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  • Writer's pictureAmaka Uche

The Difference Between A Job And A Career

Having a job and having a career sometimes seems like the same thing right?

Most people actually use these words interchangeably.  However, upon closer inspection they both have very different meanings.

According to the English dictionary, a job is what a person does in exchange for money.  Along with a job, typically career advancement is not something you’re interested in, and the work often isn’t very interesting. On the other hand, a career is the pursuit of life long goal based on training of a certain ability. It can be a series of connected employment opportunities.  Based on this, I believe the main difference between a job and a career is your attitude and how much energy you actually invest in it. 

In the world of work, attitudes to the nature of work have changed. No longer do individuals stay in the same job until retirement. Even now, you may have a desire to purse numerous different careers until you reach retirement as people are more likely to change roles based on fulfilment, desire or career trajectory for a number of reasons. It is important to also know that not every career you take in your lifetime will have a single unifying theme. Some careers are homogeneous, but these days many are not. 

Whether you are currently in a job or career will really depend on your stage of life.  I have learned that jobs can help people start careers in many ways – experience, knowledge, learning about what they like and dislike. Eventually I think striving for a career is a very positive step forward because it means you want more out of the work than just getting paid. You want to develop your talents, really enjoy what you do, and care about how you spend your time each day. 

Over the years in conversation with young people I have mentored most have identified that they really want to take steps to having a career because it is perceived to be way better than ‘just a job. This is especially true once they have finish university because they really want the chance to use the skills and interests they have learned whilst in their studies. Typically, if you see something as "just a job," you probably aren't getting much fulfilment from it. However if you commit to something as a career, you are more likely to be inspired to learn more about that field and pursue jobs that further your goals.

If you feel like you are ready to transition from a job to a career, be encouraged, its really never too late!!

Here’s a few steps that you can take:

-Find out what you are passionate about, and then explore careers that could help you satisfy that passion.

-If you haven’t already, think about going after a degree, advanced certification, or other training to

increase your earning power and potential to grow in your desired area of work.

-Explore opportunities to create your own career – it doesn’t always have to be with an establish company. You could start your own business doing what you love! 

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