6 Secrets To Landing Your Dream Job So You Don't Have To Settle For Your 9-To-5

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As Americans, we spend about 30 percent of our waking hours working.

It makes sense you would want to be doing something personally meaningful with that amount of time. But, according to some polls, over 70 percent of people are actively disengaged at work because they don't really like their jobs.

What many fail to realize is you can have a job that you love, regardless of whether you just graduated college or already have some experience under your belt.

Landing your dream job takes a little courage and persistence, but you can do it if you're willing to put in the work. Here are six tips to help you land the job of your dreams.

1. Understand what your passions are.

The first step to finding your dream job is to know what it actually is.

What do you picture yourself doing that will make you super happy? What are your main interests?

Don't just think about this from a work standpoint, either. Your hobbies and general likes are important, too. Do you like talking to people? Do you love technology?

If you're coming up blank, take the Myers-Briggs personality test to help you better understand your personality and the type of work it's best suited for.

2. Understand what makes you different.

What is unique about you? There are dozens of things you could choose from, but take a deep look at your history, your skills, your personality and your lifestyle to figure out how it all adds up to make you uniquely you.

What can you do that most other people can't? Figuring out the ways that you stand out from the crowd is a great start to land your dream job because you'll be going into the hunt with a leg up on your competitors.

3. Upgrade your resume.

Your resume is often the first impression you make on your potential employer, and you have about 10 seconds to convey why you are the very best person for the job. You need a solid, branded resume that can help you stand out from the crowd and show off your professional experience.

Be strategic when you're writing your resume. Bring relevant work experience to the top and make the primary focus the skills you have that you can bring to the specific job you're applying for.

4. Reach out to your network.

The art of networking is invaluable when it comes to landing your dream job.

It's possible to get jobs without even applying if you know the right people. Put yourself out there and meet new people. Take an interest in them and share your goals and dreams so that they take an interest in you.

Use social media to your advantage. You might have an old friend or acquaintance on Linkedin or Facebook who works in your industry and can help introduce you to the right people.

Don't underestimate the power of growing your network.

5. Focus on the experience more than the money.

It can be easy to let the money attract you to certain jobs.

However, you want to take a step back and think for a second. What is more important, your well-being or the money you're making?

Sure, you could apply for a job making two or even three times what you've made in the past, but will you be happy? Don't sell your soul for more money. Focus on finding a job that will turn into a career that you can consistently rise the ranks in.

6. Don't give up.

It's going to take some persistence to land your dream job. But it's worth it. Don't quit after a few failed attempts.

Anything worth doing is going to take strength and perseverance on your part and quitting the search means you are still going to be stuck in your current job that, chances are, you don't like all that much. Take a leap of faith.  If you keep working hard, meeting more people and honing your skills, you will eventually find the perfect job.

You deserve a career that you love! Stay focused no matter what and hold your head high. In the end you will find that the effort does pay off.