What’s the difference between a job and a career? The two terms are often used interchangeably to describe work. Yet they are technically quite different. As a job seeker, you need to understand what these terms mean and how to properly define them.
Careerwise.mnscu.edu uses a great analogy when discussing jobs vs. careers. They wrote, “If life were a video game, a job would be just one level. Having a career means that you are committed to playing the game to get better over time and advance to higher levels.” That totally makes sense, right?
This is a great way to think about it, but lets take a closer look at the difference between a job and a career:
What Is A career?
- : noun
- : a job or profession that someone does for a long time
- : a period of time spent in a job or profession
A career is your professional growth over a long period of time. It is something that you are passionate about and it has a structured upward progression. Careers require planning and goals. This umbrella term includes the jobs, experience, certifications, training, and education that allow you to climb the professional ladder, gain responsibility, and earn a big paycheck. There is a clearly defined long term path that helps you to achieve your dreams.
What Is A job?
- : noun
- : the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money
- : a duty, task, or function that someone or something has
- : something that requires very great effort
A job is a short term employment opportunity that is all about the paycheck. Jobs can be any type of work experience that pays you for a shorter period of time. They don’t always go as planned and you may quit one job for another if you don’t enjoy the day to day grind. The jobs you have throughout your lifetime add up to make your career. They are like stepping stones where you build skills, network, and gain experience. Since jobs are shorter in duration they are an excellent way to test the waters to see what you like doing and where you like to live while making enough money to live your life.
Do these definitions make sense? Can you see the difference between a job and a career now? This helpful video from Study.com is a good watch if you’re keen to explore the differences even more.
After reading the differences between jobs and careers? What are you seeking? A quick and simple paying job or a fulfilling journey through the professional world? There’s no right or wrong answer as long as you know what you are pursuing. Whether you have a job or a career, this is how you will spend a good chunk of your time so choose something that you enjoy and try to work at a place that you enjoy. It makes a big difference in your personal satisfaction.
If you’re unhappy doing what you’re doing you need to seriously consider making a change. Do you want a new job or a new career? It’s a big difference and you must choose wisely.