Posted May 19, 2014 by

How to Bridge the Gap Between you and your Dream Job

Dream job, next exit road sign with arrow and clouds in the background

Dream job, next exit road sign with arrow and clouds in the background. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you’re soon to leave full time education then you’ve no doubt already considered potential careers. Perhaps you’ve got your sights set on a particular job but don’t yet have all the necessary skills. Read on to discover some of the ways you could bridge the gap between you and your dream job.

Become a volunteer

Whilst still at school or college you can gain valuable experience that will look great on your résumé by volunteering for a few hours a week. You can get first-hand experience of an industry that interests you, network with other professionals and gain practical skills.

Having real life experience will set you apart from other job seekers when it comes to landing your first paid position. Some companies advertise for volunteers, so keep an eye out for opportunities. There’s no harm in contacting an organisation that interests you and asking if you can volunteer, either. It could be a great way to prove you have initiative and to get your foot in the door.

Consider an internship

Internships are really common within the contemporary jobs market, spanning professions from law to marketing. To land your dream job you will need to gain experience in the industry, and an internship can be the most sensible way to do this. Keep an eye out for internships within your chosen sector and find out exactly what the opportunity offers.

Whilst some internships are paid, others are voluntary, and others may offer you the opportunity to go on training courses and develop skills. If you are going to volunteer your time then make sure you are getting something worthwhile from the experience; will there be a job waiting for you at the end of it? Will the internship enable you to fill the skill gaps that stand between you and your dream job?

Become an apprentice

Apprenticeships differ from internships as they usually involve training and skill development that leads to a qualification or job. If you want to enter a skilled trade or need hands on experience then an apprenticeship could be for you. It’s an opportunity to learn as you earn, and train without having to stay in full time education.

Apprenticeships can be undertaken at the same time as a qualification, and you’ll typically earn a wage. Whilst you’ll be on a relatively low amount to begin with, you can look forward to earning good money once you’ve completed the apprenticeship.

Agency work or cover positions

If you don’t like the idea of working for free or a low wage then you could gain the experience you need through an agency. Whilst you might not be offered full time work, you can gain hands-on experience in an industry that interests you and find out if you really enjoy the work.

For those who are considering teaching, cover supervisor work can be the perfect way to begin. You don’t need a teaching qualification, and can find out what it’s like to be in the classroom before committing to a training course. You won’t have to do any of the preparation, marking or planning that comes with a standard teaching job either.

The best advice is to research your dream job and find out exactly what’s involved. That way you can tailor any voluntary work or internships to the job and ensure you are getting the experience you need.  It might take time to bridge the gap, but by staying focused you can ensure that you’re taking the appropriate steps towards your dream career.

There are a number of paths you can take to gain vital experience and fill any skills gaps. From cover supervisor jobs to internships and apprenticeships, there are a number of ways to gain experience and find a job that you will love.

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