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Paradigm Shifting: Job Search vs. Career Management

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Paradigm Shifting: Job Search vs. Career Management

Jason Alba, CEO JibberJobber

Copyright Jason Alba
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.

  • 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, mortgage, 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.

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