The job search is the pursuit of a secure future. What that implies is that you cannot see the job search as a quick fix for your current situation, but as the groundwork for a long and winding career path. That is why while you are conducting your job search you have to be planning for your future career, and you shouldn’t wait to start.
Most people organize themselves with daily ‘to-do’ lists, which are fine and good when it comes to reminding yourself to get the dog from the groomers. However, at times these lists rope people into a nasty habit of only doing one thing at a time. This tendency should not be allowed in your job search. Many, many people are guilty of this at times- myself included- and it is hurting not only you but your prospects for a future career as well.
I am not talking about applying for multiple jobs. That’s not what I mean by laying down groundwork for your future career. What I mean is doing all of the things necessary outside of the job search, such as applying for grad school, taking night classes, or studying for a standardized test. These are all things that will help you navigate your career path. I agree that looking for a job should be a full-time job, absolutely, but it can’t be your only job. While on your career path you should also be working to open opportunities further down the road.
Likening a career to a ‘road’ or ‘path’ is actually very accurate since progressing through your career is much like walking down a dirt road. At times it is linear and smooth, but other times it might get narrow and raggedy. The good thing about it is that you can build the road as you walk it. Sticking your neck out for that promotion can turn that dirt road into pavement, and preparing yourself for future possibilities creates forks in the road, opportunities from off the beaten track. Your career path is constantly changing based on the choices you make.
Really, that’s what working towards your future career means. It means doing the things necessary to give yourself opportunities for the future. By applying for graduate school, your bachelor’s degree, or other training while taking on the job search you make sure you never run out of opportunities. If you do get a job, terrific, but by applying for further training programs (i.e. higher education, certification, etc.) now you also have the option of training yourself so that in a few years you can be making much more in a future career path.
How do you lay the groundwork for your career path in your job search? Do you think about the job search like this? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by timparkinson