By Perminus Wainaina
How can you secure your dream job?
Getting a job in today’s market can prove challenging. The job market is flooded with professionals offering competitive skills and qualifications, making getting a job a tough affair –leave alone your dream job.
To get your dream job, you have to offer more value than the other professionals.
That is what Grace found out the hard way.
Grace has been working as a human resources officer for six years. Three months ago, her contract ended, and she was hesitant to renew it.
“I love my job, but if I renew my contract, there are no added benefits –no promotion, no salary increment, and no growth opportunity.” says Grace.
Grace decided not to renew her contract, and to instead look for a job that would offer her an opportunity for growth in her career.
I asked her what growth meant to her.
“I want to get to a managerial position in a year or two. I’m also looking to earn a salary of at least
Ksh. 150,000. The money will help me cater to the needs of my family and advance my career as well.
How can I get a job with growth opportunity and a six-figure salary?” Asks Grace
Here are four tips on what you can do to grow in your career and earn a salary of Ksh. 150000 and above.
1. Expand your skillset
Yes, your papers will help you get a job. However, you also need to realize the job market is radically changing.
More professionals are graduating from varsities and colleges, and they are all joining the job market, chasing the jobs you’re after.
I’ve met professionals with MBAs seeking entry-level positions.
If other professionals have a similar or more advanced education background, how can you ensure you advance in your career to earn the six-figure salary?
One sure way to advance in your career is by adding on to the soft skills you possess.
Take accounting, for example. An accountant needs practical skills to succeed in the field. If you have Quickbooks, tax filing, budgeting, and other practical accounting skills, you can get get a job as an accountant. However, to progress your career, you’ll need to build on soft skills such as effective communication skills.
You can learn soft skills by enrolling in practical short courses. Evaluate your profession and establish the soft skills you need to excel. Then, research on the different places where you can learn these skills.
Soft skills help you relate better with other professionals and managers. This, in turn, will help you advance your career and get your dream job.
2. Establish yourself as an expert in your profession
If you look at any profession, some individuals are regarded as experts. At the office, these are the professionals who most people turn to if they are stuck or would like clarification.
In most cases, these experts are the ones who will get promotions in the organization. Moreover, you’ll notice these professionals get approached by other organizations who offer lucrative packages both in career advancement and in pay.
An expert is valued more by an organization, which then gives them bargaining power. If you’re in such a situation, you can easily negotiate with the organization to increase your salary.
How can you become an expert in your field? Research on the upcoming trends in your field and master these trends. When they become widespread, you’ll be ahead of the curve, with professionals and organizations turning to you. This will give you an upper hand to getting your dream job, or earning a promotion in your current organization.
3. Develop leadership skill
Most well-paying jobs are managerial and supervisory roles. These managerial jobs come with lucrative pay, but they also have responsibilities –where you’re overseeing other professionals.
To earn a promotion to such a position, you need to invest in developing leadership skills. Before an employer promotes you to a supervisory role, they’ll first weigh how well you would perform in the position. One of the factors looked at is your leadership qualities.
If you possess management skills, the employer will comfortably promote you to the supervisory role where you’ll earn more.
How can you develop leadership skills and grow your career? You can get a manager as a mentor to help you develop leadership skills. You can also take up effective leadership training to support your supervisory skills.
4. Network within and outside the organization
Networking greatly helps you grow your career.
At the organization level, create a professional relationship with professionals and managers. When there’s a vacancy within the organization, the manager will first think of the people they know. Creating effective relationships will help you grow your career when there’s an opportunity within the company.
You should also network outside the organization. Seek out professional networking events that you can attend. Form meaningful relationships with both professionals and managers in various sectors. When these networks have job openings that can help grow your career, they’ll inform you.
If there’s an opening at your organization that would help a professional within your networks, inform them about the opportunity.
I once met with a banker who had maintained the same role for ten years. He was usually the first to arrive at work, and the last one to leave. Hard work –alone, will not help you grow your career and get to a comfortable salary. To advance, you’ll need to work smart and position yourself in areas where it’s easy for managers to notice and appreciate your contribution. This positioning will boost your career to the top salary you’re after.
At the end of the day, remember other professionals are after the high salary and career boost you’re eyeing. With the strategies given above, you’ll be in a position to move up the corporate ladder and earn a top salary.
What other strategies have you found useful to get you to your dream job?
Perminus Wainaina is the C.E.O and Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR & Recruitment consultancy firm based in Westlands. Through personalized career coaching he assists mid-level and senior professionals get solutions to complex and challenging career issues that they are facing. Click here for more on career coaching.