Choose a career, not a job

One month into my new adventure and I’ve realised that I made a significant turn in my life when I decided to choose a career over a job. Have you ever thought about what is the difference between the two, because personally I hadn’t until a couple of months back. Career is about your growth, not only as a professional but also as an individual. It requires effort and pushing your own boundaries to go beyond your limits. A job is something that just pays your bills at the end of the month, a means to maybe support your real passion. A career does not care about money, because money will naturally come and is something that needs patience, time, planning and opportunities.

job VS career
Job VS Career

A few months ago, I personally got to a stage where I was going to work without a plan and I was not really enjoying myself to the point that I had stopped improving my skills and become stuck in a very destructive mindset. I started thinking I was better than what I’d become but I did nothing to improve upon it. I became a victim of my own circumstances at that point. I complained endlessly about my job, about the fact that I wasn’t learning enough and that I had no one to learn from with no prospectives in the role other than the hope of a new empty title and maybe one day a buyout.

This went on for months — I could no longer recognise my professional self. For the first time, I lost track of my professional self and found myself in a disappointing job. Then I stopped; I spoke to many people dear to me — two of them made the following observations “you have to decide how much you are willing to compromise who you are for your job or career” and “your loyalty and work ethics should be spent somewhere that will appreciate them”. I think you really need to ponder on these two sentences when you get to the point I was at, or if you ever feel like you are at a cross in your career.

ou have to decide how much are you willing to compromise who you are for your job or career

If there are things at work that are currently stopping to follow your career goals, do you know why are they doing so? Are you willing to compromise your work ethics to fix them? Can you compromise who you are and play someone’s politics games? Are you willing to just work for an employer for the money? All the answers for me were a NO.

Loyalty

our loyalty should be spent on someone who will appreciate it

That is as simple as it looks, your time is precious and you spend the majority of your day at work, so do this for someone who deserves it. That being your team, your boss and your company, but most importantly yourself. Be loyal to the person you want to be — and remember, the best employee is the loyal employee, your employer should know and value that.

After thinking about the above, I stopped complaining and I put a plan into motion to find a new job. I gave myself a deadline, a list of places to send my CV, and a specific company profile I was looking for which helped me define my targets. Looking for a new job is not only about “am I a good fit for this company” but also “is this company a good fit for me?”. Choose a company that will help you grow and will actually be involved in doing so. Do not just choose a company because it pays well.

Then the very exciting process of looking for a new job started, and I soon had offers on the table to choose from. Two of these were the ones I was considering the most. I made sure to take my time talking to these companies in order to get as much information as possible. Both offers were amazing, more than I could dream of in terms of company and team. One of the offers, the most challenging in terms of role and skillset, was a career offer and not only a job offer; that is the one I ended up accepting. How did I know that? Well, there were two main factors: what I could offer them and what they could offer me. While talking to them I understood we were on the same page and I could offer them my loyalty, dedication and specific skillset. At the same time, they could offer me a very challenging product, very different from anything I worked on before, an amazing team and a brand new set of skills — but most of all, they had a plan for me from day one (day one being the day they make me the offer). I was given very honest and detailed feedback — it was the same feedback I gave myself and they had a plan of how to work on my weaknesses from a practical and strategic point of view. That is all I wanted for my career: a new plan to get me one step further at the time.

One month in, and choosing a career over a job was the best choice I could have made. Get out your comfort zone, push yourself, go through the pain. Do it for the better version of yourself (hopefully the stickman below will encourage you!!!).

Push yourself
Push Yourself

Lead Software engineer who loves data, rockets and anything that is not the norm