How to Move from a Job to a Career

Have you ever thought about the difference between a job and a career? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably had a variety of jobs, but only one or two truly defined career paths. A job is a stop on your career journey.  Once you’ve determined that you want to move from a job to a career, you can begin to build the foundation for a career journey that will utilise your best self, ignite your passion, and provide long-term satisfaction.

How to Move from a Job to a Career

We all have many jobs in our lives. Often, these start out as low-paid, not terribly glamorous jobs. They aren’t the kind of thing where you think “Yes! I want to do this the rest of my life!” On the other hand, a career is that type of thing. When you think of a career, you might associate that with an accountant, solicitor, a doctor, a nurse, a professor – someone who has spent many years learning their skill so they can work in that field for a few decades before retirement. But how do you transition from a job to a career? If only there was a road map for such a thing…well, the good news is, there almost is. It’s just going to take some work on your part.

In this article, we’re going to help you take an inventory of where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to get there. This process can be easily broken down into three steps: self-assessment, SWOT analysis, and action plan.  Follow these in order to get started on what will hopefully be a fulfilling career.

Job and Career Self-Assessment

“Passion is the difference between a job and a career.”

A career is “a profession for which one trains and is undertaken as a permanent calling.”  Careers are long term and help you best utilise your strengths, experiences, education, and skills.  Therefore, the first step in moving from job to career is to identify those things which you are passionate about.

To get started, take some time to answer the questions below. Write them down and just let your thoughts flow as you answer each question.

What do I love about my current job?

What have I loved about other jobs I’ve had?

What am I good at?

What do other people often ask me for help with?

What is something I would do for free?

What fuels me?

How do I work best?

What is my Myers-Briggs or Enneagram personality type? What careers are recommended for my type?

Are there any commonalities that stand out to you? Do you enjoy jobs that require being outside, working with your hands, working with children, being alone, being with a team? Pay attention to anything that shows up repeatedly.