Touchdown! Game-Winning Plays to Land Your Dream Job

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Football's most anticipated game of the season, the Super Bowl, has come and gone, with much excitement in and out of the game. As I tuned into the last game of the football season, I began to think about how many life lessons can be gleaned from one of America's favorite sports - especially pertaining to your career.

Like the players and staff on each NFL team, we're all working towards the big trophy - in your case, that trophy is landing your dream job. In football, the head coach and his staff create a number of plays - strategies used during the game to move the ball up and down the field, and ultimately to win. You, too, can create plays to use during your "game", except your plays won't be lamented with Xs and Os, instead they should be executable tactics that progress you towards your ultimate career goal.Here are four game-winning plays to add to your career playbook:

1. The [inside scoop] handoff.

In football, this occurs when the ball is handed directly from one player to another. In your case, a 'handoff' is when you leverage the connection(s) within your dream organization to learn about job opportunities before they're posted publicly.

If you don’t know anyone, use your personal network or LinkedIn contacts to get introduced to someone in the know about internal job openings.

2. The [new job] shovel pass.

When the quarterback passes a ball laterally to its receiver, it's called a shovel pass. In your career, you might need to make a lateral job move, to get into your dream company (especially, if you used the previous "inside scoop" play to get into the organization.

[Tweet "Don't think of it as a stagnate move; you're setting yourself up for the next big play."]

3. The [sponsor] screen pass.

Many people understand the importance of having a mentor, but the next level of mentorship is having a sponsor. A sponsor is someone within your organization that advocates for opportunities, such as promotions and new assignments, on your behalf.

Your sponsor will 'throw you the ball' and block those on the defense so you can continue on (and be first for those opportunities).

4. Be the option [route].

In football, players often have to 'read' their opponents and make last minute decisions to execute a different play. Likewise, priorities and assignments often change on the job. Prove yourself as an asset to your boss and organization by being able to 'read' situations and proactively volunteer to help - even if its simply providing background research or writing a first draft, it will be appreciated.

Your boss will see you as a go-to resource, and you'll stay top-of-mind for other opportunities (and that promotion that gets you one step closer to your dream job)!

You've learned your plays - now its time to execute them and work towards your dream company. Every play won't lead you to a touchdown right away, but it will move you down the field, closer to the end zone. And, when you get finally do get one yard away from the big touchdown, please just run it in - don't throw it. (See below.)

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About the Author Brittnee Anderson is a luxury marketing professional in New York City. She occasionally writes about networking and millennial professional development on her subway rides home. You can get in touch with her via Twitter or LinkedIn.