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Are you stuck in a dead end job,  dreaming of a better career?  The perfect job is waiting for you, but it’s up to you to find it.

Financial obligations, personal commitments, low self-esteem and just plain laziness are all reasons that many people let career opportunities pass them by.  The following tips can help you find, land and keep those dream career opportunities:

1. Upgrade

Take advantage of any upgrades that may come your way in your current career.  Upgrades act as stepping-stones toward your dream opportunity. They may not take you all the way to your final destination, but they can lead the way to further opportunities.  Think of them as rungs on the success ladder.  Your skills and education should also be upgraded as often as possible.  Any potential employer will tell you that you can never know too much.  Take part in seminars, read industry materials and take every opportunity to upgrade your skills and talents.

2.  Be Ready

You can never tell when opportunity will knock.  So when a dream job comes your way, you’d better be ready.  Update your resume and have clean copies printed and ready to go in neat envelopes.  Polish your track record, and keep on top of loose ends.  If your dream career opportunities will require you to move to another city, make sure that you’re able to do so with little notice.  When you land an interview, show that you’re eager and truly motivated. Prove to potential employers that you are ready, willing and able to grab the torch and run with it.  Be in top form and prove to yourself, and to the world, that you are the kind of person who deserves to have a dream career.  Read the industry news.  Train yourself every day.  Focus on the positive, keep a smile on your face and get ready to take that golden ticket.

3. Be Focused

Dreams can be fuzzy.  In order to realize true happiness, you have to be able to determine what your true goals are.  The real world is fiercely competitive, and daydreaming will get your nowhere.  You need to know precisely where you want to be, and exactly how you’re going to get there.  Many so-called career opportunities are simply fantasies, and even those who dream about them will admit that they never expect to turn them into reality.  In order to obtain a dream job, you have to have a practical goal in mind.  Take a long hard look at where you want to be.  Consider the career you’ve always wanted, and then put it aside and picture yourself doing something else.  Don’t limit yourself to a single dream, when there is a world of opportunity available.

4. Their Loss is Your Gain

This sounds hardnosed and even cruel, but sometimes it pays to look for career opportunities that others have missed.  Life can be unfair and uncertain, but it can also present opportunities where you’d least expect them to be.   It can be easy to become depressed and lose heart, particularly when you’re stuck in a lousy job.  While everyone around you is on the fast track into the future, you’re stuck in a dead-end role with a boss who holds you back time and again.  This is why you need to consider the career opportunities that may be presenting themselves on the other side of your cubicle.   If the fast track looks inviting, remember that obvious opportunities will attract the most competition.   So, the less obvious path can offer the least competition and the greatest opportunity.

5. Think Openly

Don’t get stuck in the mindset that only certain career opportunities are desirable.  Let’s say you’re a doctor, and your dad and grandmother and all of your brothers and sisters are doctors.  But deep down inside, you’ve always wanted to be an architect.  Keep an open mind.  Maybe medicine is not the best choice for you, and you’re better suited to drawing plans and creating structures with amazing beauty and incredible function.  Think openly.  Don’t be a sheep and merely follow what the rest of the flock is doing, or buy in to what the media says are your generation’s “best career opportunities”.   Your dream career begins with your dream, so focus on what’s best for you.  If it’s not today’s most fashionable choice, all the better.  Less competition will make it even easier for you to land your perfect career opportunity.

6. Find a mentor

This is probably the single most effective action you can take to landing your career opportunity. If you can find someone who has already learned the ropes, and who is willing to take you under his or her wing, you’ve suddenly improved your prospects by leaps and bounds.  A mentor can help in so many ways.  Mentors teach the intricacies of the industry.  They answer questions, and pose questions.  They share their successes and mistakes.  And perhaps most importantly, they introduce you to other industry players.  This is where the potential job offers can surface.

Don’t resign yourself to thinking that you’re forever stuck in a dead-end job.  Career opportunities do come about at the strangest of times, and in the strangest of places.  Be ready to answer when opportunity knocks, and you’ll soon be climbing the ladder right out of your cubicle.

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