7 Strategies to Land Your Dream Job


Many people have a story that follows this pattern. Start small, work hard, wait a longtime, and then finally, make it. But, this post isn't about those stories. This post is about how to take action and effectively land your dream job. So, here are 7 strategies that you can use right now to advance your career:

1) Read the room

One of the best ways to advance your career is understanding how to read a room. It’s having the social and emotional intelligence to accurately identify the landscape and respond with a fitting emotional response. Another way to look at this is, know your audience.

Using charisma, attention to detail, and effective communication skills, you can read rooms effectively. However, it’s not really about how you act or what you do, it’s about how you listen and respond to the wants, desires, and passions of your employer and/or team. This ultimately will bring value to you, your community, and your career.

2) Know what the problems are

Misunderstanding, miscommunication, and lack of expectations are a few of the things that derail careers and relationships. That’s why it’s important to know what the problems are, understand your audience, and deliver on your promises.

When you look at the highest performing professionals in the workplace, you’ll see knowledge and understanding; in many ways it’ll seem like these individuals are able to read the minds of their audiences. When you’re able - and willing - to understand the problems, you’ll be more prepared to provide appropriate solutions. This can relate to your working relationships as well as the advancement of organizations as a whole.

3) Be memorable

When you are memorable, you’re more than just you. Think about it this way: what do you remember about your grandparents? I’m guessing, it’s more than just their names. Likely, you remember their home, smell, sayings, and passions. This is because humans remember memorable things, not just people. So, think about how you can be memorable in a positive light.

Here are a few examples of how you can be memorable in your career:

  • You use a specific saying all the time
  • You treat people well consistently
  • You make jokes or you don’t make jokes
  • You understand yourself well – your strengths and weaknesses

4) Make your message about them, not simply you.

Everyone likes it when you make a message about them, and not simply about yourself. When you’re able to make your message about those around you and not just yourself, you create trust, and even more importantly, interest.

In a professional setting (i.e. an interview, training, or a review), it’s important to remember that you can actually get your agenda across by speaking directly about - and directly to – the challenges of those around you and how you can help them hurdle those obstacles.

5) Surround yourself with even better people

Create a tribe of contacts who are your biggest believers, who will advocate for you and rally around your messages, beliefs, and goals. But, more importantly, surround yourself with people who will make you look better, and ultimately, be better. When you do this, you create clout as a leader, and will be better prepared to actually be one.

6) Engage your network regularly and thoughtfully

When it comes to advancing your career, it’s important to be consistent, keep people “in the know,” and to be thoughtful and strategic in your approach. When you’re able to do these things, you will actually begin to develop a trusted brand outside of your personal network or in the case of your job, outside of your professional role.

7) Be yourself

Building a personal brand creates a unified experience of you that those outside of your circle can relate to, and it also helps you understand more about yourself. Remember, we’re all different and unique. When you’re true to yourself, you’ll begin to land the jobs you want, in the cultures you’re looking for much more easily.

The above strategies are simple areas that you can control, and use, to advance your career. To learn more about how to take control of your career, click here.

Your Connection-Building Superpower - Storytelling


With a severe case of dyslexia, traditional school was always a struggle for young Richard Branson. At the age of 16, he made the decision to drop out. However, rather than wallow in his difficulties and assume the posture of defeat, he dove headlong into entrepreneurship, launching his first of many business entities.

The Virgin story is one of trial and error, but despite moments of failure, Richard has managed to keep it in an ever-ascending line of success. How is this possible? Because he believes in the power of storytelling to inspire, motivate, educate, engage, persuade, and sell.

“I have always loved stories…. Ever since I started in business with Student Magazine, I have been fascinated by the intersection between storytelling and entrepreneurship,” he writes. “Entrepreneurs who make a difference are, in effect, professional storytellers…. Storytelling is a great way to get your views across, highlight how you and your company are different to your competitors, and also to work out new ideas." - Richard Branson

Our ancestors’ discovery of fire did more for humanity than to simply provide light, heat, and a way of cooking our food. It brought us together as a community and carved a nitch into our schedules for storytelling. Richard often ends his days on his home estate with this same ritual with family, friends, and Virgin team members meeting around a fire on the beach to exchange stories.

Effective storytelling can take you far in this age of "infobesity" – a term coined by Intrigue Expert, Sam Horn. With the magic of technology, empty facts are literally at our fingertips. People crave a personal connection – a story that makes them feel.

Telling connective stories takes skill and practice. Below are some formulas and examples that you may find helpful.

Three Easy & Effective Storytelling Methods

#1 Problem/Solution

This method is probably the easiest, especially when trying to sell your product or service. It presents someone who had a problem that you were able to solve through the providence of your product or service.

You could simply state that Mrs. Smith had a coffee stain on her rug that no other company was able to remove, but you came in and cleaned it in the snap of a finger. But that feels more like a bragging statement than a story. You want your potential client/investor to somehow relate to Mrs. Smith.

Consider starting with a personal question that leads to your story.

“Have you ever spilled coffee or tea on your carpet by accident? Yes? So you know how hard it is to remove the residual stain. I had a client once who faced this same frustration. She accidentally spilled her coffee in the middle of her white carpet just days before she was expecting holiday company. She hired two different companies to come out and remove it, but the spot came back after a couple hours each time. She called our company as a last resort. We were able to remove it completely and have her carpet dry before her company arrived, and the spot never came back.”

This problem/solution method also works well at networking events when people ask “What do you do?” Start with your connection question. “Have you ever had a spot on your carpet that you were unable to remove or a pet who had soiled your rug leaving behind an odor?” Wait for an answer. “I own and operate Referral Cleaning & Restoration, where our specialty is helping clients with problem spots and odors.”

#2 Before/After/Bridge

This method is similar to the problem/solution, but it’s more hypothetical. It presents a current state, the desired state of “what if things could be different”, and the bridge of action it would take to get there.

Compassion International uses this story method in their 2010 solicitation video.They presented the effects of poverty on the body and the mind. Then they gave hope to the “what if” vision of being rescued from poverty. Finally, they bridge the two together with you as the hero. I highly suggest you take two minutes to watch it. It is the perfect example of using the Before/After/Bridge method with a persuasive personal connection. 

#3 Why?/How?/What?

Simon Sinek, who presents his Golden Circle model in a TED talk, explains it this way: “Every single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it…. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do…. The way we think, we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations - regardless of their size, regardless of their industry - all think, act and communicate from the inside out.”

In his talk, he explains the biological reasons for starting with the emotional why and moving outward to the tangible rationalization of the why. “What it proves to us is that people don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it.”

Jessica Alba, the founder of the Honest Company, does this well. She clearly presents her why on her website, connecting with all those who value the same principles she does. “I founded The Honest Company because I wanted safe, effective products that perform. After all, you shouldn't have to choose between what works and what's good for you.” She doesn’t even need to tell you anything else. If you’re a parent who values quality and health, you will want to browse her online store and purchase her products.

It is this why?/how?/what? method that I used in my “about” page. I tell my personal story of failing health due to stress at work and how it inspired me to help others find joy in the workplace. This is my why. It’s what gets me out of bed each day. It’s what drives me to action. This is where I connect with you on a personal level. It’s where you say, “Being happy in my career without the debilitating stress is important to me too.” I then move on to tell you how I help others and what I can offer you.

Really, the gist of this method is to simply say, “This is important to me. If it’s important to you too, I have a product or service that you will want.”

The three story formulas above should provide you with a few easy to remember strategies that will serve you well in networking, marketing, interviewing, presentations, and just about any human interaction in business.

But, as Richard Branson concludes: “And one more: ‘Storytelling is as old as the campfire, and as young as a tweet. What moves people is someone who is credible.’ People can see straight through storytelling that is false, staged or cynical. It has to come from the heart, not just the head.” 

Above all, be genuine and be caring. Keep your why always in the forefront of your mind so your stories are personal and inspiring for maximum connectivity.