5 Things People Who Have Their Dream Jobs Do

By Linsey Knerl on 19 February 2015 0 comments

While there are no hard and fast rules on how to get your dream job, there are some amazing consistencies among people who have their ideal careers. Some of these are arguably personality traits common to "A types" or high achievers. Other commonalities, however, are actionable habits that the rest of us can put into practice to reach our goals. (See also: Make Your Dream Career a Reality With Less Than $100)

Consider these five things you could be doing to have your dream job.

1. Get Up Early

So many people who are enjoying their dream job insist on getting up before the crack of dawn to demolish goals while the rest of the world is in bed. For the nine to fiver, this makes sense, but not all jobs are cut from the same cloth.

If you enjoy a career in a niche that operates on a different work schedule (restaurant work or athletics, for instance), getting up "early" may not be enough. It may involve setting the alarm for an hour before the accepted standard start time for your industry and busting down barriers at 8:00 a.m., 8:00 p.m., or anytime in between. The point is to be motivated enough to get a headstart on the day and take advantage of the extra time and energy in order to excel.

2. Do It Better

Being first to market with a solution isn't as important as it used to be. Now that technology creates a level playing field for everyone with a good idea, it's near impossible to take your brilliant "a-ha" moment to market before anyone else thinks of it. Instead, it's now more important to be the "best" rather than simply being "first."

Many technology services are proof of this phenomenon: Just look at how Betamax, Everquest, and Rio lost out to later, more innovative products. This can translate to the individual, as well. Most dream jobbers I know took existing ideas and made them more customer-friendly, more beautiful, or more affordable for the masses.

3. Be Likeable

One could argue that being great at your job is enough, and that personality is an added little bonus that can't hurt when needed. Unless you want your career to be mired in drama, however, being unlikeable can lead others to question your professional capabilities (just ask Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's "King" of bad buzz).

Unless you're independently wealthy and completely risk-proof, there is always a financial and professional incentive to play nicely with others. Being at least moderately likeable can get your far, and more traditional companies will be more likely to work with someone who won't constantly rock the boat.

4. Connect Socially With Professionals — Online

Millennials are figuring out that there really isn't much of a blur between online and IRL ("in real life") worlds, especially when it comes to social interactions. Applying that mentality to professional interactions could be the key to getting your dream job.

Sites like LinkedIn are making it all too easy to get your professional profile out there, yet too many professionals try to keep their online and IRL spheres distinctly separate. Here's an idea: Stop doing that. Being professional in all of your online dealings showcases your business potential, as well. Not only will you blow the socks off recruiters and talent scouts, but you'll never have to worry about your Tumblr account biting you in the backside because you posted something uncouth.

5. Remain Focused, Yet Flexible

Whatever field you decide to dominate, stay true to your strengths, and take every opportunity to polish those specific skills you feel will shine the brightest in your chosen specialty. If you program, be certain to stay top of new technologies; if you write, get down to the nitty gritty of your craft by reading widely and studying the best in your niche. But don't limit yourself to job offers or opportunities in your field. The best players stay true to their skillset, but are daring enough to go outside of their anticipated category of work. Co-mingle with others outside of your realm to see how your special skillset can be applied in different industries.

Of course, if you find that any of the above behaviors are out of your wheelhouse, you can always take the advice of Dirty Jobs guru Mike Rowe, who tells people to, quite simply, do away with the dream job mentality. Finding contentment in your existing job isn't a crime, and may lead to better overall satisfaction in other areas of your life.

Have you found your dream job? How did you get there?

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