How I Landed My Dream Job
I’ve been writing my whole life. I’m interested in storytelling this way, and I’ve always had a knack for it. I’ve also been highly ambitious for much of my life. I learned recently that not everyone views their goals and their dreams as exactly the same things. I always did.
So when I needed to start making money in college, I knew that I wanted to write for a website whose content I devoured. And after 3 years of pitching and emailing and hoping, I finally landed a job at that dream publication. And yeah, it was the ultimate win and boost of confidence to be wanted by people you’ve admired for so long.
Whatever your dream job/career/internship/connection is—you can get there. Here’s how I did it:
I emailed pitches every couple of months for years. Years. I knew that it would be hard to stand out, but I also knew that my ideas were great and on-brand, so I kept sending ‘em. In marketing, it’s a rule of thumb that people don’t register an ad or promotion until at least the 5th time it’s in front of them. With that in mind, I like to take professional rejections (or being ignored) with a grain of salt. Keep showing up as your professional, talent, awesome self until you get the hearing you think—you know—you deserve.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a laundry list of things that would make the perfect job. And also if you’re like me, that list might be a little unrealistic. But really, write down what you’re looking for in a dream job and then give each item a ranking from 1-3. Then, when you’re looking at jobs at your dream company, or a dream job at a company you don’t adore, you’ll have your priorities straight.
Most jobs aren’t going to give you the perfect benefits and the perfect work day all in one. If you know what’s most important to you, then being flexible to their needs won’t be a problem.
Ashley Graham told a great story on the Goop podcast once about how she was denied a cover shoot that she fully, totally, completely believed would be her big break. When she called her mom sobbing, her mom told her, “Then it wasn’t yours. It wasn’t your time.”
Girl, this is SUCH truth! You were made with a particular plan and purpose in mind. If you got passed over for that job you made it to the last round of interviews for, it’s not yours; you aren’t missing out, nothing was taken from you. There is just something better ahead. I promise. Take a step back and look at your passions—is that job really the dream? Or just something close to the dream?
And if it was? Go back to #1 and start again.
Be a Detective
Social media is about to be your new best friend (if it isn’t already). Chances are, 98% of the people who are hiring have some form of social media, whether it be an Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. That means you have direct access to their inbox to ask them questions. Once I changed my LinkedIn job to be that publication, I got frequent questions from people wanting to pitch the website about how I could help them do that. And you know what? I was happy to help! I told them the best email address to pitch and what kind of content we were looking for at the time.
Your work will be rewarded. DM that editor on Twitter. Figure out the email address of the HR manager. A little bit of homework will go a long way. I know I was impressed with someone’s extra ambition, and it gave them a leg up.
Sister. You have to be good at what you want to do. Chances are, you are. But nothing great gets handed to undeserving people. I knew my pitches were good, but I always worked to make them better. Looking back, first-round-pitch-Vic wasn’t talented enough to land that dream job. But I wrote often, read everything, and sought every opportunity to grow. Work hard at what you love so you can be confident that you are the ideal candidate for your dream job, no doubt in your mind.
There are a ton of deserving, talented, wonderful people just like you vying for that career you desperately want. Even if it should be you, it might also “should” be someone else, too. More often than not, it’s out of your control whether or not your resume catches someone’s eye or your pitch email even gets seen. This totally terrifies me (you too??) but I find that when I just do my best and let it go, all that control anxiety disappears.
Remember, if it’s yours, you’ll get the job. If not, on to the next. You’re just as talented, passionate, and worthy if you land your dream job and if you don’t. Whatever is supposed to happen will happen! Follow these tips to work your hardest and trust that the outcome is ultimately for your good.