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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Ways to Find Your Dream Job

10 Ways to Find Your Dream Job

The first and most important aspect to getting anything you want is knowing what you want. If you don’t really know what your dream job is, you will never find it. Many literal dreams are chaotic splices of our lives. Things that we partially understand and things that we want to know more about because they excite us show up as manifestations in our dreams.

To get the job of your dreams you need to sort through the clutter and focus on realistic goals. Some of the following methods will help you get your dream job.

1. Find Your Dream Job by Focusing

The idea here is taking your love of something (for example, communication) and focusing it on a specific career path (for example, reporting the T.V. news). This focus allows you to distinguish the difference between earning a degree and going after specific opportunities.

Every year, hundreds and thousands of students complete undergraduate degrees in fields like communication without really having thought about what their dream job would be. That focus will help you get your dream job because you will be in a better position to pursue your dream.

2. Earn Your Dream Job Because You Can Do It

By today’s standards, a degree doesn’t necessarily qualify you to do anything! Just because you studied programming in college doesn’t mean you can program a VCR (remember those?). You shouldn’t wait until you finish school to start doing what you love.

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Create your own video game if you want to get a job (or even an internship) as a programmer. Want that dream job of being a news reporter? Join CNN iReport or start your own blog where you report local news.

3. Get an Internship to Gain Experience

Just like the idea of doing whatever it is that you love, you can often pursue your dream job through the college or university where you are obtaining your education.

If you want to be a writer or a radio disc jockey, chances are that your school has media outlets where you can intern and gain experience while building your resume. Everything from student teaching to volunteering in a research lab is available while you study the academics of your major.

4. Find the Job You Want Through Confidence

Having education and experience isn’t the same as having confidence. When you learn how to do something and then you practice, you build confidence, and that will help you get the job you want.

Your dream job is likely to be in a competitive field. If you want it, chances are someone else will too. Having the confidence to stand behind your qualifications will help you get your foot in the door.

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Here’s How to Be Confident: 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence

5. Take Your Confidence to Nonverbal Communication

When you finally land an interview at the job you want, make sure your nervousness doesn’t get in the way of how you communicate without words. When you cross your arms you could simply be cold, but this sends a nonverbal statement that you are closed off or less approachable.

Take care to communicate a friendly, open and easy-to-get-along-with attitude. Take a look at these Types of Nonverbal Communication That You Can’t Ignore.

6. Be the Solution to a Problem

Often we think specifically in terms of what we want, what our dream job is, or how to pursue our objectives that we forget the fact that getting a job means someone chooses to pay you to solve a problem, or to fill a need in a company.

Whether you want to be an elementary school teacher or a linebacker, your job will have a purpose and you will be the best person to solve the problem.

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7. You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Not only do you not have to be perfect, but also you have to remember that no job is perfect. What may seem like a dream job may not be the right fit for you for many different reasons.

Remember, while you search that stressing about little details will only hurt your chances. Stay confident.

8. Research the Company

As mentioned above, no job is perfect and while you may be the perfect fit for the job you want, you’ll never know without doing research on the company.

The hiring manager will do his or her homework on you and your skills, so why not do your own background check?

Make sure you look at the company’s history as well as its work to see just how you will fit.

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9. Make Job Hunting Your Job

Believe it or not, job hunting can be a full-time job. You want to put a lot of work into crafting your cover letter, formatting your resume and communicating in person.

Make sure that you schedule time to work on each aspect. Take breaks and make sure to engage in stress-relieving activities. If you’re too stressed about getting a job, you will not enjoy the process as much.

10. Be on the Radar

Before you finish school, and before you complete your first internship, you can and should network socially with companies you might want to work for.

Social media makes this not only possible, but also necessary. LinkedIn is more than a place to house your online resume. Through joining groups, posting blogs, and sharing your thoughts on your chosen industry, you can be on the radar.

Quite often, a company will reach out to the people on its radar before beginning the interview process formally.

More Useful Tips for Job Hunting

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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Ellen Eldridge

Ellen is a passionate journalist. She shares her everyday life tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 9, 2020

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

5 Types of Leadership Styles (And Which Is Best for You)

It takes great leadership skills to build great teams.

The best leaders have distinctive leadership styles and are not afraid to make the difficult decisions. They course-correct when mistakes happen, manage the egos of team members and set performance standards that are constantly being met and improved upon.

With a population of more than 327 million, there are literally scores of leadership styles in the world today. In this article, I will talk about the most common types of leadership and how you can determine which works best for you.

5 Types of Leadership Styles

I will focus on 5 common styles that I’ve encountered in my career: democratic, autocratic, transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership.

The Democratic Style

The democratic style seeks collaboration and consensus. Team members are a part of decision-making processes and communication flows up, down and across the organizational chart.

The democratic style is collaborative. Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek is an example of a leader who appears to have a democratic leadership style.

    The Autocratic Style

    The autocratic style, on the other hand, centers the preferences, comfort and direction of the organization’s leader. In many instances, the leader makes decisions without soliciting agreement or input from their team.

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    The autocratic style is not appropriate in all situations at all times, but it can be especially useful in certain careers, such as military service, and in certain instances, such as times of crisis. Steve Jobs was said to have had an autocratic leadership style.

    While the democratic style seeks consensus, the autocratic style is less interested in consensus and more interested in adherence to orders. The latter advises what needs to be done and expects close adherence to orders.

      The Transformational Style

      Transformational leaders drive change. They are either brought into organizations to turn things around, restore profitability or improve the culture.

      Alternatively, transformational leaders may have a vision for what customers, stakeholders or constituents may need in the future and work to achieve those goals. They are change agents who are focused on the future.

      Examples of transformational leader are Oprah and Robert C. Smith, the billionaire hedge fund manager who has offered to pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College.

        The Transactional Style

        Transactional leaders further the immediate agenda. They are concerned about accomplishing a task and doing what they’ve said they’d do. They are less interested in changing the status quo and more focused on ensuring that people do the specific task they have been hired to do.

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        The transactional leadership style is centered on short-term planning. This style can stifle creativity and keep employees stuck in their present roles.

        The Laissez-Faire Style

        The fifth common leadership style is laissez-faire, where team members are invited to help lead the organization.

        In companies with a laissez-faire leadership style, the management structure tends to be flat, meaning it lacks hierarchy. With laissez-faire leadership, team members might wonder who the final decision maker is or can complain about a lack of leadership, which can translate to lack of direction.

        Which Leadership Style do You Practice?

        You can learn a lot about your leadership style by observing your family of origin and your formative working experiences.

        Whether you realize it, from the time you were born up until the time you went to school, you were receiving information on how to lead yourself and others. From the way your parents and siblings interacted with one another, to unspoken and spoken communication norms, you were a sponge for learning what constitutes leadership.

        The same is true of our formative work experiences. When I started my communications career, I worked for a faith-based organization and then a labor union. The style of communication varied from one organization to the other. The leadership required to be successful in each organization was also miles apart. At Lutheran social services, we used language such as “supporting people in need.” At the labor union, we used language such as “supporting the leadership of workers” as they fought for what they needed.

        Many in the media were more than happy to accept my pitch calls when I worked for the faith-based organization, but the same was not true when I worked for a labor union. The quest for media attention that was fair and balanced became more difficult and my approach and style changed from being light-hearted to being more direct with the labor union.

        I didn’t realize the impact those experiences had on how I thought about my leadership until much later in my career.

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        In my early experience, it was not uncommon for team members to have direct, brash and tough conversations with one another as a matter of course. It was the norm, not the exception. I learned to challenge people, boldly state my desires and preferences, and give tough feedback, but I didn’t account for the actions of others fit for me, as a black woman. I didn’t account for gender biases and racial biases.

        What worked well for my white male bosses, did not work well for me as an African American woman. People experienced my directness as being rude and insensitive. While I needed to be more forceful in advancing the organization’s agenda when I worked for labor, that style did not bode well for faith-based social justice organizations who wanted to use the love of Christ to challenge injustice.

        Whereas I received feedback that I needed to develop more gravitas in the workplace when I worked for labor, when I worked for other organizations after the labor union, I was often told to dial it back. This taught me two important lessons about leadership:

        1. Context Matters

        Your leadership style must adjust to each workplace you are employed. The challenges and norms of an organization will shape your leadership style significantly.

        2. Not All Leadership Styles Are Appropriate for the Teams You’re Leading

        When I worked on political campaigns, we worked nonstop. We started at dawn and worked late into the evening. I couldn’t expect that level of round-the-clock work for people at the average nonprofit. Not only couldn’t I expect it, it was actually unhealthy. My habit of consistently waking up at 4 am to work was profoundly unhealthy for me and harmful for the teams I was leading.

        As life coach and spiritual healer Iyanla Vanzant has said,

        “We learn a lot from what is seen, sensed and shared.”

        The message I was sending to my team was ‘I will value you if you work the way that I work, and if you respond to my 4 am, 5 am and 6 am emails.’ I was essentially telling my employees that I expect you to follow my process and practice.

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        As I advanced in my career and began managing more people, I questioned everything I thought I knew about leadership. It was tough. What worked for me in one professional setting did not work in other settings. What worked at one phase of my life didn’t necessarily serve me at later stages.

        When I began managing millennials, I learned that while committed to the work, they had active interests and passions outside of the office. They were not willing to abandon their lives and happiness for the work, regardless of how fulfilling it might have been.

        The Way Forward

        To be an effective leader, you must know yourself incredibly well. You must be self-reflective and also receptive to feedback.

        As fellow Lifehack contributor Mike Bundrant wrote in the article 10 Essential Leadership Qualities That Make a Great Leader:

        “Those who lead must understand human nature, and they start by fully understanding themselves…They know their strengths, and are equally aware of their weaknesses and thus understand the need for team work and the sharing of responsibility.”

        The way to determine your leadership style is to get to know yourself and to be mindful of the feedback you receive from others. Think about the leadership lessons that were seen, sensed and shared in your family of origin. Then think about what feels right for you. Where do you gravitate and what do you tend to avoid in the context of leadership styles?

        If you are really stuck, think about using a personality assessment to shed light on your work patterns and preferences.

        Finally, the path for determining your leadership style is to think about not only what you need, or what your company values, but also what your team needs. They will give you cues on what works for them and you need to respond accordingly.

        Leadership requires flexibility and attentiveness. Contrary to unrealistic notions of leadership, being a leader is less about being served and more about being of service.

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        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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