Job Search vs. Career Management

This is one of my favorite posts from over two years ago (original post here).  I’m amazed at how I wrote it – even now, after the growth I’ve had, I don’t think I could do it better.  I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane 🙂

I frequently think about how we think of our job transitions – we are supposed to have lots of them during our career.

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.”

Before I get to some differences that I have brainstormed, I have to admit one of my personal characteristics. As a trained computer programmer I tend to try and figure out how to create a process that can be duplicated. So, if I’m going to change jobs “nine more times” what can I do that I can reuse during any of those nine job changes? (yes, JibberJobber is based on this idea, that’s why I call it a “career toolset” and not a “job search tool.”) … so with that introduction, I share my thoughts on 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…

Great post, wasn’t it?

4 thoughts on “Job Search vs. Career Management”

  1. Jason – It is a great post.

    There is such a difference in the caliber of people we speak with too. As an Executive Recruiter we throw around terms like A-Player and Top Talent. People understand the concept of A, B and C players. But the question is, what is the real difference between an A player and a B player. This is it! The difference is Job Search versus Career Management! Just the simple fact of a long term perspective on ones career can become differentiating factor in living a life of ones dreams and being a bystander working a job that they had to take but not want.

    Thanks again. Great post.

  2. Hah! This is great! Never saw it before. Glad you brought it back. May have to do a riff on this, with full credit to you of course. Good luck with your recovery and the Twitter presentation!

  3. Jason –
    Just discovered your blog (and JibberJobber) from Walt Feigenson’s blog Wallies Follies… I love the mind shift of job search to career management. It’s like the difference between going to school and lifelong earning… longer term benefits with each. I am inspired to start a blog for those in transition (I volunteer and help those in transition with my experience as an executive and more appropriate, being out of work.) I look forward to your new posts and will let you know when I launch my blog.
    Cheers & keep up the great work – you’re inspiring many!

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