Whether you’re a recent college grad or settled into your career, you’ve probably discovered that finding a job that fulfills your passions and gives you purpose is a journey within itself.
After graduating college, many young professionals have high hopes of landing their dreams jobs immediately. However, it’s very likely you’ll wait five or even 10 years before arriving at your dream job. Although this can be discouraging at times, the journey to your dream job can be one of the most rewarding experiences you have in your career.
As a young professional, you may find yourself job hopping during the early years of your career. On average, a professional will stay at his or her job for 4.4 years, and 91 percent of millennials believe they’ll stay at their current job for less than three years. What does this mean for your career? Well, it’s very likely you’ll have several jobs before you discover your dream job.
Regardless of where you are in your career, there is always the opportunity to take it one step further. Here are five different jobs you’ll have in your career that will lead you closer to your dream job:
1. Your first job that gets your foot in the door.
The job that gets your foot in the door of your industry will probably be the first entry-level job you accept after graduation. This job is your first chance to get your feet wet and even determine if you’re on the right career path.
Your first entry-level job will teach you a lot of things about your career goals and passions. First, it will confirm whether you’re heading down the right path. Next, it will show you what you like and don’t like about your career. Although this first job may be a roller coaster, it’ll kick off your career and lead you to opportunities to help you reach your dream job.
2. The job that provides you with industry connections.
During your career, do your very best to never burn any bridges. Each job you have will serve its purpose in your career, whether it was a good experience or not. Most importantly, your jobs will provide you with valuable connections that you’ll greatly benefit from down the road.
The job that provides you with a surplus of industry connections could be your first job or third job. However, it’s a job that provided you with the opportunity to grow your network and meet influential people for your career. The connections you make will definitely lead you to new opportunities and provide you with references and advice about your next career move.
3. The job where you’re promoted.
This is a job you’ll probably have mid-career after you’ve had some experience. You’ll probably work very hard to earn your promotions and then find yourself asking, what’s next?
The job that rewards you with promotions is a great way to get closer to your dream job because it provides you with more experience and helps you build your resume. In fact, if you’re already working for your dream company, these promotions could lead you to your ideal position within that company. On the other hand, the promotion can also give you the boost you need to pursue other opportunities outside of your current company, too.
4. The job you absolutely hate.
Unfortunately, you might have a job in your career that makes you question your career path and goals. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is an experience that will throw you with some obstacles to cope with.
When you have a less than satisfactory job, it can make you question your career, create stress in your life, or even cause you to settle for your current situation. However, it’s important to use this experience as an opportunity to explore what you desire most out of your career.
Just because you have one bad job doesn’t mean your career is over. It’s simply a sign that it’s time for you to move on and find a position that satisfies your personal and career needs.
5. The job you love, but quit for something better.
If you think you’ve found a job you love and couldn’t imagine quitting, there could be a chance you could be proved wrong. Eventually we’ll find a job we wouldn’t trade for the world and we get too comfortable. But then the opportunity comes along to find something that’s even better. When this happens, you have to decide if you want to cross that bridge and explore new options to further your career.
Today’s professional will experience a variety of jobs throughout his or her career. With this in mind, remember to be open to the opportunities that come your way and the lessons you’ll learn from each position. This will help you create a career rich in learning experiences and accomplishments that will hopefully lead you to your dream job.
Have you experienced one of these jobs? What did it teach you about your dream job?