Landing your dream job is not usually something that happens overnight. However, being proactive in building the experience needed in your ideal role can help you take a step closer to your dream. Here are three ways to build your experience and take your career further.
Plan for your development
Working out what experience you need to land your dream job is a good place to start. Researching potential employers and what is asked for in advertised roles that match your dream job can be insightful. If you can, speak to people with experience in the type of role you’d like and find out how they developed the necessary skills and experience.
Once you know what you need, develop a plan for how to achieve it. Perhaps you need training to develop your skills and knowledge. Maybe you have the knowledge but need opportunities to apply it. Consider what sort of timeframe you need to reach your goals and then assess how you can put your plan into action.
Seek internal opportunities
Depending on your dream job and your current situation, you may find that there are opportunities with your current employer to extend your experience. Are you able to take a secondment with a different area of the business? Is there a project you could join? Maybe there are ways to take on relevant tasks within your current role.
As with any opportunity, consider how the potential benefits align with your objectives. With internal opportunities, there’s the added consideration of how the opportunity will impact on your current career trajectory in the organisation. Depending on your circumstances, it might be better to look further afield. Volunteer roles, for example, can be a great way to gain fresh experience.
Take a skilled volunteering role
If you have the time, skilled volunteering can be both personally rewarding and boost your relevant experience. The key to making the most of volunteering is to find the right role and organisation. Also be realistic about the time you can commit to the role. Perhaps you want to develop executive skills and management experience. Is there a board member opportunity with a relevant organisation? Maybe you’re looking to move into marketing. Is there a not-for-profit organisation looking for short-term support for a campaign or event? If you have skills to share, there’s a good chance you’ll find an organisation who can benefit from them.
When it comes to using volunteer experience to apply for your dream job, don’t hide it at the back of your resume. Highlight all relevant experience in your resume and cover letter. Be prepared to discuss your volunteer role and the experience you’ve gained. Where you can, connect your experience with what the employer is seeking and look for ways to illustrate this with examples.
By matching your efforts with appropriate opportunities, you’ll be building the experience needed to secure your dream job. If you’d like to read more insights to help you take your career further, you can subscribe to our newsletter and get our insights in your inbox.