The fundamental steps for landing a dream job in the creative industry

Ronald Mendez
Feb 26, 2017 · 4 min read

After writing a retrospective post where I retraced the steps of my personal journey towards the job of my dreams, I created a simple list that anyone can check right before approaching a life-changing career move:

1. Find the right fit

Not every great company is a perfect fit for everyone. Most of the times it’s simply a combination of the type of work you want to do, the company culture and even in which step of your career you find yourself in.

One of the first things to look for in a company is quality work. If you find yourself constantly in awe of the projects published by studio, you might want to find out more about the place where the magic sparks.

Look in places where you often find inspiration. If you’re a designer, you might find amazing studios featured in places like Dribbble of Behance. If you’re looking for a job creating digital experiences, the agency directories of Awwwards and The FWA usually showcase the latest and greatest.

Some companies produce amazing work, but you might notice that a regular day on the job there is the complete opposite of your desired routine.

Look for a place where you could see yourself fitting in. Are they strictly morning people? Does the team celebrate victories with a cold beer? Are they more tech-oriented or creative? Try to find an answer to questions like these before moving forward. Be sure to snoop around the company’s Facebook page, Instagram and blog posts.

One last thing to confirm if you’re a match is seeing if the company is actually looking for somebody like you. You might be a seasoned pro, but if they’re trying to find an intern to join the squad, it might not be the right moment to apply. If you take your search seriously, it’s just a matter of time before reading a job description that basically sounds like your profile.

2. Do your homework

Even the best professional boxers have to go through long preparation before a big fight. The key is to have both short-term and long-term prepping.

Preparing short-term is the easiest. You might have found a heaven-made match and all you need is to get ready to make contact. That’s when you need to learn everything you can about the company.

Find out who the key players are, what they look for in their team and make an effort to learn about their projects. If you love some of their work, it might come in handy to mention it down the road. People who love their work feel flattered upon genuine respect and recognition.

The trickiest part is the long-term preparation. This is the type of homework that you can’t pull off in a couple of weeks. Sometimes you can find a right match without being quite ready for the challenge. The best you can do is invest the necessary time to be the right person for the job.

Let’s say they need a person with proven experience using a specific programming language and you simply have built your projects with something different. It might be better to take some time to learn a bit and have a couple of projects under your belt before making a move.

3. Be ready to take action

You’re probably be going solo to the prom if you don’t find the courage to ask the question. A lot of people miss out on great opportunities every day, just because they think they’re not ready. Sometimes they are, but simply might not know it.

For most of the jobs I’ve had in my career, I wasn’t sure that I had what it took. Only to realize that it’s not as hard as it seems after a couple of weeks on the job. So if you’re having second thoughts on whether you’re worthy or not, take the plunge and find out. The worst thing that can happen is rejection, which is something you can definitely learn from.

In case you find yourself rejected, there’s no need to cry (or maybe just a little). It’s important to learn from every experience, so if the answer is a cold “no” don’t be afraid to ask why. A few words of feedback might be just what you need to land your dream job on the next try.

So try to find your match, get ready and make your move. It worked for me.

Ronald Mendez

Written by

Frontend Lead at MediaMonks & judge at The FWA

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