Job vs Career – What’s the difference?

Yes, a job and a career are different and it’s important that as a job seeker, you understand the difference. Regular KLCC followers and previous clients will know that we are really passionate about defining this difference and why. If this is news to you, I’m so glad you’re here!

Before we begin, I want to make something clear – we do not judge at KLCC. Whether you’re looking for a job, a career, or simply just some more direction, we’re here for you and we do not discriminate on these grounds. This blog post is to bring to the light the differences between a job and a career in the hopes that it will help some of you get out of your rut and begin taking steps to get where you deserve to be. Let’s get started…

What is a job?

A ‘job’ normally has some or all of these characteristics:

  • Short term
  • Filling in gaps between other employment
  • Working to pay the bills
  • Something you’re not necessarily passionate about
  • You are always looking for the next opportunity to go elsewhere
  • No sense of fulfilment or job satisfaction
  • It causes negative stress which you find difficult to deal with
  • Culture fit hasn’t been on the top of priorities for you – you just need to work

Now, ‘jobs’ in this sense can be any type of employment, including positions which need considerable training and qualifications. If you’ve worked in multiple roles of this type of the past year or so, you keep hopping around to different companies, you don’t enjoy the work you’re doing, and you have the feeling of “I can’t wait to get out of here…” well say no more. This is not what you want for your forever ‘career’ position, is it?

This is the difference.

So then, what’s a career?

Pretty much everything a job is not!

A career role is something that we all deserve but is not something we all always end up in. And it’s often through no fault of our own.

Many people just don’t recognise the true difference between a job and career, and think that just because they’re experienced and trained in one particular area that this means THIS is their career.

It’s not the case.

A career will make you feel:

  • Fulfiled and satisfied
  • Accomplished
  • Worthy

A career will also be a role which:

  • Has manageable, ‘positive’ stress
  • Enables you to make an impact in the way you desire
  • Is something that you are passionate about doing with your time
  • You fit in with the culture of the company and their vision and values
  • You feel content in staying in this position for several years

Why is the difference important?

We’ve done a few posts before about job-hopping, and this is the most common ‘symptom’ of working in ‘jobs.’ Career roles rarely have you reaching for your phone to scroll through Seek at lunchtime.

If you are unaware of the difference and just feel like it’s the job that’s the problem, you’re more likely to keep finding yourself in these unsatisfying positions. Hopping from one company to the next. Never feeling like you really know what your passions are.

For a fulfilling and rewarding career, getting clear on that passion and direction is absolutely key.

And we help with this!

But please – remember that ALL jobs, no matter if they are short or long term, do come with hard work and stress to some degree. If you are looking for a position which is easy, stress-free, and pays well… you might end up being just a little disappointed. This is why getting your passions clear and setting your expectations realistically (and to what you do really deserve to experience) will point you in the preferred direction.

How do I get that?!

Finding this ideal, dream career role does not just happen overnight.

No no.

Most often it takes time, persistence, and a great deal of effort.

And this is what KLCC does. We help you find that ideal career path and guide you in creating actionable goals and stepping stones, because having a supportive network to turn to makes this process so much easier.

We have a range of different packages and service options available whether you are just starting out in your career or are looking for something totally new altogether. We’ve got your back!

To book in for your free chat and get yourself on the way to landing that career role you deserve, give us a call now!

Brushing up on your soft skills

Soft skills are more important than hard skills. There, I said it. Showing your future employer who you are, what you value, and why your personal qualities matter is more important than the experience you have. If you’re trying to move up in your current company, or are looking to branch out into other industries, knowing what soft skills are and then brushing up on them will be key. In this blog, we’ll break down what they are, how you know which ones you have, and how to add to your list to improve your job prospects…

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are like your personal attributes – the qualities that make you who you are.

Many of us may share similar soft skills, such as being well organised or having a strong work ethic. But what sets us apart is how we craft these into impactful, meaningful statements of worth.

It’s important that you outline them on your resume for a couple of reasons…

  • So your future employer can evaluate whether you’d be the right fit for the company
  • They demonstrate how you handle varying people and situations
  • They show others the way you view yourself

How do I know what soft skills I have?

This is a tricky question to answer because we’re all so different.

But your soft skills are essentially the elements of you that make you different from everyone else.

So, for me? Some of my soft skills might include…

  • Ability to be accepting and understanding of others from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong empathetic skills
  • A resilient work ethic

It can actually be really hard to figure these out for yourself (that’s where we come in!) because most of us are pretty shy when it comes to tooting our own horns! And that’s really what you have to do when you’re writing out your own soft skills!

You have to be really clear on why you’re the best pick for this role.

Why you’re going to be a positive match with their work culture.

Why you want to make a difference.

What are some soft skills examples?

In no particular order, here are some examples of basic soft skills…

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Now the thing is, writing them out in simple terms like this may not be enough to get you seen.

You don’t want to blend in with the crowd.

At KLCC, we’ve been working through career histories and identifying unique skillset for years now. We know what works, and we know when to cut the fluff.

So, how can you build on your soft skills if you feel your resume is lacking?

Well, while we all have our own unique set of soft skills, identifying them and putting them into words can be tricky (and often times left to the professionals!). And even then, you may feel as though your resume won’t stack up against some of the other, potentially more experienced, applicants.

To brush up on your soft skills, you’re going to have to put yourself out there.

Whether you’re still in a role where you have a little space to grow, or have just started a new position and are hoping to show your worth… here are 3 little ideas that may be helpful:

  1. Contribute more to staff meetings and briefings. This will boost your public speaking confidence and demonstrate your skills in innovation and creativity.
  2. Ask to see how an efficient colleague schedules and prioritises their tasks. If you are lacking a little in the department of organisation and multitasking, taking a peek into how someone else does it may give you some more ideas.
  3. Nominate yourself to take on a time-sensitive project. Not only will those show your willingness to learn and take on challenges, but it will also demonstrate your ability to work under pressure and effectively manage your time.

How can KLCC help?

As I said, identifying your own personal soft skills can be a pretty daunting task. Especially for those among us who are modest and humble.

At KLCC, and particularly when you take advantage of our one-on-one coaching, we dig deep into what makes you tick and what makes you different from every other resume in the pile.

We are experts at overhauling your resume and giving you back the confidence to apply for the roles you deserve!

What we don’t do is personality tests and cookie-cutter job matching. Definitely none of that… KLCC is not a recruitment agency and we are not here to tell you what you should do with your life.

But we are here to guide you, prepare you, and show you that we believe in you.

So, if you’d like some personalised support to get you back on track, click here!

Knowing when to move on from a job

Ever had a ‘feeling’ you should probably move on from your job but been too worried to do anything about it? This kind of job stress can be detrimental to your mental health, as well as your job outlook and performance. Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of leaving our job when things get too tough. So, knowing when it’s time to start broadening your horizon and looking for other options is important.

Knowing when to move on from a job is one thing, but having steps in place to support you through that transition is a WHOLE other ball game. Let’s think of it like a spring clean, where things that no longer serve you or bring you joy are shown the door. So let’s jump in…

1. Your health and wellbeing is taking a backseat

This is the first sign that your job is no longer serving you.

ALL jobs come with some kind of stress, so don’t get hung up on wanting to find something with zero stress. It’s all about how you handle it. But if you’ve tried everything and you wake up every day with a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach… it’s probably a sign.

If you know me, you know I continually go on and on about taking care of your wellbeing. Self-care is more important than career success. After some practice, soul searching, and commitment (and a coaching session with us won’t hurt!), some of us are able to neatly pair these two ideas together; protecting our health whilst enjoying positive steps forward towards our long-term goals.

But for most of us, and for much of our working lives, we slave away and stop caring about our health and wellbeing. We don’t like our jobs. We don’t know where we are going.

STOP

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

It’s 2020 – caring about yourself enough to know when it’s time to move on is a wildly respected feat. We all know it’s not easy but we all know that it’s often necessary.

You. Come. First. Period. And the next point proves this further…

2. You are not finding any joy or fulfilment in your daily work anymore

Sometimes, we start out loving our job but soon find after a few years that it’s just not what we wanted it to be. Maybe we aren’t growing as quickly as we wanted to. Or maybe the projects we’re working on just aren’t making the impact we want.

It’s hard to recognise when something isn’t joyful or fulfilling when we don’t have clear goals and desires.

If you’re starting to wonder whether it’s time to consider other career options, take this is my most important piece of advice…

You must get clear on where you want to go.

Why? Because if you don’t, you risk ending up in another job where the same monotony and dullness overpowers your sense of satisfaction.

Getting clarity can be difficult, but it starts with figuring out what you want and outlining some actionable steps. We can help with this.

3. You feel as though you are not being valued for what you are contributing

This one comes back to knowing your worth (read last week’s blog here).

That’s critical.

Because if you don’t know, understand, and appreciate your worth, then how can you expect your employer to see it?

We all have worth, and all of us is unique. If you are giving your all at work and are getting nothing in return (no respect, no thanks, no opportunity) then you are not being valued for who you are.

Figuring out why this may be is very complex, and 9.5 times out of 10 it comes down to the other person. Remember, you cannot control the reaction of others. And if you know in your heart that you are…

  • Working to the best of your ability
  • Going above and beyond your job description
  • Making positive steps forward for the company

And you are not shown any thanks or gratitude for that… this can become VERY defeating.

And another sign you need to leave.

4. You’ve developed some self-confidence and know your true worth is not appreciated

If you’re a regular around these parts, I’m hoping that some of my tips are starting to sink and your self-confidence is creeping back (even if slowly!). If not, you know who to call.

You’ll know it’s there when you start thinking, “hang on, this isn’t right… I deserve better!”

Without that confidence, many of us will just keep on keeping on… saying nothing and getting more and more down in the dumps.

It takes confidence to see things for what they are because it means you need to identify when something is going against your values. Or when someone is not treating you with the respect you deserve. Or when you are not valued for your true worth.

Again, I know we don’t all have the means to just quit when we’ve acknowledged these feelings. So the most important thing is that once these feelings arise, you begin to put your energy and your money into things that are actually going to help you move forward into a role you deserve.

5. The culture has turned toxic or just doesn’t fit anymore

Toxic workplace culture is enough to turn off even the most career-focused individuals.

Why? Because working in a negative environment is uninspiring, unmotivating, and downright depressing. Nobody wants this. Nobody seeks this out. Yet SO many of us unknowingly end up in these situations and often feel like it’s too hard to get out.

It’s not.

It’s not too hard because NOTHING is more important than you.

NOTHING is more important than you.

Once you understand that, making decisions around your career will become much easier. It just takes confidence, and often time and effort, to get to that point.

And we’re here to help with that too…

Using KLCC to help you move on

We’ve actually lost count of the number of clients who come to us with these problems. They don’t know where it went wrong, or how to get out, but all they know is enough is enough.

It’s unfortunate that it’s often left until this point. But we get it. And many of us here at KLCC have even been through this ourselves.

We understand the freedom and sense of accomplishment that comes with removing yourself from a negative situation and putting steps in place to get you into a much more positive environment.

We have the tools and the know-how… all you need to do is book! It’s free to chat about your options, and you can make a time here.

Key takeaway: You are worth more than staying in an unhappy, toxic job which does not bring you joy and fulfilment. Know that the only thing you can control is YOU, and that YOU are more important than anything else.

You’ve got this 😉

Kate

Things to consider before trying out a career change

Are you thinking it might be time for something new? Most people undergo several career changes in their lifetime. In fact, it’s becoming more and more uncommon to find someone who’s been in the one job their whole career. So you can take solace in knowing you’re not alone in wanting a change!

Now, we don’t want to scare you off making this change. Many people experience a greater sense of happiness and fulfilment when they are in a fresh new role and inspiring new environment. But before you get started, there are a few things we recommend…

Career or job?

I’ve spoken about this difference before. A career is long term, so if you want a short-term change while you sort out other parts of your life, then you’re probably just after a job. Both are fine, and both require work, it’s just important to know which one you’re after!

There’s a simple trick to figuring this out. It’s not the only way to think about it, but it definitely does help.

Are you running AWAY from something?

  • Bad boss
  • Negative environment
  • Sick of your daily tasks
  • Bored

OR are you running TO something?

  • More daily variety and excitement
  • Better growth opportunities
  • An interesting client base
  • Opportunities to make a meaningful impact

If you really, strongly dislike your current job, you’re probably going to see any other position as “better.” This means you’re more likely to jump ship and end up in the exact same position again. You’ve found another ‘job’ even if you were meant to be looking for a career…

Get clear on WHY you want a change and WHAT you want this change to bring to your life.

Sort out your resume

If you’re looking for a similar role with a different company, you’re going to want to make sure you conduct thorough research before you start. Your new company wants to be sure that you will not only be able to transfer your skills across to a new environment, but that you will also be a great culture fit.

Alternatively, if you’re really going for a major shift in direction, your resume is absolutely KEY! And this is where KLCC can really give you that extra boost. Your career history will obviously show that you don’t have specific experience in this particular field. So the MOST important thing is that your skills and abilities really shine.

Usually, the biggest obstacle for people making the change is thinking that they do not have the right skill set for their new career. More often than not though, you will have highly transferrable skills which just need to be worded in the right way! We can help you with this and really increase your confidence in levels in getting out there and applying for your ideal roles.

Interview skills

I understand that interviews are pretty scary for most people. If you follow along on our Instagram, you may have seen our ‘tip of the week’ a few weeks back about interviews.

Here’s a bit of a run down…

If you want to be working in a role that you really LOVE, then interviews are going to be inevitable. But here’s 3 quick ways to make the whole experience way less scary…

  1. Be prepared with some questions for the interviewer. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the interview and having nothing to say when they ask “So, do you have any questions for me?
  2. Visualise. Imagine yourself already in the role. The emotions that come with this, the things you’d be doing day to day, the interactions you’ll have with your colleagues. This can often improve your confidence.
  3. Do your research. This sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people I’ve interviewed in my time who have no idea about the company. Doing your research shows you’re keen.

Along with our resume support, we also have some great packages which can help you not only with your interview skills, but also job search secrets and where to look for those ‘hidden jobs.’

If you haven’t had to interview in a while, you’re going to be nervous! Be prepared and be yourself as, after all, it’s as much an interview of the employer as it is of you.

Self

You cannot expect to find happiness in a job if you are not happy within yourself. There is always work to be done, whether you feel there is or not.

Investing time and energy into your self and your development is THE most important thing in anyone’s career journey. So many people overlook this crucial aspect, and it is often how they find themselves in other ‘jobs’ rather than in their ideal career role.

This is something we’re all really passionate about here at KLCC. If you’re looking to read more on this topic, here are some of the other related pieces I’ve written lately…

The key thing to remember is that working on your career comes with simultaneous work and effort on improving yourself. Many people don’t make this connection, and this is how so many job seekers end up in just another “job.”

How can KLCC help when considering a career change?

When you book in for a free chat, we begin to dig deep right away.

We get to know why you are looking for a change and what exactly you’re hoping to gain from this.

Our method has had so much success with so many clients. We are so grateful every day – for the wonderful people we have the pleasure of helping, and for the amazing result they continue to see.

If you’re considering a career change, KLCC is not only experienced in helping you gain clarity… but we’re also really passionate about what we do here.

Click here to book.

Managing mental health during a job search

Losing your job at any stage of your life is a stressful, upsetting experience. Whether it’s due to the current health crisis, or to a range of other potential factors, there are many things you can do to protect your mental wellbeing.

Before we get into it, it’s important to note that I am not claiming to be a mental health expert. But I am using my many years of experience in recruitment and career consulting to provide you with practical management strategies.

Time for a check-in

If you are not someone who is ordinarily in touch with the state of their mental health… there’s no better time to start than now.

Even if you are aware and protective of your mental wellbeing, this is still a useful exercise.

Let’s start by checking in with ourselves.

Take a moment to sit with your feelings. You might feel angry, scared, or maybe a little lost. Let yourself really listen to these emotions for as long as it takes.

The first important step is to recognise that this is ok. No one expects you to be fine with this. And fighting these feelings will often make the situation much more overwhelming.

Once these negative feelings have settled, let’s turn our attention to making a list.

Yep, get a pen and piece of paper, we’re all going to do this. This list can be just about work, just about your personal life, or a healthy mixture of both. Don’t worry about feeling silly – this list is for your eyes only!

3 things you’re grateful for…

These could be your health, your family, your pets, or maybe even the fresh food you’ve got in the fridge or the phone call you just had with a friend.

Focusing on gratitude (even on an everyday scale, but especially now) is such a great way to shift negative tension.

2 goals you have…

So these might be obvious goals like finding another job or getting back some of your income. Maybe it’s even just to have a more positive attitude.

Remember that what you put out into the world is what you will get back.

1 thing you’re looking forward to…

Ok so again, this could be “I’m really looking forward to that job interview I’m going to get” or even “I’m looking forward to my afternoon walk in the fresh air.”

This little strategy is really helpful for pulling you out of a slump and moving your attention to something positive to come.

And don’t get hung up on it!

Sounds SO MUCH EASIER than it really is.

Focusing all of your energy and attention on how you don’t have a job, how you can’t get an interview, or how no one is calling you back is going to take its toll.

YES, you need to put in the effort.

YES, you need to take the right steps (which we can help you with).

YES, finding a job is VERY important!

BUT, so is your mental health and wellbeing. So many times I have had clients come to me in a poor mental state which has affected their confidence.

We’re here to help!

If you’re struggling right now, please know that you are not alone. There are so many people and organisations out there that can help.

We are here to help you with your job applications, resumes, and interview tips.

Book in for a free 20-minute chat to find out more and get started on your next career journey.

Kate.