Passed over for a promotion time and time again, you blame other people for your career stalement. You are a victim of corporate politics. Your boss doesn’t like you. Your supervisor is jealous of you. You have a plethora of reasons why you have just a job and not a career.
What is the difference between a job and a career? A job is something you do within a specific time frame in exchange for money. There are little expectations from an employer other than the employee must do the work assigned in an acceptable fashion as defined by the employer.
Wikipedia.com defines a career as one that ‘pertains to an occupation or a profession that usually involves special training or formal education, and is considered to be a person’s lifework.’ The expectation is that a career employee is self-motivated to provide the best work in anticipation of additional pay or working up the corporate ladder of increased responsibility over one’s lifetime.
If you want a successful career, you must be pro-active. You can’t just go to work and go home every day. Set specific goals and objectives with timelines for completion. What kind of company has the most advantages for upward mobility? Will you consider moving to another area?
- Accept the fact that your continued career development is a necessary part of your success and desire to move up the corporate ladder
- Take advantage of every opportunity to showcase your skills. If asked to volunteer for a work project, accept it. Companies like employees who are supportive of its long-range goals
- Join the local trade organization for your profession, and attend monthly meetings. If you serve on a committee, others will have the opportunity to observe your skills for future reference
- You need to be careful what you post on the Internet. Everything you write, including emails, can be recalled, judged and perused at any time
- Show respect for your work and your colleagues
- Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. The conservative look will serve you better than avant-garde or the fashion of the day
Your career is what you make it. Decisions that are not in your best interest must be acknowledged and changed for more productive choices that will further your goals. Make yourself lay-off proof. Working in the best interest of the company where you work will be rewarded. Establish a plan, assess it on a regular basis, and revise and keep it current.