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How to Nail Your Dream Job Even Though You’re Inexperienced

How to Nail Your Dream Job Even Though You’re Inexperienced

Getting your dream job is hard enough when you have the right experience, let alone when you’re competing for the position with others who have many more years in your dream field. The only way to have a fighting chance is to gain the right experience quickly and employ strategies that your competitors haven’t thought of. Here are six ways to nail your dream job despite your inexperience.

1. Follow an Action Plan

Don’t let the journey towards your dream job be aimless; carve out a specific path for yourself. You already know where you’re going, which is a good start to an action plan. Next, outline the steps that you need to complete to take yourself from where you are right now to reaching your goal. Those steps can include learning new skills, getting more experience, and beefing up your resume or list of references, among other things. Be sure to break the steps into manageable actions or you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. Set a timeline with a target completion date for each step so that you can track your progress. Those dates don’t have to be set in stone, but be wary about moving completion dates too many times, or you may find yourself lulled into complacency.

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2. Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Become okay with the idea that you will probably fail. Nobody is expecting you to get the job if you’re inexperienced, so quit setting such high expectations for yourself. Since you know that landing the job is a long shot, treat the hiring process as if you have nothing to lose. If you have nothing to lose, you have less to fear. Openly recognizing the fact that you probably won’t succeed can be extremely beneficial: low expectations will loosen the nerves, while those you’re competing with for the job stay wound up tight.

3. Get Some Experience

If the job listing requests experience that you don’t have, find an experience comparable to it that you can gain quickly. You can get that experience through volunteering, interning, or job shadowing. Point the employer to that experience to show that, even if you don’t have exactly the background they’re looking for, you’re still a worthy candidate.

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4. Use What Makes You Unique

You might not have the experience or skills they’re looking for, but you have skills and experience. Demonstrate how the background and talents you do have prepare you for your dream job in ways your dream employer might not have even considered. You will always have things about you that separate you from other prospects, so consider how to make those things feel like necessities for the job you’re vying for.

5. Research the Company Thoroughly

Figure out exactly how to be impressive to your dream employer. That involves researching the company’s hiring habits. Find out what they value in an employee by studying a number of job listings other than the one for the position you’re interested in. Most likely the company follows the same template for most of them. Ask yourself: what are the recurring themes? What skills or traits are important enough to the company that they include them in every listing? Highlight those in your resume, cover letter, and interview to make the employer think that you are exactly what they’re looking for.

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6. Act Like You Belong

While you want to stand out from the crowd, you also want to make sure it looks like you belong. Once you’re in the position to be impressive, make sure nothing negatively separates you from your much more experienced peers. Wear the right clothes, have the right attitude, and be confident that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

Featured photo credit: TaxCredits.net via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Passion and Purpose

I wrote a few articles about starting a business based on something you love doing and are passionate about. I received several responses from people saying they weren’t sure how to go about figuring out what they were most passionate about or how to find their true purpose. So I’m dedicating this article to these issues — how to find your entrepreneurial passion and purpose.

When I work with a new client, the first thing we talk about is lifestyle design. I ask each client, “What do you want your life to look like?” If you designed a business without answering this question, you could create a nice, profitable business that is completely incompatible with your goals in life. You’d be making money, but you’d probably be miserable.

When you’re looking for your life purpose, lifestyle design isn’t a crucial component. However, since we’re talking about entrepreneurial purpose, lifestyle design is indeed crucial to building a business that you’ll enjoy and truly be passionate about.

For example, say you want to spend more time at home with your family. Would you be happy with a business that kept you in an office or out of town much of the time? On the flip side, if you wanted to travel and see the world, how well could you accomplish that goal if your business required your presence, day in and day out, to survive? So start by getting some clarity on your personal goals and spend some time working on designing your life.

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At this point, you may need a little prodding, and you may want to hire a coach or mentor to work with you through this process. Many people are very used to the idea that there is a particular way a life “should” be. There are certain milestones most people tend to live by, and if you don’t meet those markers when or in the manner you’re “supposed” to meet them, that can cause some anxiety.

Here’s how to find your passion and purpose:

Give Yourself Permission to Dream a Little

Remember that this is your life and you can live it however you choose. Call it meditation or fantasy, but let your imagination run here. And answer this question:

“If you had no fears or financial limitations, what would your ideal life, one in which you could be totally content and happy, look like?”

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Once you’ve figured out your lifestyle design, it’s time to do a little more soul-searching to figure out what you’re truly passionate about. This is a time to really look within and look back.

Specifically, look back over your life history. When were you the happiest? What did you enjoy doing the most? Remember that what you’re looking for doesn’t necessarily have to be an entire job, but can actually be aspects of your past jobs or hobbies that you’ve really enjoyed.

Think About a Larger Life Purpose

Many successful entrepreneurs have earned their place in history by setting out to make a difference in the world. Is there a specific issue or cause that is important to you or that you’re particularly passionate about?

For some, this process of discovery may come easily. You may go through these questions and thought experiments and find the answers quickly. For others, it may be more difficult. In some cases, you may suffer from a generalized lack of passion and purpose in your life.

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Sometimes, this can come from having suppressed passion in your life for too long. Sometimes, it can come from eating poorly and lack of exercise. But occasionally, it may have something to do with your internal chemistry or programming. If the latter applies to you, it may be useful for you to seek help in the form of a coach, mentor, or counselor.

In other cases, not knowing your true purpose may be a matter of having not discovered it yet: you may not have found anything that makes your heart beat faster. If this is the case, now is the time to explore!

The Internet is a fantastic tool for learning and exploration. Search hobbies and careers and learn as much as you can about any topic that triggers your interest, then follow up at the library on the things that really intrigue you. Again, remember that this is your life and only you can give yourself permission to explore all that the world has available to you.

How Do You Know When You’ve Found Your True Entrepreneurial Purpose?

I can only tell you how I knew when I had discovered my own — it didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks. Rather, it settled over me, bringing a deep sense of peace and commitment. It felt like I had arrived home and knew exactly what to do and how to proceed.

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Everything flowed easily from that point forward. That’s not to say that I found success immediately after that moment. But rather, the path ahead of me was clear, so I knew what to do.

Decisions were easier and came faster to me. And success has come on MY terms, according to my own definitions of what success means to me in my own lifestyle design.

Dig deep, look within, and seek whatever help you need. Once you find that purpose and passion, your life — not just your entrepreneurial life, but your entire life — will never be the same.

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Featured photo credit: Garrhet Sampson via unsplash.com

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