Are you familiar with the term “shelter in job?” This is a phrase used in a recent LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index survey. The February 2021 survey of 5,520 LinkedIn members asked current job-holders about their top motivations for staying in their present roles. 74% of respondents chose “shelter in job” answers. A key factor of staying put, for 59% polled, was to collect a steady paycheck and keep household finances stable.

The survey makes the argument that ambition may be hibernating for many employed. individuals. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some are choosing to wait it out for a more favorable job market and then make the switch into their dream job. However, individuals that are passionate about the next step may not be content to wait until the timing is right. They may start inching their way to a career change right now.

Feel like you’re ready to make the next strides forward? Take these simple, yet actionable, steps to start reaching your dream job.

Understand your dream job inside and out.

A certain amount of expectations versus reality reside in our minds about dream jobs. The expectations usually look like a curated social media account. This hypes up all the wins and exciting moments in a flattering, aesthetically pleasing light. The reality is that most people really do inch slowly but surely towards their dreams. Every day requires putting in hours of hard work, energy, and effort to meet these goals.

Don’t know what your dream job really looks like? Now is the time to clearly define it. Kate Hutson, Executive Life Coach and Founder of Shattered Glass Coaching, encourages writing down the version of yourself that is the happiest, and most fulfilled, you could ever be at a job. Answer these questions — and get as detailed as possible — as you go.

  • Where are you working?
  • Who are you interacting with?
  • What do you see around you?
  • How much money are you making?
  • How do your clients or customers feel about you?
  • How do you feel when you get off of work each day?

“You must have an incredibly specific vision of what your dream job actually entails and what is important about it,” Hutson says.

After you write it out, read it out loud to yourself every morning. Huston adds that this allows you to hold the vision clearly in your mind and to develop a confident mindset to go after it.

Establish yourself as an expert.

Most dream jobs require a certain amount of experience to succeed in the role — and now is the time to start gaining that necessary experience.

There are a few ways you can start building your credentials, according to Stephanie Korczynski, Executive Coach and Founder of The KORE Company. If your dream job requires specific requirements for eligibility, like a certification or a degree, explore options for taking classes that allow you to build those skill sets.

Additionally, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field via content creation. Think about your dream job’s industry. What kind of content can you create that ties in with that field and allows you to share your insights? Blogging, podcasts, and social media platforms are all spaces where you can create and share content relevant to your industry and gain traction as an expert.

Start networking.

Who in your existing network has your dream job? Reach out to them, share your aspirations, and ask if you can have a conversation with them to learn more about this job and its industry.

What if you have a contact who is connected to someone with your dream job? You may ask if your mutual contact can make an introduction. Or you might reach out directly to the person with your dream job and inquire about having a virtual informational interview together.

You’ve got this!

Ultimately, choosing to hibernate in one’s job isn’t a long-term career strategy. Taking these actionable steps now gives us the confidence to grow and lead the life of our dreams.

“There is nothing worse than looking back years from now wondering what that dream life or dream job could have been,” Korczynski says. “Through change, we see the biggest growth in ourselves. If you are serious about taking a leap and confidently marching toward your dream career, you can do it with the right plan and the right mindset.”