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The “dream job” isn’t always easy to come by and even harder to maintain in today’s hyper-competitive workforce. I know it – and chances are, so do you. Here’s some helpful advice that’s proven useful for me.

1. Be proactive

Don’t just pass the time; do the things that will get results. Brush up on your professional skills, network every chance you get, write some blogposts featuring advice on how to find your dream job, or even a book of your own (never done something like that, but they say it’s never too late). Putting your name out there will create a natural vibe that will enhance your chances of finding something that might even exceed expectations.

2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Going to sleep early, setting reasonable goals for the coming day, getting up instead of loitering in bed, and seeing your plans through to the end will provide you a feeling of personal satisfaction and significantly increase productivity. The job you’re after will follow.

3. Put your best foot forward

You finally got that interview with your dream company. Make it count! Perspective employers don’t want to hear about your problems or listen to you beat around the bush – they want to make sure they’re getting the right person for the job. Period. If you make yourself look and sound like 100 bucks, chances are you’ll get the job.

4. Don’t blame others

This is one of the cardinal rules of life. Taking responsibility at the office, home, and with your kids will lead to a healthier lifestyle. Blaming others is the easy thing to do and can help you feel better in the short term, but being grateful for your successes and owning up for shortcomings will pay dividends in the long haul.

When it comes to getting your dream job, it’s important to learn from past mistakes – be it failing to adequately research the potential employer, arriving late for the interview, being unprepared to answer frequently asked questions, or losing your confidence when faced with an unexpected turn, figure out methods for helping you succeed, and put them to use next time around.

5. Do the things you love 

Take that vacation you’ve been waiting to go on but never had the time for, read the book you’ve been meaning to read, meet friends, play some pickup ball, visit your elderly parents, etc, etc. In the eternal words of the Nike promo, just do it!

6. Never give up! 

No matter what, don’t lose hope that you’ll get through the hard times and come out stronger and better prepared to take on new challenges when the dust has cleared. Hardships are what molds our personalities and prepares us for bigger things on our life journey.