I frequently think about how we think of our job transitions. We are supposed to have lots of them during our career but too often we mix up the job search vs. career management. We think we are doing (or neglecting) one when we are doing (or neglecting) the other. They are really two completely different things.
I’m completely intrigued by the people who have forgotten what a forced transition is like, or by those that feel totally secure in their job (or their ability to find a new job) – and their reactions to a “job search.” From what I’ve seen people don’t think about “job search vs. career management,” they simply try to neglect both.
Before I get to some differences between job search vs. career management that I’ve brainstormed, I’ll share where this came from. I’ve been trained to be a computer programmer, and, as such, I tend to figure out how to create a process that can be duplicated. So, if I’m going to change jobs nine more times (the stats we are given are not fun) what can I reuse during future job changes? JibberJobber is based on this idea. With that introduction, I now share my thoughts on the job search vs. career management:
The Job Search vs. Career Management
Job Search: I will start to look when I need to (unemployed, completely fed up, can see the writing on the wall, etc.)
Career Management: I am always in career management mode – I regularly do things that I need to in order to navigate quickly (and be in control of) future job transitions.
Job Search: I network to find immediate job opportunities, and hope that my network isn’t too stale (or… “what network??”).
Career Management: I have a very strong set of relationships and continually strive to add value to people that are in different circles than I am in.
Job Search: I find networking to be frustrating and non-beneficial to my search (and it takes too much time).
Career Management: As I nurture various relationships I find great satisfaction in watching my contacts succeed, congratulating them when I can and offering to help as appropriate.
Job Search: I don’t have time to volunteer – I’m too busy looking for a job.
Career Management: I actively volunteer in areas where I can contribute considerably to an organization and where I will meet other professionals that I want to get to know better.
Job Search: I have spent considerable time on my resumes and have “the perfect resume.” I hope I don’t have to do this again any time soon because it took a long time to tweak it just right.
Career Management: I keep a Job Diary (see Liz Handlin’s post on what a Job Diary is).
Job Search: I share my personal brand through my resume, interviews and my business cards I just got “for free” from VistaPrint (um, its not exactly free).
Career Management: I know what my value proposition is and I find ways to share this in various mediums. I have various elevator pitches (for different events), I know what a Google search on my name will produce, I have (or will have) some kind of strong presence online (I’m buying a URL with my name, I will start a blog once I figure it out, etc.).
Job Search: I don’t have time to read one more article or book on the job search – because its time to find a job and I need to apply, apply, apply.
Career Management: I have a list of books (and other resources) that I read to help me understand my own career options including job search stuff (interviewing, resumes, etc.), personal branding, etc. I am not hurried through these books and mix in my own favorite reading, but make it a point to keep abreast on career issues.
Job Search: I hope my next job is at least as good as the last one (or way better).
Career Management: Each job change I have will (should) be a stepping-stone to my ultimate career goals.
Job Search: I need something NOW (you know, mortgate, bills, mouths-to-feed, etc.) and am prepared to sacrifice what I really want to get what I need for now.
Career Management: My career is planned out – with flexibility. I won’t have control over everything but I know that my career is mine to own, and I’m making sure that I do everything I can to work towards my end goals.
Job Search: I hate recruiters – why don’t they ever call me back??.
Career Management: I have a handful of recruiters that regularly contact me. I’m interested in hearing what they have to say and have no problem selectively opening my network to them.
Job Search: I can’t wait until this is over so I don’t have to do this stuff anymore!
Career Management: My career management is never over – its a part of what I do.
Care to add your views? Disagree on any of these? Add a comment 🙂… and if you think you are a “career management” type and don’t have an account on JibberJobber yet, you need to click here to see what its all about…
The Job Search vs. Career Management?
What if it is the job search (when appropriate) AND career management! It shouldn’t be one or the other. But during certain seasons we’ll focus on the job search while during other seasons we’ll continue to work on the long-term goal of career management.
Once you get this there isn’t job search vs. career management anymore. But we’ll certainly think long term even when we need to work short term.