How to retain skills whilst not employed in your dream role

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We are all asked what we would like to be when we grow up and we develop a sense of career goals as we go through the education system, finding out likes and skills along the way. But what happens when you hit a hurdle? You manage to get the qualifications but the job you need to get started isn’t available. Whilst it can seem like a good idea to fixate on the role you want, there are many benefits to getting a different role whilst you wait for the opportunities to come up.

Most of the time people will want to be employed whilst looking for their dream job. You can do this by applying for a job slightly lower in position that the one you wanted, finding one that in the industry you would like to be in but not directly related to the role you want or getting whatever job you can find. The trick with what ever option you choose is to find the key skills and duties that correlate with the role you are aiming for. Is it customer facing, do you build rapport with clients, do you  use problem solving skills, are you engineering but for a different industry? All of these things and more can be considered when looking for temporary employment.

To help you with how you can apply this you can look at our soft skill section of the careers website or our latest article on transferable skills here:

The next thing that is probably more important than the type of job you get is ‘ Continual Professional Development’. This is something you should always practice, it will keep you up to date with the industry latest, any changes that you wouldn’t know about if you are not in your desired role and also help you grow personally in order to benefit you professional life. You can work on you CPD in many ways;

  • Reading industry news and magazines
  • Researching an area you haven’t thought about
  • Listening to podcasts or webinars
  • Attending networking events
  • Taking a short course
  • Many more

To make sure you are doing things that are worth while it is good to write down at least one thing you learned whilst doing CPD. For example, If you read an article on net zero, you could have learnt that the latest technology for achieving net zero is and also what ideas you feel could work. By doing this when asked certain questions in interviews you will be able to relate back to it even if you haven’t worked in a similar role before.

The last thing to do is network! Go out meet people in industry, connect with them on LinkedIn. The people you meet may have a position or know of vacancies you may not have heard of. They could also become mentors or just contacts to help you a little further in the future. Either way you look at networking meeting new people and building rapport can only help to guide you into reaching you goals.

If you need help with anything in this article then you can visit or email us at