In a commencement address on June 12, 2005, the late Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, told the audience of future bankers, lawyers and engineers they had to find what they loved. So with this advice in mind, will 2012 be the year you finally snag your dream job?

The reality could be a lot easier than you think, as long as you make the time to sit down and do your research.

Those who are successfully working in their dream job are passionate about what they do, but your dream job doesn’t always just fall into your lap.

When trying to decide what your dream job is, you should spend time reflecting on your natural abilities, skills you enjoy and where these could be used to contribute to an organisation.

It is important to remember there are no quick or easy answers but there are a few things you can do to help you find your way:

List your skills

You need to think of the big picture and consider not only what professional experience you have, but also your talents and your hobbies. List the things you are good at and highlight those you enjoy.

Describe your personality

To help you determine what type of career you are best suited for, think about your personality traits. Are you meticulous with an eye for detail or are you strategic with a big picture view? Do you enjoy working in a team or do you prefer to work on your own?

List your priorities

List what is most important to you in your career and your values. For example, are you looking for a career that challenges and rewards you?  Should it be something you are passionate about and inspired by? Is work-life balance more important to you than money?

Identify what your dream job isn’t

Here you should not only think about what type of roles but also what things you are not willing to compromise on, such as hours worked, pay and location. Consider also your values in this context; for example, your dream job wouldn’t take you away from the things that are important to you in life.

Define your dream job

The next step is to develop a loose description of your dream job.

You should start building a picture by asking yourself some key questions such as who and what would you like to work with? Where do you want to work? What type of tasks do you want to work on? What type of work will make you truly happy?

Collating this information will provide you with a synopsis of who you are and will help you determine your dream job.

Plan to snag your dream job

Once you know what your dream job is, you just need to develop a plan to get it. Recruitment specialist Hays suggests you:

* Research the industry as well as the knowledge and skills you will need.

* Network and get to know people in the industry. Meet a recruiter and discuss the role you seek.

* Take action. If you don’t already have the skills, how do you get them? Will you need training? Maybe you just need to update your resumé to better highlight a skill set you already have.

People who are happy at work know the value of snagging one’s dream job and the tremendous difference it can make. It can transform life for the better.