It’s not a job, it’s a career

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in Career Management,Leaders & Managers,Performance Reviews,Workplace Communication

Feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world economy? I overheard a woman say she was worried about calling in sick because she was afraid her employer might fire her. This, to me, represents the difference between a career and a job. Years ago, these two words may have meant the same thing, but they don’t anymore.

I often hear people say, “It’s just a job” or “Oh, I’m only a ________ or I work as a _______ for a living.”

You’re “only”? “For a living”? These statements don’t represent the long-term journey a career celebrates. You’re not “just” an anything. Your career isn’t an “Oh, I’m only.”  You need to acknowledge and recognize your contributions, skills and gifts that you bring to the workplace. This is how you stay mentally strong during challenging economic times.

It’s hard to stay focused with so much attention going toward what isn’t working in the world today, but you can choose to put your thoughts and energy elsewhere. It’s truly everybody that runs the global economy—our working and spending—that makes the world go round.

If there is good reason to be concerned about your position at work, rather than worry about it, take charge and take action daily—no matter what!

Review your performance appraisals, project tasks and recent contributions. Update your résumé and be prepared. Download and review the top questions asked by interviewers. Find a mentor. Start networking. Don’t let names rot in your Rolodex. Call colleagues you haven’t made time for lately, get involved in your association or simply go online and join social networking groups such as LinkedIn, Plaxo and even Facebook. If you’re blessed to remain in your present career, do all the above anyway as it will only move you further toward your goals and dreams.

As far as advice for the woman I overhead earlier: You may be fired or let go from your job, but you’ll never be fired or let go from your career. As the CEO of your own career, you always have the choice to choose your next steps.

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