Distinguish between a Job versus a Career

Edited by Lor777, Monika

Kovick Name Job Career.jpg

What does work mean to you? By definition, work is labor--an expenditure of physical energy. In your past experience, work may have been nothing more than something done to earn money. Work has also been defined as a place. To work has traditionally meant to be a specific place for specific time periods on specific days traditionally meant to be a specific place for specific time periods on specific days because the job required it. The job, not the person holding it, was important.

This perspective has changed dramatically. Personnel officers have become human resource managers as corporations have begun to focus on people as key contributors in a struggle for quality, excellence, and innovation the workplace is now identified as people-centered. With 80 percent of the workforce in service jobs, corporations have become extremely dependent on their human resources for competitive advantage and growth. The difference between a successful company and one that loses its competitive edge lies in the quality of its people. Corporations are only as successful as the people who work in them.

The phrase job versus career is used over and over again while people struggle to define the real differences. Rather than looking at the differences, consider how the terms complement each other. Since there will probably be many phases of your career, you may hold many jobs throughout your lifetime. At some point, you will probably stop changing jobs and will remain in a key position for a long period of time. It may even be the final job you hold. But the growth you experience in that same job for an extended period of time is also a significant phase in your career.

The difference between a job and a career is not how many jobs you have but rather the meaning that your jobs have for you. To remain in one job for ten years can be just as successful a career direction as holding a number of successive jobs.

The Real Determining Factors Concerning Careers

  1. 1
    Your attitude and commitment to what you do go beyond the tasks you perform everyday.
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  2. 2
    You have the capability to determine what you want and how to get it, as opposed to taking what comes your way.
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  3. 3
    Rewards include, but go beyond, financial rewards
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  4. 4
    Rewards are characterized both by growth and change in you and in the challenges they provide for you.
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  5. 5
    What you do provides a certain degree of psychological and emotional satisfaction.
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  6. 6
    Rewards are the result of a planned sequence of related jobs.
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A major difference between a job and a career is one's attitude . It is possible for two people who perform the same tasks, have the same title, and have similar educational backgrounds to have very different outlooks on their work. If your job is only what you do to pay the bills, it can quickly become routine drudgery. You may develop the attitude that life begins when the workday ends. You will probably be less willing to look beyond the tasks you need to perform, and you may have little enthusiasm for performing them. In a job that is not part of a career direction, you may not strive for a promotion or plan for the future.

If you see your in the context of larger career goals, your motivation is different. You see it as a challenge, as an opportunity to gain new skills that will help you in the future. You see a next step. You will probably see the job as part of a lifelong learning process. All jobs are somewhat related; they just vary in degree of responsibility. You may stop at any point along your career path to become a member of senior management.

Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Flexibility will create job security for you.
  • To know you are in control of your career, you will need confidence.
  • A career is not determined by where you stop or how far you continue.
  • A career is the attitude with which you perform the job you have at any point in time.


If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Job & Work Ethics

Recent edits by: Lor777

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