The Fourth of July has come and gone, summer is close to entering those dreaded Dog Days and you’re tired of working at a dead-end job.

What’s a worker to do right? How about looking for your dream job and really landing it? As a career professional it’s important to set goals and follow thorough no matter how difficult and ominous it might seem  to start looking — again.

The first step is to realize it’s up to you to take a leap of faith and jump on the job searching bandwagon to new possibilities. Admittedly, knowing where to start can be intimidating. Wouldn’t it be great if someone with keen career insight could point you in the right direction or offer sage advice?

Well, if you have a guidance counselor by all means ring them up and have them help you. Perhaps hire a recruiter to help speed up the process? Hunt down a head hunter who has access to lots of off-the- grid opportunities? Any of these folks could help you as well as calling in the usual suspects: Online ads, newspaper classifieds, networking and of course, begging friends for leads. Worst case, you can go work for your family!

But seriously, once you decide the time has arrived for something bigger, brighter and new, some simple tips to start the dream job search include: Understand your job priorities – meaning do you have a limit to how far you will drive to work? How much salary you must have and how low you will go? Do you have to have benefits? How long has the company been in business? It is legit? How many bosses will you have? Can you work in a cubicle or do you need a corner office? All things to consider.

Go ahead and try creating a spread sheet or Word document and make a list of wants and needs, things you can’t live without and things you can. Consider all of the above when raking your brain for what you will be happy with.

Also, when searching, be sure you read the job description from top to bottom; it will save you time. For example, if the company is looking for a person with a degree and you don’t have one, probably not the right fit. Or, maybe they want someone who has 25 years of computer experience and you have just 10.

Another option that you may not have even considered? How about working for yourself while you’re “stuck?”  Become your own boss? Maybe spend your free time slowly but surely establishing your own business.

Not only is it possible, but if you’re committed to a vision it’s bound to become reality.

But before you go ahead and quit your day job, it’s important to think realistically.

Starting a new business takes time, money and yes, effort. In other words, you’re not going to get rich overnight. But don’t let that keep you from pursuing your dreams, you can work your day job AND become a “part-time entrepreneur.”

Happy hunting!