Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert cartoons, says that the best career advice he ever received was the following description of a successful person:
"...Every time he got a new job, he immediately started looking for a better one. For him, job seeking was not something one did when necessary. It was a continuing process."
Every job comes about with its own timetable: the factory that's planning expansion once it gets the funding; the shopping centre that will open once it's been built; the office that will be constructed once planning permission is approved. Every recruitment opportunity waits on something happening before it can begin.
The trick is not to wait for things to happen... but to start planning ahead now so that you're one step ahead of the competition. Here are some practical steps you can take to help land your dream job when it arises:
Update your CV and covering letters
You should update these regularly, as and when you complete training, qualifications, or even take on extra responsibilities like deputising for the manager.
Remember that recruitment agencies are often tasked by large recruiters to search through CVs online. If yours hasn't been updated recently, you could be missing out on being considered for your dream job.
Prepare for an interview even if you don't have one lined up
Keep a record of all the times you've produced something exceptional. Note down the time you resolved the impossible complaint, or managed the shop floor on your own. If you've done something impressive, then capture it in a notebook so when you come to prepare for your next job interview, you have everything you need at your fingertips and can recall all the details easily.
Put your mind to the test
Don't let yourself get rusty. There are plenty of internet sites where you can practise aptitude tests, and resources you can borrow from your local library. These tests are becoming more common in the application process and the main reasons for failure are a lack of familiarity and a lack of practice. So keep your brain sharp and ready for these tests.
The most important tip is to develop the habit of job searching, updating your information and keeping your skills sharp. So why wait? Once you've followed this advice for 30 days, it will become second nature to you and you will automatically increase your chances of success.
Remember, your dream job might be just around the corner so start planning for it now.