We frequently hear questions like, “What Career Path have you chosen for yourself?” and “Do you find fulfillment in your current job?” What are the distinctions between a Job and a Career?
What is a job?
A job, according to Wikipedia, is “a regular activity performed in exchange for payment, or a task or project that may or may not be compensated.” Another definition of a job is a paid position or a task or pieces of work to be completed.
On most occasions, a job may begin with submitting an application to fill a vacant position of interest in an organization, attending an interview so your claims in your resume can be evaluated, performing a physical checkup, taking a written test, training, and if hired, being placed on probation before finally getting to properly settle down to doing the job.
It also entails signing contractual documents that may include the terms and conditions as well as the code of ethics of the concerned organization, stating that if hired, you will abide by the rules of the organization and that guiding your job function. You may be required to dress, act, and behave in ways you do not like at times, but you may have accepted that as part of the price to pay in order to be paid eventually. Depending on the agreement, you may be paid weekly, monthly, or quarterly for your work.
What is a Career?
When used as a synonym, career can refer to occupations such as Doctor, Accountant, Engineer, Lawyer, Artist, Mechanic, Teacher, and so on, but it primarily refers to an occupation, profession, vocation, or trade in which someone is engaged.
A person’s career may also refer to a person’s path through a series of jobs over a long period of time, which may even include internship or volunteering. Choosing a career path always involves a person’s choice, and it may entail lengthy periods of education in the relevant field, as well as training and advancement.
The following are some of the distinctions between a job and a career:
– While a job is simply a way to earn a living for a short period of time, a career is a lifelong pursuit that leads to specialization.
– While it is possible to gain experience in addition to monetary earnings on the job, professional growth, recognition, and opportunity may not be included. Career, on the other hand, provides you with numerous opportunities for professional development as well as other benefits such as the ability to become a mentor, specialist, and leader.
– While a job may not be as difficult as a career, it may require a few months of training and a probation period before it can be started. A career, on the other hand, requires many years of training and resources.
A career cannot be said to be more important than a job, nor can a job be more important than a career, because it is possible to work on a job while developing a career, and you may even have a career path in mind but would like to work on some jobs to save up enough resources to pursue your desired career.
Furthermore, working on a specific project for an extended period of time usually facilitates the learning process on the career path. For example, if you start as a secretary and continue to work as a secretary in the same or a different organization, you will have gained a lot of experience on the job over time, allowing you to advance in this field to the point where you may be promoted to a trainer or supervisor to other secretaries, allowing you to build a career for yourself. You could then start your own consulting firm where secretaries are trained to work for various organizations.
Another example is a situation in which a person advances through the organization at various levels as a result of being promoted from one capacity to a higher level of responsibility over time. An excellent example is a cleaner in a bank who performs admirably during his contract and is hired as a cashier, eventually rising through the ranks to become head Cashier, head Customer Service, operations manager, and Branch Manager. This cleaner may have carved out a career as a banker.