On a Job Search… or a Career Search?

A person holds several jobs over the course of their career. Changing jobs within the same field of work is easier to do than switching careers. When you switch careers the person may have to begin at the bottom of the ladder and progress like any new entrant to that field. Someone who holds a job usually does it mainly for the money; advancement is not one of the priorities or the work may not be interesting. A person who pursues a career is seeking out connected employment opportunities which builds up skills at the lower levels that later helps you move into higher paying and sometimes prestigious positions further down the path.

job – noun | \ˈjäb\ :the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money
career – noun | ca-reer | \kə-ˈrir\ :a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life

Clarifying comparatives:

  • job may have little impact on a future résumé or work life; a career is a series of related opportunities that will have an impact on your résumé and will ultimately fuel your future
  • job offers a few opportunities for networking since the ones you meet at the job may not necessarily be the people you’ll know at a future job; a career is full of professional networking opportunities and those surrounding you are involved in similar careers such as yours and you will run into them time and time again
  • job may or may not require special education or training to fulfill its requirements; a career normally requires specialized learning and education that include components which develop abilities that are beyond that provided by training

Job Advice

The goal in a job is to get the task done and to maintain a good relationship with your boss, do the job right and the regular paycheck is guaranteed. Holding a job doesn’t require a great investment on the part of the job holder; just do what is asked of you while expending the minimal amount of mental, physical, and emotional energy. If your employment situation sounds like a job, don’t spend your time killing yourself for it, instead invest that time for other things in your life like a second job, hobbies, jump-starting a career, etc.

Career Advice

The focus of a career is to not only get the task at hand completed, but serves as an opportunity to learn skills, gain experiences, build professional networks to ultimately position yourself to get raises, promotions, or positions at other similar organizations. You should invest some emotional energy into that career and become passionate about your future.

To achieve this end, a person will have to go the extra mile by doing tasks beyond the minimum expected in the job description. Pave your way to success by building positive relationships with your coworkers and other people around you so they can become your advocate. Fight hard for that career until you solidly achieve the success that you want out of it and you can do this by setting a professional goal, mapping out the path to it, and getting to work.

Final Thoughts

Having awareness early on whether or not the employment opportunity presented to you is a job or career is easy, ask yourself the following question; “Do I hope to be promoted as some point, or do I just need to collect a paycheck?” If you are just in need of that paycheck, then don’t become emotionally invested, if you hope that this opportunity will help you achieve greater things, it’s time to turn on the passion and make it a career goal.

Adapted from an original post published by  on