Searching for your dream job can be a fulfilling process. However, it can also be frustrating and demoralizing. These seven steps can help you set yourself up for success and take some of the pain out of the process of landing your dream job.

1. Let Go of the Concept of Perfection

Whether your dream is to be a famous athlete or one of the top Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys, it is important to let go of the idea that there is one perfect job out there for you. All jobs have benefits and challenges. It is better to focus on finding a position that fits your skills, personality and goals than to focus on trying to find a job that checks every single box with no potential downsides. Since you are unlikely to find a job that perfectly matches everything you want, begin by prioritizing your wants and needs and search for jobs that match your top priority items.

2. Make Sure Your Expectations Are Realistic

It is rare for modern employees to stay with the same company or sometimes even in the same industry for their entire career. Accept that your “dream” job probably will not be the only job you ever have. It is estimated that many employees who began their careers in the past 10 years will hold as many as 40 different jobs. Keeping this in mind, it is best to look for a job that will help you achieve your overall dream, rather than one ideal job that you expect to keep for a lifetime.

3. Prepare for the Longhaul

Some people get lucky and land the job they want right away. However, most job searches will take weeks or months to complete. You may end up sending out hundreds of resumes. If you do not stay organized from the beginning, it can be easy to let your job search get out of hand. Set up a system to keep track of employers and jobs you are interested in, jobs you have applied for, key contacts and interview schedules. Make sure you save the job description of any jobs you apply for. Sometimes it can take a while to get an interview and the job posting may no longer be available by the time that happens. 

4. Break Your Search Into Small Chunks

The process of finding a job can seem overwhelming. You can make it easier to tackle by breaking it down into bite-size pieces. Set daily and weekly goals for yourself, such as working on your resume, making new contacts, finding new jobs to apply for, researching employers or joining professional networks.

5. Do Your Research

Researching industry trends and companies can not only help you impress potential employers but help you determine which companies and industries are likely to be the best fit for you and present the most opportunity. Blogs, industry publications, LinkedIn and people currently doing the jobs you are interested in can be good sources of information.

6. Keep Learning and Acquiring Skills

No matter what field you decide to get into, your skills can become stale and less marketable if you are not continually improving. There are a lot of self-learning tools available for free on the internet. You may also want to consider pursuing an advanced degree, taking continuing education courses, attending workshops and other opportunities for education and training. Many employers will pay for coursework and workshops that are related to your employment.

7. Keep Looking for Opportunities

Setting aside a few minutes per day to scan job openings can help you stay aware of potential opportunities. Even if you are happy where you are at, you never know when a better opportunity may come along.

Chances are, that rather than having one dream job, you will hold many jobs that all hopefully move you closer to achieving your career goals. These seven steps can help you set yourself up for success on your career journey.