What does your dream job look like? Is it the ability to help people? Design innovative tech products? Indulge your creativity?

Dream jobs come in all shapes and sizes, and landing them can be difficult. If you've been struggling to snag your ideal role, here's how to break that cycle.

1. Design a role and present it to your boss

Maybe the position you really want doesn't exist at your company but you're otherwise reasonably happy there. If that's the case, why not ask your manager to create that ideal role?

Smiling woman at a desk.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Of course, you can't just march into your boss's office and ask for something like that without a plan. Rather, you'll need to set up a meeting where you can present your vision for that role. During that discussion, you should be prepared to:

  • Outline your primary responsibilities
  • Review the role's objectives and goals
  • Make a business case for the role (in other words, explain why your company needs it and could benefit from it)
  • Prove that you're qualified for that role

If your boss is hesitant to move forward with your suggestion, ask for the opportunity to prove yourself in the form of a trial run. This way, if the role doesn't end up benefiting the business as much as expected, or you don't wind up excelling at it, you can revert to your former position in a worst-case scenario.

Keep in mind that if your manager is unwilling to consider the role you're presenting, there's also the option to pitch it to a brand-new employer. Doing so won't be easy, especially if you're coming in cold. But if you manage to land an interview at a new firm and want to tweak the role you've applied for, you can always bring that up during those early discussions. If you present a well-thought-out case for it, you just might end up getting your way.

2. Become your own boss

If you can't convince an existing employer to give you your dream job, then why not venture out on your own? This way, you'll get to call the shots and spend your days doing the sort of work you really enjoy.

Now, if you're going to go this route, you'll need to take some steps to prepare. First, have a healthy emergency fund, because if it takes a while to drum up business, you'll need money to tide yourself over during that period. Furthermore, be aware of the pitfalls of being self-employed, and plan around them. For example, when you work for yourself, you lose the security of a steady paycheck, so you might need to shift or eliminate some living expenses to allow for that. Still, it's a worthwhile sacrifice to make for the ability to do the one thing you've always wanted to do.

We spend so much of our lives working that we deserve to be happy with what we do. If you know what your dream job is but it continues to elude you, don't just sit back and resign yourself to being less than content. Instead, take steps to make your dream job a reality, even if that means taking some risks in the process.

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