While the terms “job” and “career” are often used interchangeably, there is a huge difference between the two. A job is a short-term way to make money to pay the bills while a career is a lifelong journey into meaningful work you enjoy. Hard work pays off, and, in order to delve into the type of work in which you feel you can make a difference in the world, there are some things you will have to do to convince potential employers you stand out from the competition.

Changing Technology

Technology is innovating at an exponential rate, and it can become overwhelming for most to keep up with. However confusing new technology may be, it has provided innumerable ways for business owners to cut costs and improve overall efficiency. The trouble is, when things go wrong, there must be someone on staff with the ability to make the necessary repairs and adjustments.

Reports from the US Department of Labor indicate that, between 2010 and 2020, there is expected to be nearly a 20 percent increase in the demand for skilled computer technicians, and there are numerous areas of expertise including:

  • IT specialists
  • Systems engineers
  • Software developers
  • Software engineers

Best of all, the average salary for an IT manager is $123,950. However, you are unlikely to get the job you want just by showing a potential employer you have worked on your own computer or have helped friends repair damaged laptops. Specialized training is necessary to truly make an impression, and Microsoft offers a variety of courses where you can obtain the training necessary to impress a potential employer.

Show True Interest

Being invited to participate in an interview is exciting, but it’s far from a guarantee that you will be asked to take on the responsibilities of the position you so badly want to fill. Prior to your interview, do some research on the company. Employers want to work with real team-players who have a common goal of increasing the productivity and success of the business. At the end of the interview, you will likely be asked if you have any questions. Be readily prepared with thoughtful questions compiled during your research to show you are ready to make a positive difference.

Let Your Personality Shine

It’s easy to become intimidated once you make your way into the interview room, and, for entrance into a career path, you may be surprised to even be faced with a panel of interviewers. While it’s easy to let your nerves get the best of you, letting your true personality shine is a great way to get on a more personal level and impress them.

Don’t bottle up appropriate humor. After all, you will be working with these individuals, and they will likely appreciate an upbeat attitude that will set you apart from more anxiety-ridden interviewees they have likely encountered. Furthermore, follow up on the interview with a handwritten letter thanking the interviewer(s) for the opportunity to show them the amazing skills you can offer the company.

Be Patient for the Right Opportunity

Keep in mind that a career is something you plan to do for the long-term, and good things come to those who wait. Years of college or other forms of training can be wasted if you are too ready to jump into an opportunity which you are not fully enthusiastic about. Find something to pay the bills for the short-term, but make it your mission to land the career opportunity you truly want. When you have genuine enthusiasm, you can more naturally impress the potential employer and increase your chances of getting hired into a lifelong career.

One Life to Live

You only have one life to live, and spending it in a dead-end job you loathe can become depressing. We each have our own unique abilities and talents to offer the world. If you are ready to pursue your true goals, the first step is to begin with yourself. By following these tips, you can be on your way to beginning a meaningful career that will bring you many years of enjoyment and success.