU Online. Our accredited online programs are designed for working adults who want to advance their knowledge and skills without neglecting other responsibilities. Want to find out which MVNU Online degree program is best for you? Try our academic program calculator for recommendations tailored to your passions, experience, and career goals.

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