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Career Expert Julia Rock Shares The Best Tips For Scoring Your Dream Job

Workin' Girl

Let's face it, when you walked across the graduation stage, making coffee runs, copies, and small talk was not on your dream job list.


When you're young, your dream job might be acting as a biochemist for the top makeup brand in the world, or slaying courtrooms in the name of the law as the attorney of your own firm. It might be writing for a top publication, being a showrunner for a popping television program, or a decorated educator of a thriving public school. But like most of us, somewhere along the line that dream gets deferred.

It's now been years and you feel stuck between a rock and a…swivel chair. Paying the rent is high on your priority list, but so is living out your purpose through your dream job. Because that's what a dream job is, something that both feeds you and fuels you. To help us get closer to making our dreams a reality, we spoke with someone who knows a thing or two about landing a dream job: Julia Rock.

Courtesy of Julia Rock

By day, Julia is the certified girl boss heading the finance department for a Fortune 500 Company. And by night, she is lending her skill-set of helping job seekers reach their fullest potential in their career goals through her company Rock Career Development. Launched in 2013, Rock Career Development embodies her calling to empower individuals to unlock and achieve their full professional potential, no matter what career path they choose.

Julia spoke with xoNecole and shared four tips on what you need to do today to score your dream job.

1.Get your LinkedIn life! 

"It's common knowledge that having a LinkedIn profile is important in your job search as most recruiters are vetting candidates through LinkedIn at this point (80+%) yet for some reason candidates will still have incomplete profiles, missing profile photos, or lackluster position descriptions. Invest time in creating an outstanding LinkedIn profile, and you will find yourself gaining some traction in obtaining that dream job!"

2.Network and build genuine connections.

Courtesy of Julia Rock

"'It's not just what you know, but who you know!' I'm not just talking about attending the occasional networking event and trying to grab as many business cards as possible. If you really want that dream job with your ideal employer, you will need to be intentional about networking opportunities. Find events you can attend that will allow you to informally meet key people in your industry and decision-makers, and MAINTAIN those connections, i.e. follow up after the meeting, schedule time for lunch, coffee, etc.

"See if you can schedule informational interviews with those you have met who already do what you do. Utilize social media to authentically engage with current employees and recruiters, and start to build a rapport. Tap your personal network of family and friends to see if they have connections that they can share or make introductions for you."

3.Prepare for your interviews BEFORE they are even scheduled. 

"Most people wait until they have scored an interview to truly get prepared and know how to sell themselves. They're up late the night before, practicing in the car, and making themselves nervous on the way to the interview. But the truth is, you will be more confident in your interviews if you have already prepared yourself for some of the interview questions in advance. You can utilize online forums to gain insight into how the interviews for various companies are conducted, what kinds of questions they ask, etc. You can also do mock interviews with friends or other professionals to get feedback on your delivery and content in answering questions so that you can begin to improve."

4.TARGET your resume.

Courtesy of Julia Rock

"Your resume should not be all things to all people. If you have truly defined your dream position and understand what critical skills and experience are required, take the time to focus your resume for that industry and job role. Incorporate keywords that will get your resume picked up by applicant tracking systems (ATS). Eliminate non-value added skills and extremely old positions that are not relevant to the role you're pursuing. Add in accomplishments and major contributions that highlight the skills you have that are required and desired for your dream job. Remember, recruiters take only six seconds or less to read your resume, so you've got to catch their attention, and fast!"

For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram.

Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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Featured image by Getty Images

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