Sometimes we use the terms “career” and “job” interchangeably, as if they were synonyms. So, are they interchangeable? What distinguishes a “career” from a “job” exactly? Or do the two terms just express the same idea differently? In actuality, they are not the same.
Although there are numerous variations between a career and a job, degree of participation is the key distinction.
Both jobs and careers provide us the opportunity to make enough money to support our families and ourselves, but they are not the same thing. Planning your professional objectives requires knowing if you are aiming for a career or a job.
You started working as a cashier at the neighborhood grocery when you were sixteen. When you were eighteen, you left for college. To help pay for it, you worked part-time as a tutor and waited tables at the campus restaurant.
You accepted a position as an associate at an investing company after earning a business degree from college. You performed alright as a partner.
You always arrived on time, completed the required amount of work, and didn’t perform poorly, but you also didn’t do exceptionally well.
You resigned your job after three years of boredom, monotony, and suffering and launched an inventive ski rental company in Park City, Utah, investing your time, money, and heart into it. You’ve finally discovered a career—a job that is completely interesting.
Engagement is the primary distinction between a job and a career. You are engaged and pushed on a regular level when you work a job you love.
Your work becomes your career when you enjoy it and treat it as a long-term project. Unsurprisingly, the majority of American employees who consider their profession to be a “career” really only have a job.
What is a job?
A job is any work you do for pay to cover your daily expenses. It could be a temporary, part-time, or full-time position. Instead of a salary with benefits, you can receive an hourly rate or a fixed income.
Not every profession needs a specialist degree or advanced training, but you may need to gain certain skills related to that position.
Employers anticipate that their staff members will execute their specific work in exchange for regular remuneration and will be accountable for the responsibilities assigned to them.
A short- or long-term contract between an employer and a worker is another way to describe a job. For instance, a business may employ a regional builder to finish an office refurbishment project. Payment arrangements are agreed upon, and once the project is finished, the engagement is over.
What is a career?
The long-term professional trajectory you choose for your career might be based on your hobbies. It is the route you take to achieve your professional aims and goals. To reach these goals, you might need a specific degree of education or expertise.
People who are pursuing jobs frequently have fixed salary with perks including stock options, pensions, retirement plans, and bonuses. In addition to financial gains, they also profit in terms of pride in themselves, job satisfaction, and self-worth.
Your entire life may be devoted to a single career. You could work for several different companies in your preferred field as you advance in your career.
Over 70% of American workers, according to Gallup.com, are not actively involved in their careers. The degree of employee involvement is unchanged. The economy is being impacted by the fact that most workers are not devoted, passionate, or engaged at work.
The State of the American Workplace: 2010–2012 by Gallup categorized employees into three groups:
- ENGAGED: Employees are deeply committed to their jobs and feel a strong sense of loyalty to their employers. They frequently see their business as their own, taking personal responsibility for its success and image. They are not useless. They work diligently and creatively to advance the business.
- NOT-ENGAGED: Employees are responsive and physically present, but they’ve emotionally “checked out”. They go about their regular business, but their job lacks enthusiasm, and they do poorly.
- ACTIVELY DISENGAGED: They aren’t happy at work, and it typically shows. They chat and grumble about their work and the firm. Both their own and their coworkers’ efficacy is compromised by them. They blatantly work against the growth and success of the business they represent.
Of the 70% of workers that are not involved, 50% are “not engaged” and the other 20% are “actively disengaged”. According to Gallup, the United States loses $500 billion a year in productivity due to its actively disengaged workforce alone.
Do you currently hold a job or a career? Are you one of the unengaged employees or do you fall into the category of the blatantly unengaged? Don’t worry if you realize you just have a job today; simply start taking actions to discover a career.
Do not misinterpret; having a job is acceptable in some circumstances. Each of us has worked at some point, and perhaps it’s the only thing we can find right now.
Don’t mistake a job for a career, though. Recognize the primary distinction between the two and put up a determined effort to locate a profession—not just any one, but one that keeps you consistently interested.