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financial freedom, 2040 finance, fire, early retirement, financial freedom, Millenial, retire early
What To Do When Your Dream Job’s Earning Potential Sucks
Posted on: 4 / 3 / 2018
dream job
Are you a 20-something with a degree in your pocket and a career trajectory that doesn’t resemble the way your high school teachers said this part of your life would play out?
Do you feel like you’ve wasted your time at university only to find yourself in the same dead-end job you had before you started studying?

Are you doing everything right and getting more and more frustrated every day that you don’t hear back from potential employers?

If you answered yes to these questions, the good news is that you’re not alone. As technology continues to disrupt virtually every industry, transforming the traditional business models that our parents thrived in, more and more millennials are struggling to find meaningful employment.

There are, however, steps you can take to get closer to that dream job. If you’re a passionate person who has the motivation to succeed but no idea where to start, this blog is for you.
Tip # 1: Perfect Your Passion
A common mistake that many young graduates make is deciding that now they’ve done the hard yards at university they’ll only be utilising their skill-set when there’s money on the table.
To be clear, I’m not advising you to work for free. Unpaid internships devalue other graduate’s labour, rarely lead to full-time positions within the host company, and are illegal if they don’t give you credit towards your university degree or TAFE course.

But, at the same time, if you're holding out for a paid opportunity before you flex your muscles, you might find yourself getting out of shape while you wait.

While you’re searching for your big break, perfect your passion by:

Volunteering for a charity or NFP organisation: Not only does donating your time help your community out but as a volunteer, you’ll form valuable relationships that can lead to career opportunities further down the track. You'll also get some of that real-world experience potential employers can’t get enough of as well as a taste of day-to-day life in your field or profession.

Upskill with a passion project: If you’re trying to break into a portfolio-based industry, a passion project is a smart way to make inroads. Team up with someone in a related field and spend a day or two every week teaching each other new skills while you work on a project together. In the end, you’ll have a fatter portfolio, a broader skill-set, and experience working for yourself.
Tip #2: Find the Company You Want
A lot of people get so hung up on finding the job they want that they overlook the importance of finding the employer they want.
Have you done everything you can to make yourself job-ready but are still struggling to break into a niche field or industry? Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your strategy. Stop thinking about an imaginary job and start thinking about the jobs that actually exist right now. To do this, you should:
1. Make a list of people who are doing what you want to be doing.

2. Use professional bios and LinkedIn to research their career paths. If you can’t find the info you need, don’t be afraid to send emails introducing yourself and asking how others in your field got their first big break.

3. Use your research to compile a list of your potential future employers.

4. See if you qualify for a role those employers are currently offering. If you don’t, sign up for their career opportunities mailing list. Just getting your foot in the door will give you access to in-house opportunities that your job-seeking competitors won’t even know about.
Tip #3: Rethink Your Approach to Job Applications
If your current approach to job applications isn’t getting you anywhere, you’ve got nothing to lose by changing your supporting documentation up a little.
While I’m not suggesting you act like one of those over-the-top sycophants - you know, the type who sucks up to their future boss with an edible resume delivered to the office atop a dozen boutique cupcakes with the company logo iced onto them - a little ingenuity can go a long way.

Gone are the days when walking into a company with your resume in hand, or emailing the same application to a dozen different prospects could land you a job. With so many people competing for so few positions, you need to make your applications stand out.

Small tweaks to your resume and cover letter can make a huge difference, so start experimenting with:

Playing with colour: Including a touch of colour in your resume or cover letter is a fantastic way to make your documents more memorable, especially if you are looking for work in a creative industry. If you’re not confident in your ability to create an aesthetically pleasing palette, try using an online tool like Coloors which will automatically generates up to five complementary colours for you to use.

Reformat: Is your resume over one page long? Have you copied the design straight from an MS Word or Pages template? Are you using a medley of fonts, colours and text sizes that are all competing for the reader's attention? 

If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to reformat. Google search the best resumes for inspiration then emulate their style. Use columns to maximise information while saving on space, and include icons, graphs, and charts to make the whole document more visually appealing.

Change your tone: Most people write their cover letters using the same generic format we were all taught in school: “Hi, my name is ____, and I’m writing to express my interest in the position you’ve advertised on ____. When writing your cover letter, try to put yourself in the position of the reader - what do they want to know about you straight away? 

Trim out all unnecessary details and try to adopt a tone that reflects the attributes your potential employer seeks. For example, if the role requires someone entertaining, don’t be afraid to include a touch of humour. Or, if the job calls for a high degree of professionalism, stick to the facts and cut out all colloquial terms and emotive language.
Tip #4: Optimise Your Online Presence
The internet is more than just a place for you to search for employers; it’s also where employers will find you - for better or for worse.
Make your online presence work for you (not against you) by:

Privatising Your Social Media: With 93% of employers snooping on candidate's social media profiles during the interview process, you'd be crazy to have your accounts publicly visible.

Optimising Your LinkedIn: Did you know that 44% of employers have hired someone through social media? With LinkedIn dominating the professional social sphere, an incomplete profile that doesn’t have "career interests" set for recruiters to find you means missed opportunities!

Creating An Online Portfolio: A business card or email footer with a link to your website is a fantastic way to send key people straight to your very best work.
Tip #5: Rein In Your Idealism
Have you asked yourself why your dream job means so much to you? You should!
Mantras like Marc Anthony’s famous quote, “If you do what you’ll love you’ll never work a day in your life” lead many people to believe that in an ideal world, we’d all be able to turn our passions into careers.

But, except for a few highly publicised success stories, most people who have turned their hobby into a career will tell you that monetising something you love is a fantastic way to turn it into something you hate.


Because once you turn your passion into a business, it stops being about you. Whether you’re an artist, a photographer, a writer, or a teacher, the moment you go into business, your work ceases to be about self-expression and starts to be about meeting deadlines, achieving goals and making clients happy.

Turning your hobby into a career means embarking on projects you don’t personally believe in, relinquishing creative control, and having to perform under pressure - all of which are surefire ways to transform your enjoyment into resentment.

A career path that's based solely on doing things you enjoy doing isn't wise. Temper your expectations by viewing what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing through the lens of supply and demand in the job market.

Once you're earning money doing what you're good at, you'll start to love your job. It rarely works the other way around.

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