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What if you discovered that everything you've been taught about creating success in your life was wrong? What if the system society has in place to help you create a great life and get a job you love…didn't work any more?

See, most of us were raised with the belief that the clear path to success, happiness, and our dream job is to go to school and get a degree. However, more people are realizing every day that this old model is broken.

The bottom line is that the high costs of tuition, books, and living you endure during your 4+ years of college no longer guarantee you a great job, and with more smart, ambitious, and qualified people graduating every year, the competition for your dream job is fierce.

There are three rules for getting your dream job. Here's how to win...

Rule #1 - Don't Rely Solely On Your Formal Education

Woman gets her dream job

For many people in many different fields, a college degree is a necessity for getting a job. However, accept the fact that if you want to stand out and get your dream job, then your degree is NOT going to give you everything you need to succeed in life. And if your chosen field requires a university degree, then make the most of it. Just recognize that your real key to success lies in seeking education outside of the university walls.

I've gone through thousands of dollars worth of education outside of college to develop myself both personally and professionally. And I can honestly say that my return on investment has likely been ten times that of my formal education. One day, these big education system challenges will be solved. But right now, we all have to do the best we can with what we have. So, find the leaders in your field, and learn from their books, courses, and conferences. Take ownership of your career. That's how you'll get ahead.

Rule #2 - Be A Winner, Not A Whiner

Man works at his dream job

Is the job market tough? Yes. Is the education system less than perfect and more expensive than ever? Yes. Is it going to take a lot of effort, time, and money to achieve your dreams? Yes.

In many ways, this is an incredibly challenging time for young people to make it in the world. Yet, the silver lining is that it may also be the most opportunity-filled and rewarding time. The internet has made getting educated and working easier and more flexible than ever. If you want to have fun at work, travel, and make a difference in the world, then you don't have to be tied down to a traditional 9-to-5 job. There are more successful companies popping up all the time who are making a profit as well as a difference in the world, who offer unique opportunities for their employees, and who are environmentally conscious.

You can live a life of adventure and freedom while working for a company you love, on a mission you care about. You just have to put the effort into doing so, and choose to win rather than whine.

Rule #3 - Model The Best

Woman gets promoted to her dream job

I have a newsflash for you: you're not the first person trying to get your dream job. Plenty have come before you, and plenty more will come after you. And those who succeed will be the ones who studied successful people and modeled what they did.

When I was looking for my dream job, I used the strategies of someone who's now my good friend, Andrew Hewitt. Thanks to him, I was able to get my foot in the door in an industry I'd been trying to get into for years. So, who woke up today with the life you want to have? Find a way to contact them, and ask them how they did it. You'll get some fantastic insight on where to start, and potentially even a lead on someone to contact for a job or internship.

Remember, don't rely solely on your formal education, choose to be a winner, and model the best, and you'll get your dream job.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Learn how to land a career you love

Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.

All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.