Job Search and a Career Change – There Is A Difference

 In Career Tips


What's the difference Job Serach vs Career ChangeGuest Post

I was recently questioned about the difference between a career change and a job search with the idea that the two might really be the same.  There is an important difference; and the problem comes when a person in a job search is confusing the two.

Many people facing a job search will often use that event to make a change from the career they have been in, especially those who have been laid off.  I think that is a good time to consider a career change – nothing better than a swift boot out the door to make you finally reconsider your direction.  However, you need to be sure to hold off on the job search until you’ve done the necessary work to identify your new career.

What is the difference between the job search and career change?

A Job Search is a process of multiple activities where you ultimately obtain an offer for a job you will accept.

A Career Change, if done right, is a process of self discovery that will guide you to a decision about what career you would love.  That decision can lead you to three possible next steps:

  1. Job search
  2. Schooling
  3. Starting a Business.

These steps can be pursued in various combinations, depending on exactly what you intend to do.

Job search = new job.  Career change = career decision.

What makes confusing the two a problem?

Quite simply, a job search that is launched without clear direction on the job/career you intend to pursue is a messy, confusing, ineffective process.  You won’t get where you want to go, because you have no idea where you’re headed.  When you are clear about WHAT job you want, the entire job search process becomes a highly targeted, efficient activity where all efforts are leading to that one destination – the job you want.

I recognize the fact that for many of us, we don’t know how to figure out the career of our dreams and therefore, when we are in the midst of our job search, we resort to the time-honored tradition of: “I’ll find something.”  That’s also the reason why so many people out there working, don’t like their jobs.  They “find” something that on the surface might sound acceptable, but without the work ahead of time to discover the type of career that will resonate, it’s like winning the lottery.  You’re lucky if it works out.

If you’re facing a job search and also contemplating a career change, do yourself a favor and work on your career decision first.  If you’re not sure what to do to help make that decision, there are books and career coaches out there to help you.  It will be worth it in the long run to spend the time in self examination and research the field of possibilities.  Then, if your decision leads you to a job search, your search will go much better and your results will happen faster when you know where you’re headed.


For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and

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