Favorite Friday: Job Search vs. Career Management

March 26th, 2007. I had been blogging for less than 10 months.

As I networked with job seekers I came across a disturbing theme that had a tone of “when I land my job I don’t have to do any of this lame networking stuff anymore.”

Getting a “job” was the end-goal, and a lasting reward.

I was concerned that people were using a band-aid, quick-fix approach to a much bigger problem.

What happens if you put a band-aid on a wound that requires much more?  The wound doesn’t heal correctly. You might mask some immediate symptoms but your overall progress is not happening.

That’s when I had the idea to write Job Search vs. Career Management.  Here’s a snippet:

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.

There are more. The image I chose for that post says “Days since last paradigm shift: 5”

I think we really need to change how we think about what a “job search” is, and take responsibility for “career management.”

This was a favorite post for a lot of reasons.  One was because it triggered an email from Alison Doyle, Job Search Expert at About.com, who asked if she could share it with her readers.  It was the first email like that from Alison, which lead to a phone call, which led to a couple of lunches, and a rewarding friendship 🙂

Enjoy Job Search vs. Career Management!

4 thoughts on “Favorite Friday: Job Search vs. Career Management”

  1. Really enjoyed your blog post about career management. Case in point: in our community we just had a company close its doors and lay off 800 people. It was very unexpected because a few years earlier they built a brand new 500k sf facility. Just goes to show you nothing is for sure these days no matter how satisfied you are with you job. One last point…it’s so important to share and give back to others. What goes around, comes around.

  2. Jason,
    Thanks for re-posting this. The “stuck in Job Search” responses are so painfully typical.

    Too many people look at life/work planning as something like an emergency visit to the dentist. they do it if they have to, then right back to the old habits.

    Job seerkers assure you with tears in their eyes that they are committed to career planning, then receive a job offer, any job, and a case of severe amnesia sets in…until the next time they have to look, and it’s a visit to the dentist all over again…

  3. After more than 20 years in my career, I’ve known people who only network when they’re out of a job. If I call them or email them, I don’t hear back. But when they’re looking, they suddenly want to meet for lunch and talk.
    Networking is an on-going process of making – and keeping – friends. You may increase the volume a little when you’re in job search mode, but you should always be “fueling the fire”.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting

  4. I remember hearing a phrase from my father at a young age -so young I had no frame of reference for it. It wasn’t until years later it finally ‘sunk in.’

    The thought behind the message served me well for over 40 years. Now retired, I am working on a project of my own -and am still networking.

    The phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

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