Best Secret to Finding Your Dream Job

no-limits Do you want to find any job or your dream job?  The focus of this post and podcast is for all those who want the latter – a dream job!  Finding any job requires many of the same things – a great resume, good interview and networking skills, and a relentless effort to keep applying.  However, there is one difference in finding a dream job – a secret shared by Jane Lin, our newest Executive Author to the Soft Skills Gym.

I have known Jane for over 10 years.  We became really good friends over the years and I am thankful she agreed to contribute to our community.  Working at Deloitte in the San Francisco office, was Jane’s dream job coming out of college.  In this one-on-one candid conversation with Jane, she shares how she was able to get her dream job.  We almost didn’t meet at Deloitte if Jane didn’t use this secret to get the job.

Find out what it is in this short 7 minute interview with Jane.  Audio Transcription of this podcast is below as well.   Best wishes to finding your dream job.

This is the first part of a three-part conversation with Jane.   Stay tuned in the future weeks for two more podcasts

  • Part 2 – Negotiating Job Offer – What 70% of People Fail to Do
  • Part 3 – Why You Should Always Ignore Your Job Description


Your comments:  What are you doing to find your dream job?  How easy is it to follow Jane’s advice?  Share your questions or comments here

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Audio Transcription:

Lei: Thanks so much for your time today. I am fascinated by what you said the other day when we had, I think, dinner and you said something to me about a lot of times we don’t go after things because we think it’s out of our range or out of our hands and you said “Oh yeah I’ve experienced that a lot in your career”. So I really want to talk to you about kind of what are some of the examples of that because I feel like a lot of people out there, including myself, when I look at things whether it’s jobs, roles, salaries etc. We have a self-assessment about whether we are at that level or we deserve that pay. And so when you said that I was like “Oh I want to find out more”. So can you talk to me a little bit about what you mean? What exactly have you learned in your career because I think a lot of people could learn from that.

Jane: Absolutely, sure. So, yeah I really feel like a theme throughout my career that has jumped out at me and that I tried to remind myself of over and over again is the fact that I always try to shoot for what I think is out of my league or out of my reach because time and time again I’ve proven to myself that I shouldn’t block myself into something that I think that I should belong in, or group myself within a certain range because then you really limit yourself because you don’t know what you’re really capable of. So, it’s been, throughout my career, there’s been examples of this that kind of just became this theme or resulted in me feeling this way. I would say the first time that this happened is when I was in school. So I went to the University of Texas, I was a Longhorn, and–

Lei: Yeah, great school.

Jane: Thanks. Yeah it’s a great school and I really had a great time there. But as I was nearing the end of my schooling there I really wanted to get out and I knew I wanted to move to San Francisco when I graduated. I was looking for a consulting job.  So I was looking at mostly the large consulting firms. Deloitte was one of the ones that had a presence in San Francisco, but I just thought Deloitte would maybe be out of my reach.

Lei: And It’s fascinating you say that because obviously we worked together at Deloitte.

Jane: Yeah.

Lei: But, when you said that to me I was like “Wow, I never even thought that’s the case” I guess I don’t know our criteria’s for some hiring analysts, but it’s interesting that I almost didn’t get a chance to work with you. And you’re fantastic, so I’m kind of like fascinated by even the fact that you had to make a tough decision and go after something.

Jane: Well, the reason being, because I had heard that Deloitte, at the time, was going to hire seven analysts that year and this was seven analysts period.

Lei: In San Francisco.

Jane: In San Francisco, right. So, and of course in San Francisco Bay Area there’s Stanford, there’s Berkeley, there’s great schools in the area that they would have plenty of candidates to choose from. And here I am, from Texas, trying to get into Deloitte in San Francisco.

Lei: Right and we have Texas offices too.

Jane: Yeah we do.

Lei: First off, I can see the logic of maybe they will push you to Texas office or something.

Jane: Right, right. And so I thought it was a long shot, especially because there was, the people recruiting at my school were from the Texas offices. They weren’t even from San Francisco. So, not only did I go through this interview process thinking that this was going to be a tough series of interviews, but I also went through this process saying I want to work for your San Francisco office, yeah.

Lei: Ah, okay. So you interviewed through Texas. But you told them you wanted to work for San Francisco. I can see the logic now you could have just not said it thinking that there’s no chance at all, but you decided to do it. So  well I know how it went. But, what exactly made you do that? You just said well–

Jane: Because, yeah so I thought what’s the worst that could happen? I don’t get it. I was interviewing with several other companies in the bay area, so it’s not like I was putting all my eggs in one basket. But, of course, that was the top company, or one of the top couple of companies that I wanted to work for. So I just thought the worst that’s going to happen is they’ll say no.

Lei: Exactly.

Jane: Or maybe they’ll give me an offer in Texas and I’ll have a tough decision, but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes. I just didn’t think too much about it, yeah.

Lei: That’s awesome because I think a lot of times when we say no to ourselves, not even verbally, we actually just say no and go wow that’s impossible so I’m not going to go there. A lot of people don’t go that extra time because they don’t want to feel “rejected”.

Jane: Yeah.

Lei: And I think that you have a different perspective on that, it’s not about rejection. It’s like if I don’t ask it’s 100% no way.

Jane: Exactly.

Lei: But if I ask there’s a chance.

Jane: Yeah and I was scared, I mean, I was nervous that maybe they would just say “are you kidding me? You’re not happy enough that you’re interviewing for our Texas offices, we’re just going to say no right now.”

Lei: Right, like they might get insulted or something.

Jane: Yeah, who knows. I took my chances and that was my first lesson, I thought okay so that worked out.

Lei: Yeah, and so you were one of the seven.

Jane: Yeah and I started out with some really great colleagues that were from these ivy league schools, and I was amongst them and so it was a lesson.

Lei: Yeah it’s a good way to start the career and actually see that we can do more than what typically we’re told.

Jane: Yeah or by ourselves.

Lei: So that’s a great example. So when looking for jobs,  go beyond what you might think you could get, but just go for it because sometimes you have the passion, you want to learn, you want to move to the city, that’s sort of like the advice in that example, right?

Jane: Yeah, and you’ll always end up getting farther than you thought possible.

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