We all want that dream job, right? You know, the one where we don’t feel like we have to go to work and we don’t hate what we do. The job where we can build friendships and strong relationships with our co-workers, and the one where we don’t mind putting in that little extra effort if need be.

What if I said it was possible for all of us. What if I said that regardless of whether you wanted to be a carpenter or flight attendant, lawyer or consultant, that job is out there for you.

Now, before getting in to how to find it, I don’t want to suggest that a dream job means any less work than a job we hate, and it doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with bad days either – all jobs do. What I’m saying though, is that the old system doesn’t work as well as it should, and that there is a solution.

Chris Allis, founder of Hive, made an incredible point in saying that the average person goes to school for ~832 weeks and then proceeds to only look for a job for ~4 weeks. Something has to be wrong here, no? How can we spend .4% of the time finding a job as we do preparing for it (pardon me but I chuckled typing that)?

The answer comes in two steps that we can all do at home by ourselves:

1. The first thing we need to understand is how we want to be treated in the workplace, and how we like to work. For the construction worker, this doesn’t mean not getting the calluses, and it doesn’t mean shorter hours, it means understanding what leadership style we work best under. It means understanding what commute would work for our families and lives, the dollars required to live a fulfilling life.

2. The second is understanding the company that we hope to work for, and the people in it. What does the company stand for and can we get behind the mission? Who is working there and what do they value? What does feedback look like? Is the work team-based or do people work alone the majority of the time? What happens when things go wrong? How is conflict dealt with?

What many of us fail to realize is that in this day and age when work is something we do more than anything else in a day, and can work from more places, more hours of the day, from more technology year over year, that work has become a bigger identifier of who we are than we ever could have imagined. In many cases, we might actually spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our family.

With all this said, when was the last time there was any understanding or indication of who the people in the organization are, and what they valued? How do we learn and understand more about the experience of the job until we live it?

As of now, we don’t.

To answer these questions, consider deeper conversations with the HR individual vetting the position and as to have a coffee with a potential co-worker (should all things go well). If they don’t grant you the opportunity to do so, chances are you don’t want to work for the company anyways. We’re long past the days of secrecy and a lack of transparency.

The other thing that could be done is a little research on a platform like LinkedIn to see who is a past employee and find out why the left. Perhaps it was time for a move, or perhaps there is something going on in the organization that might not be a good fit. Either way, a quick note to a short call might be a great idea.

Finding that dream job isn’t as hard as we might think. Figure out what an ‘ideal work environment’ is, and take the time to find an organization that is mutually beneficial for both parties.