Throughout our lives, we are continuously confronted with the question of who we are, what we like, what we are interested in; and thus we are constantly trying to define ourselves through the things we do and the decisions we make.

One of the most significant decisions that we are challenged by is what we will be doing for a living. Without knowing it, most people pick a job over a career simply because they earn more money that way and don’t have to put as much time and effort into it. However, only a few people actually know the difference between a job and a career, although their differences outweigh their similarities by far.

While it might not seem important at first, knowing the differences between a job and career can make a 360° change in your life. If you are intrigued by this thought, and want to know why and how this is possible, then just keep on reading and learn what it takes to make the right decision for you, your life, and your future.

 

If you don’t feel it, flee from it – Paul F. Davis

 

I am sure all of us can relate to that feeling when you get out of bed and know you have to go to work, but you are so demotivated that you are struggling to even get ready. This is one of the main aspects that delineate a job from a career. Other than a career that focuses on and nurtures your talents and skills, a job covers three main points: duty, responsibility, and bridging the gap.

The primary task of a job is to serve the purpose, either in matters of money, experience, or as a stepping stone to reach your actual goals. Despite the fact, that money and experience are important, you also have to focus on moving forward; otherwise, you will end up being stuck with a job that offers no opportunities for you on the long run.

This, unfortunately, happens to many people; once they realize how much effort it takes to get to their actual career, they end up getting discouraged and indolent and rather stick to their simple, yet comfortable, job that offers them enough money to live a simple life, rather than to strive for a career that they would actually like to have.

We will have many jobs throughout our lives for different reasons, such as, helping us to find out what kind of career we would like to pursue, helping us to gain experience for our future career goals, or even helping us learn about our strength and weaknesses. This is why, it is essential to find a job that fits your needs; choose your job(s) wisely, because it (they) could end up being a part of your future.

 

Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for doing it – Katharine Whitehorn

 

This is the most notable divergence between a job and a career, because it focuses on what you are interested in and what you enjoy doing. A career is not based on ‘must do’ and ‘have to’, but rather on passion, abilities, interests, values, and personal growth. This is one of the greatest disparities between having a job at a fast-food restaurant, and conducting or even owning a chain of fast-food restaurants. The first is a job, the latter is a career; knowing where you want to be can help you make the right decisions.

 

What is right for me?

We all recall the question “What do you want to be when you grow up? Even though we grow up knowing what others expect of us, we often don’t know what we, ourselves, want to do. Although this is a question only we can answer, we are habitually prone to rely on others and their opinions rather than making up our own mind about it. Due to this, we tend to become distressed and deterred; nevertheless, the solution to the problem is simple, we just have to question ourselves.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you like?
  • What are your interests?
  • What do you value?
  • Are you pragmatic and realistic, or rather creative and optimistic?
  • Are you disciplined and orderly, or rather chaotic yet structured?
  • Do you rather compliment or criticize people more easily?
  • Do you work better in a group or independently?
  • Do you live in the here and now, or are you a future planner?
  • Do you prefer physical or mental work? (Some people would love to work in an office, while others would rather like working outdoors)
  • Do you like traveling?
  • Would you consider changing your location for your future career?
  • What keeps you motivated?
  • Do you like or need routine?
  • Do you have any specific skills or talents?

These are just a few questions that you need to ask yourself when looking for a career that fits you best. Moreover, searching for careers by identifying your personality type (through specific personality tests, such as this one) not only helps to find out more about yourself, but also narrows down your career choices.

 

Slow and steady wins the race

All in all, you have to allow yourself to think about what you really want, don’t pressure yourself about it or you might end up making the wrong decisions. Take into account that employers are looking for people who fill in a certain job schema, however, you should be looking for a job that fulfills your needs and offers opportunities that will help you further; you have to build your own ladder to success.

In addition, one should always keep in mind that Rome was not built in one day either; reaching your career goals is not something that will happen overnight, it takes time, patience, and effort. That is what distinguishes a job from a career; either you stay put and stick to your daily routine, or you keep on moving to achieve your career goals. The decision is yours to make!

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