Today vs. Tomorrow
When has looking for a job ever been fun? Almost never, and this is because most times, we only look for a job when we are out of a job, or think we might be out of a job, or when we need another job. As such, the pressure to get a job is usually high, and we end up jumping at any job (however unsuitable) that comes our way.
What this means is that, we are in a constant cycle of taking jobs that might not be suited for us because we are desperate, instead of making decisions that are good for our career. What then can one do to break this vicious cycle?
A good place to start is knowing the difference between a job and a career (more on that in a bit).
A good way to leverage ourselves out of this cycle, is to know what you want for your career journey, and have someone to help you. Whether it is figuring out where you want to go with your career, or helping you get there. Even though we might not have every answer initially, we are lucky to live in an internet era, where we can access solutions with just a click.
One such solution is Fuzu, a career development online platform. If you are like me, you might be wondering what makes Fuzu different from other job online platforms like The Ugandan Online, Brighter Monday, among others.
I am terrible at analogies so I hope you can stay with me. If life is Candy Crush, then a job is a level say level 1, and a career journey is the different levels you play to complete episodes, and ultimately complete the game. In order to have a career, you have to commit to play the game, get better and advance to higher levels. Put simply (LOL), if your career is food, then Fuzu is a customized diet plan based on a number of factors like your BMI, whether you want to gain or lose weight, whether you exercise, among others, while platforms like Brighter Monday are fast food. Needless to say, you will still get satisfied from eating fast food but in the long run, it will cause more harm than good.
I have only started using Fuzu, so I have barely scratched the surface of what the platform offers, but in order to get here, I had to get a better understanding of the difference between a job and a career.
A job refers to going to work for the sole purpose of earning a paycheck, while a career means that every job, experience and training program is helping you advance in pay or responsibility. If you have 5 years of work experience from 3 jobs, but have not significantly improved in pay or responsibility at these 3 jobs, then you don’t have a career. Each job is probably not related and has nothing to do with your long term goals (if you have any). To answer the question of whether you have a job or a career, this should help; are you moving from job to job with no plan?
Purpose of the Job
A job helps you achieve short term goals like, pay your rent, buy Yaka units, go to Pana, and the like. If you want to build a career, you are always thinking long term. What are your long term goals? How does your current job help you achieve your goals? What jobs/experience/training do you need to get you closer to achieving your goal?
I once quit a job because I was not a good fit for the organization culture. If the culture at your job doesn’t suit you, goes against your values then you simply have a job. Even though this job is in line with your goals, if it doesn’t align with your values, then you will resent it and even if you got a chance to climb the ladder, you won’t want to or it won’t help you achieve your best performance which is what your career journey is about.
Level of Engagement
If you are always counting down the hours till the end of a work day, or dreading Mondays, then you need to review the relevance of the job to your career journey. When you have a job, you perform at bare minimum while a career inspires you to work over and above the set expectations. This could open doors for you which you would not have discovered if you are only working for a pay cheque.
In summary, a job is a subset of a career, but not all jobs are good and relevant to your career. Part of building your career involves having the right mindset.
What mindset changes have you made about your career that you didn’t put into consideration when you started working, and how has that influenced your career journey?