Building a fulfilling career is difficult. If you feel like you haven’t found your place, it might be that your ideal job doesn’t exist (yet).
Whether you see the opportunity for a new role with your current employer or you want to pitch one at another company, creating a dream role that doesn’t quite exist yet doesn’t have to be a mere pipe dream. As career and branding expert Wendi Weiner explains, nearly 70% of available jobs aren’t listed online, and nearly 80% are acquired or via networking. “Some professionals may still be hinged on the belief that if the job posting isn’t listed, there’s no job currently available. Sometimes it takes grit, guts, and glory to create the role that exists for you,” she adds.
Here’s how to create your dream job, straight from career experts:
Remember, Companies Are Always In Flux
Most companies are constantly in a state of change, Weiner says. This means they value employees who can not only go with the flow, but also develop creative solutions to recurring issues. As the priorities and goals of a business morphs over time, holes might become more apparent, giving you an opportunity to take on new responsibilities that extend your initial job descriptions.
“There are also variations of roles that spring into new pathways and opportunities for maximizing a skill set or even growing into a new niche,” she explains. “Companies appreciate innovation, and the ability to step outside of the comfort zone of that standard job title may be precisely what companies are looking for in the digital age.”
When Reaching Out Cold, Go High Up
Say you’ve been following a fitness brand for a decade and you use their interface daily, but they don’t have a content or an SEO strategy. Or maybe there’s a product that’s changed your life, but their website leaves a lot to the imagination. What gives? If you have the ability to tackle and solve these issues, let leadership know.
Chief engagement and brand officer at EHE Joy Altimare says when you’re cold pitching a role to a new company, go as high as you possibly can. “While it’s important to leverage your network, it’s also important to impress the highest person within your discipline at the company of your interest,” she explains. And then, be direct, stay kind, and remain focused: “Be imaginative and relevant without stalking in your initial note. First impressions are lasting impressions. If you’re given an alternative contact to follow up with, remember to be polite, gracious, and appreciative but stay determined,” she suggests.
If you truly want to pitch a role because you see the opportunity for it, your argument shouldn’t be a copy-and-paste cover letter you send to every company you’ve lusted after. As Weiner explains, the more specific and tailored your pitch is, the more likely you are to persuade them into taking a chance on you and this new position. Say you’re a brand manager, and your desired or current place of work doesn’t have one. It’s your challenge not only to stress they need this skill set, but also why you’re uniquely qualified to create it from the ground up. “It would be ideal to create a plan for that type of position with a focus on the results you can bring to that company based on your recent and previous work experience,” she adds.
Get Comfortable Saying It Out Loud
In the past hour, have you spoken or typed more? You’ve likely spat out a dozen emails and interoffice Gchats all while texting with your partner and commenting on a Facebook post. Weiner says writing the need for a new gig is much easier than having a so-called “elevator pitch” prepared for when the opportunity arrives. But effectively, calmly, and professionally describing your idea out loud can be impactful at your company or another is an essential part of your unique value proposition.
Whether you rehearse in front of a mirror or chat with your mentor, building confidence in your speech will set you up for a stronger and more convincing meeting. “Perfect your elevator pitch by recognizing what you possess and why [your skills] are most needed at the company. It’s important to know the industry, the company’s core values/mission, and the skill sets of yours that align with the company,” she says.