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Career

How to land your dream job

By Katy Moore
With a little determination, persistence and strategy, it's never too late to follow your passions and be a success. Here are some top tips from the experts to get you started.
What did you want to be when you grew up? An aid worker? An actress? A lawyer? As grown women we're often living out a very different dream from that of our youthful fantasies. Life and family can quickly get in the way and soon our dream career yields to the tedium of financial security.
But with a little determination, persistence and strategy, it's never too late to follow your passions and be a success. Here are some top tips from the experts, and one tenacious woman who made her dream a reality, to get you started.
Find out what you love
Martin Amor, business coach and author says, "This is your dream job, not someone else's, so be aware of what you enjoy doing. Even if it seems trivial, make a mental note of things throughout your day that bring enjoyment. Before long you will have an idea of where your passions lie."
Renee Slansky founder of website Bella and Darcy, an online community for women, knew from an early age what her passions were.
"I've always loved writing and had a passion to inspire women to achieve their potential but like many others I took a different career path and didn't know how to start making my life-long dream a reality," she says.
"It wasn't until I went through a challenging relationship that I suddenly had an aha moment - ?perhaps others felt as alone as I did and I could offer a forum for women all over the world to share their stories and give advice."
Once you identify what it is that really fires you up, you can go about translating it into a viable career and work towards making it happen.
Approach people not companies
Fine-turning and sending out your resume to companies you admire is a great first step, but take the time to make it personal and tailored to an individual.
"Seek out people who can help you, but talk to them as human beings first rather than business target," says Amor. "It's about relationship building and gaining knowledge."
He warns against sending off multiple resumes addressed to "Whom it may concern" without speaking to someone first, as "chances are your resume will end up in a pile with everyone else's".
Get advice on advice on writing the perfect resume.
Have a positive mental attitude
It might sound a bit New Age, but you are different from anyone else on the planet.
"Trust your abilities and most of all your uniqueness." Martin says.
Slansky couldn't agree more. "My dream career wasn't going to fall from the sky. I needed to be proactive, tenacious and believe I could achieve it. I honed in on my special qualities and used them to get where I am today."
Sharpen your skills
Of course, you can't just get there on attitude alone. Whether it's honing the qualifications you already have or studying for a completely new career, learning new skills is invaluable in the job hunt.
If the thought of being the mature age student at university sends you into a panic, check out your local TAFE for courses or consider signing up for an Open University course, which can be undertaken from anywhere in Australia while you're still working.
And never overlook improving on simple skills such as listening and communicating.
Career change expert Sandy Ewing says, "If you're at the interview stage for your dream job, communication skills are vital. The ability to demonstrate that you are adaptable, skilful and driven is essential if you're going for a complete career change."
"Maybe in 2015…"
If you're relatively secure in your current job, working your way towards a new career might be put on the backburner. But, the sooner you get started, the sooner it becomes a reality.
Martin suggests setting small, achievable tasks for every single day. "Even if it's just making one phone call, or one Google search - do something," he says. Where could you be in your career in 2015?
Get tech savvy
The internet is undeniably one of the most important tools for job seekers. Along with traditional avenues such as using job listing sites, take full advantage of social media sites to make contacts and offer your skills, and perhaps even create your own website to showcase your work and detail your expertiseto potential employers.
Ewing says blogging is also a great tool for maximising exposure, particularly for budding journalists. "It's a real trend at the moment and demonstrates your passion and drive to future employers," she says.
Slansky's determination has seen Bella and Darcy's readership double in the last six months, with an audience from 15 countries, as well as being nominated for the Greatest Dating Blog award. She now writes for other dating publications and mentors for the professional women's mentoring site, Propell Her.
"I'm so lucky to be where I am today and doing what I love. For everyone out there stuck in a job rut, get active in pursuing your dreams -? they are within reach!"
Start searching for your career today on www.seek.com.au

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