How to Get Your Dream Job: Advice From People Who Did It

Finding your dream job is no easy task; and like the saying goes, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it. Finding a job and building a career takes time, loads of effort, and lots of patience; it means fighting for what you want even when there are setbacks. The challenges will not only be lessons learned along the way, but you will be better for it.

Cool Gear set out to find how people found their dream jobs – how they fed their passion and built a career from it. These people have faced failures amidst success, and downs within the highs, but above all they persevered, and want to let you in on their secret to doing it. Some may sound simple, others more complex, and some words overlap with each other and the same core themes weave throughout; let their words sink in, and find meaning in it for yourself throughout your own journey.

Find Your Passion.

“First, find your passion.  What is something that you’d want to do every day without getting paid?  From there, let your passion drive your job choice and make sure that your personal and business lives are able to collaborate together to find happiness.” ~ Lacey Calvert, Area Manager of CorePower Yoga Orange County

Fall In Love With What You Want To Do.

“Allow yourself to really fall in love and become obsessed with what you WANT to do.

That doesn’t mean you have to be doing what you love for a living.   You could be waiting tables, washing cars or digging ditches for 8 hours a day.  But if you fill the other 16 hours with a deep love affair with what you WANT to do….somebody will eventually pay you to do it.  I really believe that.

And it’s almost better if you DON’T get to do it right away cause the love you have for that thing is really pure.  Like you’d do it for free, cause you already HAVE done it for free.  Most people I know who love what they do, did it for free at some point. And if you’re not willing to do if for free, you don’t love it.  So, find something else.” ~ Mike B., Senior Creative Director, Bullpen Integrated Marketing

Push Yourself Further Than You Thought Possible.

“Determine what truly makes you happy and gives you a sense of purpose and chase the idea of doing whatever that is on a full time basis.  To get there, agree to doing things you know are beyond your ability but learn quickly to make them happen anyway.  Constantly push yourself to cut out tedious daily tasks to focus on your goals. Above all, work as hard as you possibly can but always make time to have a life outside of work to recharge.” ~ Alex G. Founder & CEO x2, Remark Visions, and KoaWare

Make Your Own Choices.

“My main quote that drives me: “She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”

We are so much stronger than we may think. The ability to tap into our potential to find our power in powerless moments, or to find peace even when the world is a trash monster creating a tornado in our head. Our journey is our choice. The good, the bad, the ugly, but the authenticity of your choice is powerful beyond comprehension.

The road to success is dirty, dusty and corrupt no matter what path you take. Be true to you and only YOU.” ~Kim Verry, Yoga Teacher, Exhale Spa & Asana Charlestown

Seek Opportunities.

“Great opportunities will rarely come you, you need to go out and get them. Make a list of what you are looking for in a position and your non-negotiables, then go after it. Make sure you are strategic with your networking and thorough with your follow through. Mix in some patience…and boom! You are on the right path to finding your ideal position.” ~ Allie S., Senior Account Executive, Gamut Smart Media from Cox

Think Long-Term.

“Remember to keep an open mind and think long term. You’re probably not going to find or aren’t qualified for your dream job from the get-go, so start by choosing an industry you’re passionate about and finding your way in at whatever level you can. If you work hard and demonstrate your commitment you’ll develop the experience and expertise necessary to move up and get to a position you really care about. Before starting Forsake (an outdoor sneakerboot brand) for example, I worked retail at ski and outdoor stores to get a feel for the industry and network.” ~ Sam B., Co-Founder & President, Forsake Inc.

Dream Job Interview


Don’t Settle.

“The best career advice I’ve ever received is “you cannot make a career mistake before you are 30.”  This has been super helpful for me because it has made sure that I don’t settle for just an “okay”  job; but instead keep striving for a job that I love (even if it seems risky leaving a job that many would consider very attractive / stable).

Simply put, “don’t settle.” Way too many people work just to work, but when work makes up close to 50% of your life it makes no sense that you wouldn’t try to find something that you actually enjoy.  Easier said than done, but as cliche as it sounds, life is too short and work takes up too much of your time to not be happy. You have to seek out the job you want or the company you want to work for and just go for it!”  ~ Chris P., Principal, Highland Capital Partners

Be Sincere.

“Thank your influencers with a personalized note. As a knowledge-hungry new graduate nurse in a tough job market, this meant thanking professors who took me on as a student, and managers who took a risk in hiring me. But more importantly and as I gain more experience, it means thanking the day to day influencers in my practice–sending a card to the nurse who stayed late to show me how to start an IV or scribbling a sticky note on a nursing assistant’s locker saying, “great teamwork today, (name), couldn’t have done it all without you.” Sincere appreciation is a great form of networking in any industry–and these people will definitely remember you when you’re looking for advice or next opportunity.” ~Brooke W., Registered Nurse, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 

Do Your Research.

“#1 rule: Do not go on an interview without being able to answer concisely “What does ____name of company ______ do.” Do your research on the company. As a CEO of UNItiques – applicants come in without having joined our website or knowing what we are! They ask us to “tell them more about UNItiques” we’d like to know what THEY know about it and hear it in their own words.” ~ Alex S., Founder & CEO, UNItiques

Follow Up.

“Following up with an opportunity or a potential connection is just a continuation, reminder or beginning of a conversation…Don’t assume people will remember you, but do assume they’ll appreciate you reminding them because you’re an awesome person to know.”

Great follow up example: Dear __, It was so great to meet you at the __ yesterday! I really enjoyed talking to you about _. I’m interested in working on __ kinds of projects with __ kinds of people/companies. I’d love to set up a time to talk further and learn more about you. (Or keep each other in mind for future opportunities.) Here’s where you can find me(insert website/portfolio/linkedin). Great connecting with you!  Sincerely, __.  ~ Sonya H., Founder & Chief Creative, Real World Creatives

And Last But Not Least…

“Do not let them tell you NO!” ~ Jarick W., EKIN, Nike, Inc.

Dream Job Skills


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