Simply Having a Job vs Building a Career: 6 Distinctive Differences

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The words job and career are often used in a similar context, but they are quite different in meaning. A job often refers to a fast way of earning money. It is a task one needs to do to get through the day and pay the bills. At the same time, a career is more long-term. This word is often used to mean a constant journey to a higher position in one field.

The same position can be a job and career for different people. Whether one works as a receptionist at a hotel, clerks at retail, manager at the office, or a freelance writer at Essay Pro, there are many opportunities to take from it. Any job can contribute in terms of skills and experience to future employment too.

Let’s have a closer look at the differences between these terms.

1. Employees’ Attitude

As it was mentioned before, any position can be a job or a career. For example, one works as a receptionist at a hotel. For many, it is just a job to get some money and leave as soon as the shift is over. But some people treat this position as a career. Some might work as a receptionist and want to get promoted to an assistant manager, then manager and higher.

For example, according to statistics, 30% of Americans treat their employment simply as a job. It means less emotional involvement for many, as well as less initiative.

2. Longevity

The main difference between these two terms is in longevity. The job is much shorter in time. It can be a summer job, a part-time one. Essentially, it is a position with the set of responsibilities one does. Employees often do not see it as part of their future employment. They might say that it is just a way to earn some cash before they find something better or more fulfilling.

Career is a lifetime journey. It is a set of all previous positions, mostly in the same field or industry, which led the person to their current place. In the traditional sense, employees stay in the same industry and the same company and acquire new skills and experience to get promoted. They are dedicated to a particular sphere and see themselves involved with it in the future but on a higher level.

However, a career can be acquired by getting experience and skills in different industries. It might not be as traditional and easy sometimes, but every position has something to offer.

3. Efforts

Simply Having a Job vs Building a Career: 6 Distinctive Differences

Another difference comes out of the attitude towards the position. Employees that treat it as a simple job are more likely to put in minimal effort. They are aimed to simply do the tasks and leave after that. They are not initiative and do not do anything extra. Such employees show less interest in the field and related experience.

On the other hand, when employees are interested in career growth, they are more likely to put extra effort into their work. They have initiative; they ask more questions and look for additional skills to learn. They use their free time to educate themselves; they are looking for new courses and ways to gain experience.

They also tend to be more satisfied with their position. For example, 45% of American employees said that they are satisfied with their employment, and 21% wanted to change their position.

4. Salary and Bonuses

Often, jobs offer an hourly rate and no bonuses or other benefits for employees. They also rarely require specific education or a set of skills. Mostly, all the skills required can be learned during the probation period.

Career positions have a salary, paid vacation, and healthcare insurance. They offer better income and other benefits for employees. At the same time, such positions do require a specific set of skills and education. For example, to work in education or healthcare, one needs a diploma or certificate.

In general, the income and employment bonuses directly correlate with the required experience and knowledge.

5. Networking

80% of professionals agree that networking is essential for success. It is a great way to find new clients and business partners as well as get better opportunities. A lot of people find a new position or grow their business via networking.

In this regard, job and career also have different possibilities. The first one doesn’t really offer much of networking and valuable connections. If you work in retail, you are not likely to even have time to meet other professionals.

The career path provides many more networking opportunities. It is, in fact, a huge part of growing as professional. It comes in terms of conferences, courses, meetings, and events held by the industry leaders. They all are designed for people to communicate and share their experiences.

6. Happiness and Passion

As a result of all mentioned above, people are happy or unhappy with their work. The simple way to understand the difference is in the way one feels on Monday morning. If you feel tired and unenthusiastic, you have no passion or interest in the position you take. Such an attitude means you are doing a job instead of building a career.

When a professional feels energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate, then it is, most likely, a career. The same applies to leaving the work. If you feel angry rather than happy, this is probably a job you don’t aspire to be a part of your career.

Passion is exactly what turns a job into a career. It can be any position in any industry or field. The main point is that one feels importance, interest, and fulfillment. It is what makes it a dream position.

In Summary

To sum up, it all comes to a personal attitude and provided opportunities. If a person likes the position and feels like it is meaningful, it can be turned into a career path. At the same time, there is nothing wrong with having a job to pay the bills and support the family. Yet, being passionate about work helps to future success.

Jobs tend to be more short-term; they offer hourly rates and fewer networking opportunities. At the same time, they require less specific skills or degrees. They often feature fewer responsibilities and do not imply personal initiative. Some of them are a timely solution, but every job still offers experience and skills that can be used in the future. Even if one aspires to work in a completely different field.

Career is a set of previous positions that contribute to the current one by knowledge and experience. It is a lifetime journey that might lead to unexpected destinations. It can be a traditional one, when a person works in the same industry constantly, or untraditional one, like a personal business. It takes more effort and dedication but provides emotional and personal fulfillment.

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