#CareerCon2019: Five Considerations to Make to Turn Your Job Into a Career
Turning a regular nine-to-five role into a full-blown profession with opportunities for progress is easier said than done, and there is apparently more to it than simply following one's passion or purpose.
Whether it’s the people who have long known what they want to do with their lives or those who are treading more unknown paths and waiting to discover their purpose, one thing rings true, and that is everyone has at one point or another asked: “How do I turn this job into a career?”
The most common replies would typically imply that following one’s passion is the way, where you “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While in no way bad advice, these don’t actually tell of how to make a career out of a job, regardless if it’s one that is loved or not.
Whichever field it is, be it banking and finance, agriculture, data science, or even professional sports, or entertainment, it takes continued growth to get ahead in an industry and be able to turn that job into a career.
Speaking at the first-ever CareerCon held last July 20 the Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City, Kalibrr Co-Founder and CEO Paul Rivera elaborated on a few ways professionals can ensure they always have the opportunity to grow, and turn any job they sign up for into a meaningful career.
“Don’t choose a company. Choose a boss.”
While often surfacing as shared quote cards on Facebook and LinkedIn, it can’t be emphasized enough how choosing the right boss is monumental in turning a job into a career.
While there is always someone to answer to in almost any job, according to Rivera, the best ones are not just there to tell you what to do or to sign-off on your salaries.
“What you want to choose is a leader. A manager. A mentor. Because if you align yourself with the right boss, especially early in your career, it can be transformatory. They’ll not only show you the ropes of the company, but can prove to be good mentors for, or at least examples of, how it is to succeed.”
“Ask first what you will learn, not what you will earn”
Turning a job into a career can start even as you apply for it. While interviews are often the place to ask about compensation and benefits, it is an even better time to determine if a role or company will indeed afford you the mentoring opportunities, and tools to learn and improve and ultimately grow a career there.
“Ask first what you will learn, not what you will earn. Especially early on in your career when you have a little less personal responsibilities and have the time and energy to learn. Ask who you’ll learn it from. Even ask your interviewers, what have they learned while being in the organization.”
The people you talk to during the application process are a good indication whether working in the company is more job than career, and they can also attest to what exactly are the ways which the company pursues employee growth and engagement.
“Be deliberate in finding your shape.”
Being at a job often means earning work experience, and while it may not be a career yet, it is an opportunity to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. These ultimately help you determine what roles you can best succeed in and consider turning into a career.
According to Rivera, it’s all about eventually finding where you fit when you find your shape. “Be deliberate about finding your shape. Because once you figure out your shape, you’ll know how you’ll fit in. You’ll know what you excel in.”
He contends that this also involves a great deal of patience, as it can sometimes be tempting to leave a job when it doesn’t present the clearest career path. But he insists that not bolting at the first instance can help smoothen out your edges. “Stay until you’ve found your edge, or you think you know what shape you are.”
“To get more is to do more.”
Expectedly, a job does not become a career without a great deal of effort on your end, and according to Rivera, doing your job will help you keep it, but doing more will help you grow it.
“To really get ahead in an organization, you have to go above and beyond the job description. If you only do what’s in your job description, you’re okay, you’re doing your job. But to get more is to do more.”
Indeed, going above and beyond one’s job responsibilities is the key to expanding a career, as doing so is often a combination of being willing to do more, and being willing to learn how to do it. And speaking of expanding your skillset…
“Continuous learning is key.”
Expanding a job into career often means expanding your skillset. Rivera shares that wanting to know more means being able to do more, and this often really takes effect when you are always seeking the unfamiliar, and are interested enough to make it familiar.
“Continuous learning is key. Get uncomfortable. Curiosity is the force that fires everything. Unfortunately, schools can force us to learn things we may not be interested in. So find that curiosity from what you like, and let it carry you to what you want to learn.”
Learning can indeed help in the expansion of a job into a career, but it can also help in moving from one job towards a totally different career, as the latter often means having to start from scratch and being a newbie all over again.
Bonus advice: “Do everything you say you are going to do”
Any job market is competitive, and in a slew of multi-talented people, it can be difficult to stand-out even when you have many skills. In this instance, reputation is key, and being known for your integrity can go a long way in keeping you top of mind when new opportunities arise.
“Do everything you say you are going to do. Your word and integrity is everything. Don’t put yourself in situations where you have to make excuses for yourself. Remember, our career foundation are skills, relevant experiences, and most importantly, relationships. Your colleagues and mentors will most often remember how well you are to work with and how you treated them.”
Doing this can help you beyond your current companies. In an industry where everyone knows everyone else, having a good reputation is key to being considered for good career opportunities.
Ready to find that job to turn into a career? Sign up at Kalibrr and be connected to thousands of employers, today!
For more photos and highlights of CareerCon, click here.
Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talent from all over, with over 2 million professionals and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients, and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.