Before you graduate college, you’re most likely thinking about what your dream career will be and how you’re going to break into your dream career. Maybe you’ve already been in the workforce and have realized that you’re not in your dream career and need to make a change.
Regardless of where you stand, going after that dream job can be quite intimidating. It likely pays well, comes with an office plus good benefits, and allows you to do work you truly find fulfilling.
Finding the job is one thing, but figuring out if they’re hiring can be a whole new challenge. So what do you do when you’ve found your dream career but no one is hiring?
Here are a few solutions to help you get your foot in the door.
Get an Internship
If your dream job isn’t hiring employees, maybe you can land an internship spot. You could also intern at another company in the same industry to gain useful experience.
If you’re just starting out in your career, it’s important not to turn your nose up at internships as they can be a great way to get connections and get more experience working in your dream field.
The only potential downside is that some internships aren’t paid. I have done both paid and unpaid internships and both have been great additions to my resume. You can definitely limit yourself to paid opportunities only. Check out Internships.com to customize your search for internships that pay.
If you’re considering an unpaid internship, you want to make sure the lack of compensation will not outweigh the benefits you’ll get. Consider who you’ll be working with and what type of tasks you can add to your portfolio. Will the company be providing college credit or reimbursing your commute or lunch costs at least? Will you be able to work part-time so you can still have time for a paying job on the side?
Realize that you don’t have to stat at an internship forever. Most successful internships last less than a year and if you do well and prove your worth, the company will be more willing to hire you on as a paid employee.
Try Freelancing Your Way In
Many companies are adapting to hiring more freelancers these days. Freelancers are paid contractors and therefore, not full-time employees who receive benefits.
Yet and still, freelancing can be a great way to get your foot in the door and learn more about what the work environment is like. You’ll often have more freedom and flexibility over regular employees because you will have the option to set your own schedule.
If a position at the company opens up, you’ll already have a leg up on other potential candidates if you’ve been freelancing there for a while and already know their processes. Or, who knows. Maybe you’ll enjoy freelancing so much that you’ll opt to stick with it so you can still be a part of the company but still have your own independence.
Did you know that almost half of all job openings are not advertised? This means you can stop checking job boards frantically and start applying more often.
There’s no guarantee that your dream job will be hiring and offer you an interview, but it’s worth a try. Timing is everything and if you really want the job, you’ll have to get more aggressive. It sometimes takes time to break into your dream career. Just be patient.
See if your dream employer will be attending any job fairs or see if you can connect with a recruiter or hiring manager. Maybe you can reach out on LinkedIn, send your resume via email, or apply using a form on the site.
Keep following up and even if they say they aren’t hiring currently, ask them how long they will keep your info on file and when they may expect to be hiring again so you can check back in.
It’s all about persistence and timing.
Create Your Dream Job
This is always an option. Instead of asking who’s hiring, you can create an opportunity for yourself. If you have an idea of what your dream job would look like and how your work environment would be and you’re interested in entrepreneurship, consider starting a side business.
Obtain the training, certifications, and credentials to work in your dream career field then start slow. You can start a blog or website to get a solid online presence. Then, set a goal to land one client or customer.
I always wanted to be a writer. Ideally, I saw myself working for the newspaper or doing PR writing. After I graduated, I realized that journalism jobs were scarce and there was only one paper in town and they rarely hired. I applied for several writing jobs and couldn’t land anything.
Eventually, I ended up taking a job that wasn’t my dream job out of desperation (and because I needed money) but I started writing on the side and realized how much I loved freelancing.
Then, I got a coach and initially set out a goal to get one client. Once I landed that first client, I set a goal to earn $1,000. It seemed difficult at first and took me a few months.
Soon after hitting that goal, I kept scaling my business and increasing my income. Within 18 months, I was making more with my writing side business than I was at my full-time job so I quit.
Don’t Give Up on Your Dream Career
My experience is one of many examples of how you can create your own dream job instead of waiting around for someone to hire you. By creating my own dream job, I have more control over how much I make, when I work, and the type of projects I take on.
I’ve been able to give myself huge raises over the years without having to ask someone for their permission to make more money. Working for yourself is not all rainbows, but it is an option when you’re trying to break into your dream career and no one is hiring.
If you do start a side business and it’s successful, it can be a unique way to prove to other employers that you know how to work well in your field and can build something up from scratch.
I know several people who have taken the leap to work for themselves then gone back to a corporate job after some time and they were welcomed with open arms due to the experience they gained by running a business.
Have you ever had trouble breaking into your dream career field? Have you done any of these things to help speed up the process?