Find a job that you love, so the saying goes, and you’ll never work another day in your life. If the prospect of spending up to a third of your adult life at work upsets you, it may simply be that you haven’t found a job that is the best possible fit.

Take the time to work out what job would best suit your skills and temperament and provide you with the lifestyle you desire, then follow these steps to boost your chances of landing the position that will give you the greatest level of satisfaction.

Gain experience before you begin

Much of the time, getting a job in a particular industry leads candidates into the “Catch 22” trap. They are told they are not eligible to apply for a certain position unless they have experience but cannot get any experience because no one will employ them.

One of the best ways to get around this is to apply for an internship. No matter how hard you studied at college, working as an intern will enable you to gain inside knowledge of your chosen industry that simply isn’t available anywhere else. You’ll also be able to accumulate clear evidence of your abilities and make critical contacts with others in the profession. Even if the internship doesn’t lead to a full-time position, it will improve your chances the next time you make an application.

With opportunities for everything from digital marketing internships to field experience opportunities and apprenticeships, there are a wealth of opportunities out there that can help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to move your career forward.

Broaden your horizons

Traveling around the world isn’t just fun and exciting – it can also benefit your career. In today’s highly competitive job market, any skills or experiences you have that help set you aside from other potential candidates can significantly enhance your chances of landing a desired position.

Time spent traveling overseas can dramatically increase your levels of cultural awareness and, depending on where you choose to travel, solidify skills of foreign languages by fully immersing you in the lifestyle of another country. With growing levels of e-commerce creating a truly global marketplace, demonstrating an ability to interact with and understand other cultures are highly desirable qualities.

Apply before the job is posted

Many of the best jobs around get filled before companies ever have a chance to advertise the vacancy. Individuals are either headhunted to fill certain positions or are recommended by friends or industry contacts.

If there is a specific company you have your heart set working for, do your best to attend events or conventions where members of that firm will be in attendance and introduce yourself to them. The more networking you do and the more clearly you state your desire to work with the company, the higher the chances are that you will receive a call to come in for an interview when a suitable position comes up.

Be persistent

Adopt a mindset in which you accept that it may take months or even years before you land the job of your dreams. This will prevent you from being disheartened in the early stages.

Work out the steps you expect your career to take and the positions you expect to have held before you reach your final goal so that you have a way of checking your progress and confirming that you are on the right track.

Rather than landing a series of dead-end positions that let you pay the bills but do nothing to advance you towards your greater goals, look for work that develops your overall skillset to make you a more attractive candidate. You might also want to seek out opportunities that let you develop in areas where your skills are currently lacking.