Career Project Expert: “Are you Finding a Job or Building a Career? “

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Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, an experienced career strategist, teaches college students and professionals how to discover the career that matches who you really are and gives you the tools to land the job you want.

“What Career Seekers Need to Know” a teleseminar this week brought up some enlightening points about finding the work that is right for you. (Contact me if you’d like a recording of it.) It brought to mind a conversation with Tom, a parent seeking advice about how his son, a college graduate, could find a job that he loves. I asked him a critical question – does he want to find a job OR to find a career?

Tom was surprised by the question and hadn’t really thought about there being a difference. He confessed that he didn’t receive much guidance about his own career. Well-meaning adults said things like, “you should do this” or “hey, there’s a job over here and you’d be good at it.” So he’s wandered his whole life down a career path built for him by others.

UC San Diego produced its “Best Jobs …” report for this year. That’s one way to find a career. But if you want work that keeps you motivated to get up in the morning so you’re loving what you do, feeling a sense of happiness, purpose, well-being and contribution, there’s usually more to it than just finding a job.

Whether you’re a college graduate or a seasoned professional the difference between a job or a career is like taking a different fork in the road. Building a career you’ll love takes exploration and effort.  Finding a job can also take exploration and effort but it can lead you to a lifetime of work that isn’t as rewarding.

If you really want a rewarding career choose your path wisely. With the help of a career coach you can find the kind of work that suits who you are and the jobs that will take you in the career direction you want.

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