Planning Good Career Is Not About Getting Job

"Working hard for something we don’t care about is called job; working hard for something we are passionate about is called career."

The previous generation a few decades back, had their priorities clear when it came to planning their professional career. It was simple; get a job; work till retirement; take pension, and settle for rest of the life. In those times, opportunities were few, jobs were more stable, hire and fire was not the culture, salaries were in general low and the generation had limited aspirations. They mostly made their career in one organization and hardly ventured beyond their given boundaries.  

The millenniums of today face a very different world. Jobs are no more permanent, hire and fire is no more a taboo, salaries are no limit for the deserving and this generation has endless ambitions that match up the endless opportunities. This is where the journey of moving from a job mindset into a career mindset becomes more challenging, yet essential for a rewarding professional career. 

Let us decode the puzzle; are you doing a job or are you building a career? For those who are just doing a job, the motive is almost always to earn a livelihood and gaining knowledge and expertise is simply a short-term necessity or, at best a byproduct. We do a job for short term gain and with short term outlook. We move on when we get a better deal, but finally, it is about investing in now. This obviously leads to slow growth, stagnation, and many a times even job loss. We also have to acknowledge that most of the job losses impact those who are not useful to their organizations and it always points out to people who work with a job mindset. 

A job mindset indicates a mindset of working for a fixed time and not for the committed outcome. Such a mindset always pushes us to avoid taking any additional responsibility, instead look at opportunities to push responsibility to someone else. Job minded person will rarely be happy with their work for a longer duration. They leave their workplaces angry and tired and find it difficult to create lasting friends at their workplaces. Values and culture would not be the binding factor for job minded people as the focus is always for short term gains and the next opportunity to make more money. Needless to say, as job minded people get older, they start feeling their jobs as a burden that they must carry as they have no other means to earn. It impacts on every aspect of their life from professional to personal relationships. 

Career mindset has a lot of different things. It is about commitment and developing knowledge by taking more work, even going out of the way. For a career-minded person, there is nothing short term. They think long and keep their focus on the journey more than the outcome. Growth comes naturally to such people. If they change jobs, it is to ensure that their knowledge continues to improve, and they get better opportunities to invest in building their expertise. They are liked by their bosses and colleagues and, more often, are made part of key decision making. New responsibilities come naturally to them and they are rarely without a job even for a short time. The most important indicator of a career minded person is their enjoyment of their work. They leave their workplaces happy and look forward for the next day and enjoy their time off without stress. Career minded people develop lasting friends and are most sought after for new opportunities commanding the best salaries. They are the ones who go up to the top of the pyramid and become the leaders that the industry needs most. 

We must question ourselves every day if we are going to work with a job mindset or with a career mindset. If we stay too long with a job mindset we might find it difficult to get a footing into career track later. Existing competitive professional ecosystem is quick to segregate between the value and cost, and this is where career mind always takes the lead. Attempts to move to career thinking at a later stage will be more difficult as the fight for survival for job minded person will always be the priority than to look at making a career. Thinking and working with a career mindset right from the beginning of their professional life is something; every professional should be doing. In this fast-changing business environment where automation is taking more jobs, and business models are fast-changing, career mindset has a lot more promise than a job mindset. 

This quote very nicely defines the difference between doing a job vs having a career. “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called job; working hard for something we are passionate about is called career.” If you are a professional, it is high time to question yourself if you have created a career track for yourself or stuck with a job thinking. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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