Looking for “a Career” – Not Just “a Job”

If you’re anything like most professionals these days, you’re just happy to be employed when you have a job, and desperate to find a new one when you’re out of work. The paycheck is the most important thing, with any job satisfaction or career advancement a happy accident.

This is the wrong approach to your employment prospects. Instead of working jobs, you should be identifying and building a career, devoting your professional energy to building what you intend to be a fulfilling, lifelong occupation.

Finding A Good Fit

A career is a long-term, hopefully permanent prospect. It’s important that whatever you do is a good fit with your goals, your skills, your personality, and your lifestyle. Do you want to work in a high-pressure large corporate environment that rewards a competitive instinct, or are you more interested in a smaller, more collaborative setting that gives you the autonomy to better express yourself creatively? To commit to something long term, it should be something that you really believe in, that fulfills you, and that you have an aptitude for.

A good way to figure out a career is to narrow down your interests and write a job description for your ideal position. You can then see what fields match up best with what you’d like to be doing, giving you a long-term career goal to pursue.

Make Every Job Count

Beyond fulfilling your basic necessities, every job decision you make should be with your ultimate goal in mind. You must ask yourself how a new position can get you closer to where you want to be.

In his keynote address to Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, novelist Neil Gaiman talked about sacrificing financial security and job prestige for the sake of pursuing his ultimate end of becoming a fiction writer:

“Something that worked for me was imagining… a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain.

“I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier, I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time.”

Stop going from job to job and start building a real career. Learn how we can help you build towards your future goals and help you obtain a great job in Jackson!