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Finding Your Dream Job – Part 1

In searching for that perfect and ideal job, it is valuable to build positive characteristics into your search. In fact, finding the dream job requires a vitally different mindset than the norm. The suggested outlook isn’t fixated on success. Instead, we want to take every action that increases our probability of success.

Here’s a little bit about my background. Prior to launching Inspired Work, I was an executive in the staffing industry. In 1990, I launched Inspired Work. We have helped over 44,000 people define and find the work they love. Our program works for people from all walks of life. My company has helped countless client organizations become better places to work. Our primary focus is to help people define and find the work they love, the very work that brings the greatest meaning into our lives.

Why is finding the work you love so very important?

When we began Inspired Work 1990, we were witnessing the first big cracks under the Industrial Revolution model of work. During that era, it was unusual to find people who were doing the work they loved and making a great living. In those early days, we were given the opportunity to serve thousands of people who were “in transition.” We offered an alternative to traditional outplacement. Our program was offered to the individuals who wanted to elevate their transition into a turning point. Eventually, we distanced ourselves from outplacement simply because our brand is centered on being “good news.”

Today, we are witnessing the largest restructuring of work since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. The change is so rapid that about half of our country’s workers describe themselves as “underemployed. Many of them continue to fixate on the two primary standards of work selection during the Industrial Revolution: Predictability and Survival.

When we raise our standards about work to love, we leapfrog over mediocrity. Why is loving our work so important? It is turning out to be the most reliable fuel for personal change.

Most people limit their job search to visiting websites and networking. The problem with this is that we are competing with hundreds if not thousands of candidates. Also, most posted jobs have already been turned down by internal candidates or “friends of the firm.” We tell our clients to continue visiting the sites. However, we suggest a big strategic leap in defining and pursuing the organizations that match our vision.

Just what is a “dream job?”

It is the position that fits your mission, vision, and purpose. There is a strong culture fit with the employer. In other words, you identify with the tribe. These are the kind of people you want to work with every day.

Finally, the single most important questions to get answered before you accept the job is, “Who is the boss?” A great boss can help turn a job that on paper appears to be mediocre and turn it into a life-changing opportunity for you. A boss from hell will turn the best jobs into a big step backward.

There hasn’t been a better time to find the perfect job. We are living in a revolution of transparency. Motivated candidates can learn so much about potential employers and hiring managers there is no longer an excuse for accepting a position and having a bitter outcome. In fact, the more creative and adaptive we become, there more quickly we let go of negative circumstances and move on.

Technology has given us transparency. Today, we can find enormous amounts of information about potential employers as well as the ideal hiring manager. So, all of your research ought to be focused on:

  • Where would you love to work?
  • Who would you love to work for?


Where do we begin?


You will be making repeated visits to Google throughout this journey. In the beginning, use search criteria such as:

•   Top 50 Employers in Your Area

•   Fastest Growing Companies in the United States

•   Fortune 100s Best Places to Look

•   Most Admired Entrepreneurs


The more you work on this the more aware you will become of the organizations and people that fit your career DNA. All too often, candidates only work on building a community when they are in trouble like being unemployed. Today, use this work to build a stronger foundation under your career.



LinkedIn is the world’s biggest digital home for the world’s talent. The revolution LinkedIn has made on staffing cannot be overemphasized. However, using LinkedIn for open jobs represents a fragment of the platform’s potential.

During our Inspired Social Networking training, we encourage our participants to recognize that the core purpose of such platforms as LinkedIn and Facebook isn’t selling. Their purpose is centered on building relationships. Making pitches on LinkedIn is by and large a waste of time. Consequently, use your networking time to build relationships with the very people you want in your professional circle.

For anyone who wants to build a community around their mission, vision, and purpose, we encourage the use of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. This package provides sophisticated filtering systems that allow you to conduct laser-like research to identify great employers, hiring managers, human resource contacts, and more. When you send out a connection request, always include a positive note. Good manners are always a good idea.

Here’s an example of the power of targeted research. A couple of years ago, I was working with a rock star executive in the financial services market. She wanted to work in a more innovative organization with a far better boss. I asked her to identify and pull together a list of the people she most wanted to work for. A week later, she sent a note. There was only one name on the e-mail. “I want to work for Inga Beale at Lloyds of London.”

She asked if I would help. Two days later, I called her and said, “I have 3 alternative dates for you to meet with Inga.”

Shocked, she asked, “How did you do that?”

“I called and asked for her secretary. I treated her with kindness and respect. She presented you to Inga and the two of you have lunch.”

Consider the fact that if she had not taken the time to identify someone, that meeting would never have taken place.


Glass Door & Indeed

When you find an employer that interests you, use the two sites to review input from employees. Of course, even the best organizations have negative reviews. Take a look at a high altitude and you will find trends and themes.


The Business Journal – Book of Lists

In virtually every metropolitan region, the Business Journal publishes local news, much of it centered on small and mid-size business. Most importantly, the Journal publishes an annual Book of Lists which includes hundreds of lists covering a wide range of organizations in your area. Invariably, our clients are surprised by what they find.

We are interested in what you find. If you have any suggestions that can help my readers, please feel free to comment.


Next: Finding Your Dream Job – Part 2


Brought to you by David Harder, President & Founder – Inspired Work

(c) Copyright, Inspired Work, Inc. (2019) – All Rights Reserved

P: (310) 277-4850 /

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