How to Land Your Dream Job
Step 1 - Dream
This means asking yourself difficult questions. It means asking, "If I could do anything, what would I do?" "Why?" I'm always surprised by the number of people who take themselves out of the race. They think, "not me, I could never be as good as George Clooney"--and that's how dreams die. You have dare to ask yourself what you really want. Don't be embarrassed, hold back, or count yourself out. Dream.
Step 2 - Identify
Who in the world is doing what you would consider your dream job? Assuming it's something you can dream, there must be someone you can identify as a role model or mentor. You don't need to actually have a personal relationship to find a mentor, just ask yourself who's doing what I would love to do. For me, this might be Richard Branson.
Step 3 - Study
I come from a household of academics. When you don't know the answer to a question, you start your research, form your hypothesis, roll up your sleeves and dive in. Once you're able to identify what it is you think would be a "dream job" and someone who's actually doing what you'd love to do—figure out how they did it. How did this person end up with the position they currently hold? What can I do to put myself on a similar path?
Step 4 - Ask
Ask if you can help. Sweep the floor, take out the trash, fetch tea--whatever it takes. If you can get a foot in the door, make yourself valuable to the right people, you can put yourself on the track to your dream job. This may sound like I am advocating being a corporate slave or an unpaid intern, I'm not. I'm only recommending you ask the people who currently have your "dream job" if you can help. Why not? If Richard Branson needs someone to fetch him tea, let me know.
Step 5 - Persist
Though I've outlined the strategy in five steps, it takes time, sweat, tears, and above all--persistence. You must be patient, you must be ok with uncertainty, and you must believe that you will succeed. After Step 1, the rest is connecting the dots. We learned this game in kindergarten!
Have fun, dream big, follow the steps, believe, go.