Job Search vs. Career Management

August 21st, 2009

This is one of my favorite posts from over two years ago (original post here).  I’m amazed at how I wrote it – even now, after the growth I’ve had, I don’t think I could do it better.  I hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane :)

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 (see Liz Handlin’s post on what a Job Diary is).


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, mortgate, 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.

Care to add your views? Disagree on any of these? Add a comment :) … and if you think you are a “career management” type and don’t have an account on JibberJobber yet, you need to click here to see what its all about…

Great post, wasn’t it?

4 Comments »

4 responses to “Job Search vs. Career Management”

  1. Jason – It is a great post.

    There is such a difference in the caliber of people we speak with too. As an Executive Recruiter we throw around terms like A-Player and Top Talent. People understand the concept of A, B and C players. But the question is, what is the real difference between an A player and a B player. This is it! The difference is Job Search versus Career Management! Just the simple fact of a long term perspective on ones career can become differentiating factor in living a life of ones dreams and being a bystander working a job that they had to take but not want.

    Thanks again. Great post.

  2. Ronnie Ann says:

    Hah! This is great! Never saw it before. Glad you brought it back. May have to do a riff on this, with full credit to you of course. Good luck with your recovery and the Twitter presentation!

  3. […] Alba, of Jibber Jobber renown, wrote a blog post two years ago and re-posted it today. It looks at a career management […]

  4. JP says:

    Jason –
    Just discovered your blog (and JibberJobber) from Walt Feigenson’s blog Wallies Follies… I love the mind shift of job search to career management. It’s like the difference between going to school and lifelong earning… longer term benefits with each. I am inspired to start a blog for those in transition (I volunteer and help those in transition with my experience as an executive and more appropriate, being out of work.) I look forward to your new posts and will let you know when I launch my blog.
    Cheers & keep up the great work – you’re inspiring many!

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