Whether you are new to the workforce or looking to make a career shift, you likely have a list of priorities you are looking for in your dream job. Not only will you want to find a job that you love, one that you’ll be excited to go to every day, but you may also find yourself looking primarily at higher-paying opportunities. The fact is that there is nothing wrong with wanting better for yourself. You are not alone if compensation is one of your biggest concerns when searching for a new job. According to SHRM,  63% of workers surveyed said compensation was “very important” to their overall job satisfaction. 

Fortunately, finding a satisfying and high-paying job is not a pipe-dream, as there are plenty of opportunities in today’s economy to advance your career. The only thing standing between you and your dream career is you. You must be proactive and take steps to set yourself apart from the competition and prepare yourself for your dream role. If you are looking to make a career move and want to find a high-paying, fulfilling job, here is a look at eight steps you can take to achieve this goal.

1. Invest in education

As you start searching for your perfect job, you must consider ways in which you could help make your resume stand out from the crowd. High-paying jobs are always in high demand. With remote opportunities expanding the hiring pool, you may find yourself competing with dozens, or even hundreds, of other candidates for a single opening. A great way to set yourself apart from the competition would be to add to your resume by investing in additional classes, seminars, and workshops. Doing so will help you gain valuable skills that will set you up for success in your career, but additional coursework can also make your resume stand out. You don’t even need to get a degree to help make your resume shine; taking the time to complete a certificate program will help you build in-demand skills that recruiters are looking for. As an added bonus, any certificates and degrees you have in addition to those listed in the job description may increase your starting salary.   

2. Audit your social media accounts    

As you prepare to start applying to jobs, you must take some time to go through your social media accounts and polish your online presence. The fact is that your online persona may be essential in securing your dream job. Seventy percent (70%) of employers admit using social networking sites to research candidates when hiring. Over half of them discovered social media content that led them to decide not to hire a potential applicant. It is then critical that you go through your social media and look at your public posts from a professional perspective. Have you posted any pictures that you would be embarrassed to have your boss see? If so, hide or delete these images. In today’s hiring process, the reality is that your social media accounts will likely provide a potential employer with their first glimpse of who you are, so you should try to keep your social media profiles as professional as possible. It would help if you also considered using social media to build your brand and highlight your personal and professional achievements to prospective employers.    

3. Establish yourself as an expert in your field

To make yourself more attractive to potential employers and to ensure that you start earning what you are worth, you must find ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field. You want it to be immediately apparent to outside observers (such as hiring managers) that you keep up with industry trends and have the skills and knowledge to make an impact if hired. A few key steps that you can take to do this include:

  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and write about them in a blog or e-book
  • Create a professional YouTube channel

Anything you can do to be seen as an expert in your field can help ensure that you are offered a salary commensurate with your skills. It can also gain you exposure to recruiters and head hunters willing to provide you with new opportunities.  

4. Take advantage of cross-training opportunities

In order to make yourself more valuable to potential employers, you should make it a priority to find opportunities to cross-train in your current position. Learning what it takes to work in a different department within your company is a great way to learn new skills and increase your value at your current company. Cross-training will also teach you valuable skills that could set you apart from other applicants when you go to apply for your dream job, and it will show potential employers your flexibility, your willingness to learn, and your adaptability to new situations, which can help increase your earnings potential. 

5. Make sure to network

Even in a digital age where hiring managers have access to thousands of resumes online, networking is still one of the best ways to find a high-paying job in many industries. Making professional connections, and reaching out to them when you are ready to make a career move, is one of the best ways to succeed in a job search. While this can be difficult for many introverted people, it is important that you step outside of your comfort zone, as networking is still one of the best ways to find a new job.  

Take some time to skim through your contacts on your phone, your friends list on social media, and your connections on LinkedIn to see if you know anyone who may have a connection in your industry. Do not be afraid to reach out and let these individuals know that you are on the job hunt. Not only do you have nothing to lose by reaching out (the worst thing that can happen is you find out that their company isn’t hiring), but you may be surprised by how many people are willing to help you find a job, as many companies provide current employees with referral bonuses.  

6. Excel in your current position

If you are currently considering switching companies or careers altogether, you may not be motivated to give your all to your current job. However, as you prepare to transition to a new company, now is the time to push through and stand out in your current position. Try to find new ways to make yourself useful at your current job, such as volunteering to lead a team training or joining a committee at the company. Showing your value and taking the initiative in your current role may inspire your company to give you a raise, offer you a promotion, or transfer you to another department to prevent you from leaving the company. Additionally, hiring managers like to see evidence that applicants are driven and provide value, so anything you can do to shine in your current job will only make it easier to get hired somewhere else down the road.    

7. Develop leadership skills

Of course, if your goal is to move up within your industry and get hired into a high-paying position, you will likely need to demonstrate strong leadership skills, as this is a skill that is always in high demand with employers. Of course, this will be easy if you are already in a management position; if not, you will need to find ways to develop leadership skills and highlight your leadership experience on your resume. For instance, you could offer to mentor an entry-level employee, oversee your department’s internship program, or lead a training seminar. Doing so can highlight your capabilities as a leader even if you are not currently in a supervisory role.  

8. Don’t Limit Your Search

As you begin searching for your dream job, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of openings in your industry. However, while you may think that the easiest way to find the job you want would be to narrow down openings by job title, this could severely limit your search. The fact is that companies classify positions differently, and the high-paying position you wanted may not have the title you thought. When looking for jobs in your industry, you must take the time to read job descriptions and experience requirements. You may find that your dream job is actually hiding under a different title than you thought, and you could miss out on a great opportunity if you let job titles discourage you from applying.  

If you are looking to make a career move in hopes of finding a high-paying position you actually enjoy, you will need to take certain steps to ensure your application stands out from the crowd. At Pathstream, we offer a range of courses and certificates that can help you gain the skills and experience hiring managers in your industry are looking for, which could help you land your dream job. 

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