I Landed My Dream Job!
by Paula Patel
Landing My Dream Job
What I Did and What I Learned
With my resume in hand, portfolio filled briefcase, and a fresh pressed suit on I set off for my first post college interview.
It was intimidating - walking up to the tall building with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and gliding through the rotating doors.
I walked up to the front desk and gave my name to the security person.
Tick, tick, tock, the minutes seemed like hours waiting for the hiring manager to meet with me.
'Was this what all interviews would be like?' I wondered.
Looking back I wasn’t prepared for that first interview.
I hadn’t done the proper homework. I hadn’t prepared myself for any interview questions. I didn’t even know if I was well suited for the position, or if I even wanted it.
That was a ginormous mistake, but it took me a few failed interviews and years of career experience to truly understand this.
Having been in a supervisor role years later, being on the other side as the hiring manager, I've seen first hand how I could have made a better impression.
What I have learned since that first interview has helped me grow my career, further my capabilities, and land my dream job.
So if you're looking to land your own dream job, keep reading!
How to Land Your Dream Job
1. Do Your Research
You should always do some research.
If I had to go through the process of that first interview again, I would first research the company, their history, their vision statement, and the position thoroughly.
I’d really want to find out if the role was a good fit for me, and if the organization is somewhere I’d like to be a part of long-term.
With this knowledge I’d also have been better prepared for interview questions and conversations about the role.
2. Market Yourself
Once I had a short list of companies I could see myself working at, I’d market myself to hiring managers by reaching out to friends, family, or former colleagues that work for these organizations and who could give me a recommendation to help secure the interview.
If I didn't know anyone with connections to the organizations I had short listed, I would reach out to a recruiter on LinkedIn that works for the organization or who recruits for positions in my field.
Similarly - I could network my way into an interview by attending industry specific or local networking events that are frequented by employees of my short listed companies.
For more insight on how to leverage upcoming events to land your dream job, be sure to checkout...
3. Prepare For The Interview
If I could do that first interview over, I would have better prepared myself. I’d have my resume up to date and edited.
I’d practice interview questions with a friend or family member to be better prepared for the interview.
I have found practice to help curve the nervousness before an interview. You can even practice in the mirror and practice flashing those gleaming whites.
How I Landed My Dream Job
Once I had this process down, it got me the interviews I needed to land my current role.
Like I'd learned to do over the years, I stared by reaching out to colleagues in search of information and referrals. I asked a friend to co-edit and update my resume. We also rehearsed the interview multiple times.
I went into those interviews with more confidence knowing I was a good fit for the role.
I had excellent referrals from within the organization that got me in touch with the right people.
When the interviews were over and the position was offered, I knew I had done my homework right to prepare for those next steps.
My confidence soared and I was ready to start in my dream career!
Opportunity is Everywhere
When you least expect an opportunity to come up it will.
So always be prepared by putting your best foot forward. Especially when you go to a networking events here in Phoenix.
Treat everyone you meet as though they are your next hiring manager or colleague. They just might be some day.
Best of luck and best wishes on finding and landing your dream job!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paula Patel is a published writer with articles, memoirs, and poetry in a number of newspapers and journals. She also self-published a series of children’s books, the Jane Brown Adventure series.
Paula has grown progressively in project management roles for the past 17 years in Publishing, Printing, Media, and Education. She has been with McGraw Hill, an Education Management company, for the past 10 years.
In her current role as an Enterprise Account Specialist, she manages the process of moving colleges/universities to online learning management platforms.