• How I Landed My Dream Job

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    Lisa Tran

    I’m still pinching myself… never thought I would be able to write a blog post with that title 🙂

    It has been an incredible past few weeks for me! So many major life changes, with my recent decision to put in my notice/quit my day job (where I’ve been for the past two years) and enroll in an esthetics program to obtain my esthetician license. My original plan was work/intern part-time (to discover jobs/industry of interest to me AND pay the bills) and go to esthetic school part-time at night. That was working fine…. until a recent unexpected turn of events that resulted in me landing MY DREAM JOB! How did I get here? A little bit of luck, a little bit of persistence/careful planning, and a lot of just going for what I want and embracing discomfort/taking risks. Below I will share some steps/tips I took to get where I am, and at the end of the post, I’ll fill you in on what the dream job is!

    • I keep a “Career Journal” – This is a journal I write in to motivate myself to be a bit more proactive in my dream job search. In all of my positions, I’ll make a note of tasks I enjoy, tasks I do not enjoy, etc. In this journal, I also keep a list of companies that I admire/would want to work for. Lastly, when I come across positions that sound exciting to me, I print out the job posting, and write it down in the Career Journal. Over time, you’ll be able to use your Career Journal to find patterns in what excites you/what does not excite you.
    • Using the Career Journal above – I make sure to engage with the list of companies I admire. For example, I’ll sign up for their newsletter, follow them on LinkedIn/Instagram/etc. I engage with these companies on social media (if a post resonates with me). This shows them that you are genuniely interested and engaged with their company.
    • I haven’t done this yet, but it’s something I was thinking of trying out: hiring a Career Mentor via Career Contessa
    • Have a game plan in place for making time to search for your dream job. I would schedule 1-2 hour chunks of time throughout the month (usually in the morning) to devote to tasks such as: updating resume/cover letter/LinkedIn profile, perusing job boards and finding jobs that interested me, applying to these jobs, creating tailored resumes/cover letters, and sending out emails/LinkedIn messages to list of companies above asking for an informational meeting, internship opportunity, etc.
    • Keep to the game plan above. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT. Make it part of your regular routine, and reward yourself every month (or so – whatever works for you!) to keep yourself motivated (for me, I rewarded myself to facials, coffee dates, etc.). This is where the hard work really comes into play.
    • Take a snapshot of where you are in your career, and figure out realistically where you can go from there. Also, every job/position has an opportunity for you to develop your strengths so I would focus on this! For me, I realized that my job history was not very stable, so I wanted to commit to my current job for at least 2 years. That was important to me. Figure out what you need to do to present yourself in the best way possible to potential employers.
    • Plan strategically but also know when to take a risk and just go for it.  In my example, while at my current job, I had started saving for about 7-8 months. After I had *enough* in savings, I decided to take a leap of faith and quit my job without anything lined up. My plan was to discover my interests/passions through part-time work, internships, contract work, etc. Obviously, this tip only works for someone who is comfortable with a bit of uncertainty. But hands down, it was probably the most beneficial tip that led me to my dream job.
    • If all else fails, start a side “passion project” and see where it takes you. This goes hand in hand with the above. I believe that my passion project (this blog) led me to landing my dream job 🙂
    • If you make it to the meeting/interview, go above and beyond to show your potential employer why you would be a great fit for the position/company. (Tip: think about what you could do/produce to show them what you could do for them if you got the job. It takes a bit of time and some creativity on  your part, but 100% worth it!)
    • All of the above steps (in some form or another) is how I landed my dream job. I found a company that I admired, and reached out to them to introduce myself, express my interest in the company and my desire to get my foot in the door through internships, part-time work, temporary work, etc. From there, they invited me to come in for a meeting. The meeting turned into an interview, and after the interview I sent a thank you email AND created a little something (in this case, it was a brief/project recap “proposal”) that showed my creativity and gave a little snapshot of the work I could do in that role. The meeting/interview was more like an engaging conversation and I remember feeling very excited throughout the conversation. It’s definitely a good sign when you get that conversational vibe, I think. Along with sending the email, I also mailed out personalized thank you cards. That very evening, I received an email from the company telling me that they wanted to offer me the job. It was completely unexpected and one of the best news I’ve received thus far. Of course, I accepted! 😉

    So there you have it: the steps I believe that were taken for me to land my dream job! It was definitely hard work, a lot of persistence, risk taking, and a little bit of luck! I hope this post has inspired and motivated you in some way!

    And finally… the dream job is an Account Coordinator position at a full-service marketing/branding/communications agency. I start TODAY, so a timely post 😉

    After landing this gig, I treated myself to the floral dress and black Kate Spade handbag in these photos 😉 The floral dress is PERFECT for work, going out, dates, etc etc. The handbag is definitely a splurge item for me but something I know I’ll wear for years to come. The material is so soft, and the right size for work AND weekend lounging. I had been looking for the perfect investment bag for such a LONG time, and I finally found it! The dress and bag pair BEAUTIFULLY with a classic pair of pumps and a dainty necklace (which I’ve worn A LOT in the last few weeks). Instead of a blazer, I chose a suede moto jacket to keep me warm in the morning. Lastly, the planner is essential for planning all of the above steps, I use it on a daily basis! I love this outfit and it is so quintessentially me! 🙂

    Thanks for getting this far!  A long post, but definitely worth it if you put in the work and you want to make a change! It’s now or never – GO! I know you can do it! I hope you all have an amazing week and thanks for stopping by today!

    Editor’s Note: This is super exciting as it never happens, but all of the EXACT items in this post are in the widget below! Definitely a RARE thing for this little blog, ha! #itsthelittlethings 😀

    Thank you to Sarah for taking these lovely photos. She does an amazing job of bringing my vision to life! Always a pleasure working with Sarah 🙂