Finding your dream job takes work

Hosted by The Better Tomorrow Movement (TBTM), as a part of their Good Human Series, an interactive workshop was conducted on how to land your dream job on 22 October at Colombo Cooperative.

The workshop was led by Sohaani Perera, a Corporate Account Manager for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Associate Board member of HousingUp.org, and a communications strategist and global development advocate, who currently resides in the United States.

Prior to ULI, she worked for the International Centre for Research on Women, the Centre for Global Development, and UNDP Sri Lanka.

The workshop also featured guest speakers, local entrepreneurs – CEO of Crowdisland Pvt. Ltd. Chalinda Abeykoon; provides for tech start-ups in Sri Lanka, and founders of Adhya Clothing Deumi Panditha and Ishara Fernando.

Pabasara Kannangara, the programme coordinator for TBTM, gave us a rundown of what they are all about, adding that it is a totally free service, completely run by volunteers.

TBTM is an international youth organisation that works to develop youth capacity through online and offline interactive learning programmes in the hopes of getting more young people civically engaged in their communities.

The Good Human Series is one of the programmes spearheaded by TBTM in Sri Lanka to provide insight into areas of impact creation and overall youth capacity building.

Addressing topics excluded by traditional school curriculums, and created in the hopes of knowledge sharing and inspiring young people to critically think and problem solve, the series is aimed at individuals under the age of 28.
Their workshops covered topics including financial literacy, stress management, mental health, and gender-based violence.

Speaking to Sohaani about how she got involved with The Better Tomorrow Movement, she said: “We have been in conversation for a while and I’ve made myself available if they wanted to collaborate in any way. They got back to me with an idea in the area of career development.”

Sharing some insight into the programme, Sohaani mentioned that the idea behind it is to bring to light, and discuss, topics that are hardly, if at all, discussed in a school curriculum.

She said: “We never talk about the idea of doing a job when we’re in school. The focus is all about fitting into the paradigm.”

Opening the topic with a simple enough question, Sohaani asked the audience: “How many of you actually have an idea of what your dream job is?” This received a total of zero responses. Most in the audience, who were between the ages of 19-30, were unable to answer in the affirmative.

Many of us, even those with a steady career, are unsure of what our “dream job” is, and that is part of what TBTM and Sohaani set out to help us figure out.

The three things to consider

1. Self-evaluation

Where do your strengths, pertinent to your career, lie?
To figure out your strengths and weaknesses, it is necessary to look inwards.
Tip – In career-focused thinking, a good idea is to work backwards.
Ex: You wish to become the CEO of a marketing company. Look at the qualifications an existing CEO of such a position has, look at what the position requires, and then look to yourself. Work towards collecting and bettering yourself so that one day you may be better prepared to finally achieve your dream job.

2. Strategy

This is what supplements your discovery following your self-evaluation. There are plenty of resources out there, especially online. You must simply find the means to sort through the clutter and access what is relevant to you. In order to do that, i.e. strategise, you must:
1. Find a mentor
2. Do the research
3. Build your network

3. Presentation and profile

Your resume, among other things, is very important, and it’s imperative that you cater your resume to that specific industry.

You cannot talk about success without failure. Both guest speakers for the event; the founders of Adhya, which started off as a side hustle that blew up into an actual bona fide business, and CEO of Crowdisland were careful to stress on the importance of perseverance, and to “not let your educated self overrule you”. The latter of which is a real concern among Sri Lankans who are overly concerned about academia and how to find a career that better suits their field of study, than find one that is suited for them personally.

The programme rounded up leaving everyone with a resounding message: “Finding your dream job takes work, and your competition is out there hustling”.

The Better Tomorrow Movement | Innovative training for youth capacity development
Website: https://www.thebettertomorrowmovement.com/

By Dimithri Wijesinghe

Photos Saman Abesiriwardana