Growing up I always fell victim to my dad’s lecture about the things I should begin to consider as I got older. The lectures could range from everything under sun: girls, money, food, etc – you name it. One conversation that we always ran into was being able to identify the difference between the things we wanted to do versus the things we needed to do, alongside the amount of effort we contributed towards both causes.
I always took that lesson in the most literal sense. I never once compared it to life skills so to speak. It wasn’t until about last year when I finally decided on my career path, that the talk with my dad finally resonated more. I had finally began my quest for a career and not a job. I want you to let that simmer in before you read on…..
Many of us grow up without actually identifying the difference between a job and a career until we realize we’re not moving anywhere. This feeling of unaccomplished goals or emptiness begins to consume you. You finally come to terms the reason why your not moving is because you have a job. Not to say that all jobs have this stigmata, because there is room for advancement in certain jobs, however a job is not a career until you make it one.
What does that mean? Of course many wonder how you turn a job into a career. A job can be career just the same way a hobby can. For you to start a career you must know what it is that you have a passion for. If you’re not that passionate about your job, you probably shouldn’t take up as a career. Being able to understand that sometimes a job is something we need to do versus a career as being something you want to do, will help you succeed in the long run. Not to say that you should contribute less effort towards your job, but remember that you have to do what you need to do for your career as well. Sometimes quitting one job may open doors in other ways towards investing in your career.
Here are 6 tasks you will have to consider when jump-shifting from a job to a career, as told by David DiGregorio of huffingtonpost.com,
1. Make Contacts On Your Own
Don’t just create professional acquaintances; create personal connections. Even if you have to pay for it yourself, network, go out to drinks, go to lunch. Most importantly, keep your own contact database.
2. Be known as You, Not your Job
You never know when your professional circumstances may change. Without establishing yourself as a person, people who used to swoon over your every move may totally ignore you if you move to a different role. If they know you for you, this will never be the case.
3. Maintain your integrity
Treat work contacts as well as you treat your friends and family. Never criticize anyone in a public forum. A strong reputation will carry you through the most difficult of life’s journeys. Without one, you’ll go nowhere.
4. Be Responsive
Always, always respond. Tell people you’re working on it. Tell people when they can expect it. When someone does something for you, follow up with a thank you note.
5. Be Interesting
Always have an answer to “What’s new?” separate from your job. Whatever you do will help keep the bigger picture in perspective and make you a more memorable and interesting person that people will want to work with.
6. Invest In People
There is no insignificant person. There is no person not worthy of your time. Listen to what people have to say. Form alliances. Do favors. Take an interest in your peers and in the career development of your subordinates.”
Identifying where you invest your time and effort is not only important when considering the smaller details of life but also when beginning a career. A job is only what you make of it, as well as what is offered. Perceive it to what fits your standards. Do you need the job or are you just trying to get by? Sometime its the step we take back that puts a bigger perspective as to whether we continue to invest or cut all tides and move forward in another direction. Also remember there are things we want to do and the things we need to do, make that choice and attack the world with your dukes up.
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