Job Search vs. Career Management

There is a big difference between a job search and overall career management.

A job search is a one-time event undertaken when a job is lost or when the person has been laid off. Once a new position is located the search ends. Career management, on the other hand, is more of a mindset and is not a singular process. Creating both short and long term goals along with actions plans to achieve them. It is the desire to always be challenged and grow professionally.  In sum, career management is an on-going process which never ends. 

Here are some highlights:

Career management involves the continual development of relationships over the long term involving those we come in contact with on a daily basis. This can include co-workers, colleagues, business associates, vendors, or customers through both formal and informal venues.  It is widely know that 70% of new job opportunities are uncovered through networking efforts.  This is opposed to job search where the building of relationships is not the goal since the process is of a more immediate nature and new jobs are usually obtained via the traditional methods of responding to Internet ads or contacting recruiters.

While most seekers don’t see the value of volunteer activities, those with an eye toward career management regularly find time to pursue volunteer opportunities. This is because they know that through such efforts they may meet other professionals, thereby tapping into another resource of the hidden job market.

Career management involves the honing and developing of knowledge and skills sets.  According to an article posted by Career Vision, an important aspect of career management is lifelong learning. Much of our day-to-day work revolves around technology so that it is imperative that all levels of staff have strong familiarity with the workings of computers. A strong career management plan will focus on the best methods for obtaining this knowledge, whether through company-based training or participation in off-site courses, either through distance learning programs or via traditional classroom study.

While a traditional job search involves the creation of a new resume, and usually a single version, career management involves thinking about your career over the longer term and constantly updating your resume to reflect new accomplishments. It can also involve the creation of a few different versions of your résumé to highlight those skills sets and knowledge which are specific to different career paths you are considering.

Most people involved with job search use a resume to convey their unique brand to potential employers. Those involved with career management utilize a variety of tools to convey their unique values proposition and brand. This can include the use of business cards, personal Web sites, portfolios, along with the development of a few different versions of an “elevator pitch” depending on the venue and audience they are addressing.

While most job seekers are too busy sending resumes and completing applications to read any books or articles on career management, most of those engaged in long term career management take sufficient time to study different authors and the most up-to-date information regarding résumé and cover letter preparation. personal branding, effective interview techniques, and offer negotiation.

While traditional job search is many times focused on monetary concerns, career management calls for a careful examination of many factors with regard to future employment. These factors include lifestyle preferences, company culture, benefits, flex time, company mission and values, as well as overall organizational structure. Those engaged in career management realize that future professional growth necessitates a slow and steady job search process not to be rushed in the interest of forgoing long term career satisfaction for expediency of a quick job search!

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