The term “dream job” gets thrown around a lot. These days, it’s often used as common introductory question to get to know somebody and where they’re headed. It seems our generation is obsessed with getting it, a pinnacle title that serves as the culmination of years of hard work and vision. But the truth is, when it comes to nailing that position, “the dream gig” often comes with several obstacles: heavy competition, scarcity of roles and high standards to maintain. If you feel like you’ve hit a slight career plateau, or you’ve got the destination in mind with no way of knowing how to get to there, we’ve narrowed down five little steps you can take every day to make your hustle a little easier.
Keep yourself and co-workers informed
There’s something to be admired about an employee who knows the happenings of their industry on a large scale. Create a shortlist of a few top websites within your industry and check them each morning. By having the latest goings on in the front of mind, you can allow that to inform both the micro and macro decisions your company is making. But why stop there? If you find something interesting and valuable to management or other members in your team, send a quick email around to show them your latest findings.
Anticipate your manager’s needs
In research conducted by Harvard Business Review, anticipating the needs of other employees and the company was a key trait needed in effective leadership within the workplace. By having your manager’s needs in the back of your mind and helping them in little ways throughout the week, you’re proving to have a higher skill set than your current title. Is there a meeting they missed that you can give them a rundown of? Is there a new app that will help them with their meetings? Are they struggling in an area that you potentially have a solution for?
Start doing the job you want
The key to proving your mettle for a new position is showing your skill set for the job you want, not only the job you are currently doing. If you’re in marketing but have a secret flare and passion for design, by creating killer eDMs on InDesign or volunteering to jazz up the marketing pitch deck, you are subtly allowing yourself (and skills) to be seen in a new light. So, when a job ad for your dream gig appears, you’ve already done all the ground work for a smooth transition.
Mind map your action plan
If you’d like to touch base with your boss about where you’re headed in the company, a great way to figure out your worth and where you want to go is by creating a mind map. Start by penning your job description on one side and the core company values on the other. If your manager values great partnership opportunities, office culture and lateral thinking, note the ways in which you succeed and go above and beyond those traits. For improvement purposes, write down how you can improve in each area in small ways and whether you can achieve them in the next week or next month, and when you’d like to achieve them by.
It’s easy to get carried away with the never-ending daily to-do list filled with emails and small tasks that get piled on last minute. By having a written short- and long-term goal, and checking in regularly, you are then able to re-align with your objective and see how you are tracking towards the dream gig, how happy you are in the company, and what you need to do to get there.
Read More: How This Author Scored Her Dream Job