Career vs. Job
What’s a job? A job is a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price. It can be part-time or full-time work.
What is a career? It is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress and growth.
Why are these important to know. For obvious reasons, a job is considered an entry-level type of position while a career is considered a big boy or big girl job. Typically, it’s where you wear suits, ties, and other professional clothing. Men look sharp and women look sophisticated. It doesn’t even matter how much money you make. Working as a secretary in an office at any college in America is instantly considered more professional and respectable than working as a waiter/waitress for any of the many five-star restaurants that exist around the world. You could be making 10 to 20 thousand dollars more a year in income as a server and it still wouldn’t stack up to being employed at a University. A waiter in any establishment is looked down upon. You’re not wearing the right clothes as a respectable adult. There’s no room for growth or promotions in your position. You don’t have a grown up job.
This is obviously ridiculous and absurd but it is the truth. More importantly, it limits you to getting a position that requires you to work for somebody else. That’s right. Being known as an entrepreneur is just another way of calling yourself a freeloader or a lazy sack of potatoes. Maybe that’s a little harsh, but entrepreneurship is highly frowned upon, at least when you haven’t established anything yet.
You want to know what my definition of a job and career is? To me, a job is any position that pays you. Whether it’s a corporate position, position on a professional sports team, or you’re a janitor at a local High School. A job is any position that you agree to uphold in order to get paid for executing its assigned tasks though you really have no motivation to do it, except to receive money or to please other people. You have no passion, no drive, and no love for it. There might be room for improvement and growth, but that only interests you because of the pay increase. You really have no vision for it.
You know what a career is to me? It is a path that you willingly go down to achieve a dream, goal, or ambition that excites you. A career is a paid gig that will allow you to grow mentally and spiritually. When I say spiritually, I mean in happiness and in peace of mind. A career is a lifestyle that you enjoy. It is apart of you and your personality. You don’t look forward to turning it off once you clock out because it is you always. A career for you could be working as a night stocker at Wal-Mart, making videos on YouTube, or even working as a paralegal. You can have a career as an entrepreneur or as an employee. Any two people can have the same job title at the same company and yet for one it could be just another job while for another it could be the start of a beautiful career. I’m not saying you have to be in love with what you do, or even obsessed, but you should enjoy it and want to improve at it everyday, every month or at least every year. If you’re just trying to get through everyday then you are truly just working a job.
I want to help you find a career. Maybe you already have one. Maybe you’ve found it but are not treating it as such because you are embarrassed about it. Maybe it’s not a respectable position. I can understand, but you have to ask yourself what is important to you? Do you want to achieve your goals and dreams or fit into somebody elses box of what they think you’re supposed to be doing?
Understand, you don’t have to be madly passionate about your potential career. You should just enjoy it on some level and have a reason or two that makes you want to give high levels of effort. Here are some indications that where you work or want to work may be a career for you:
- Do you enjoy it?
- Do you seldom look at the clock?
- Do you look forward to the next day?
- Do you have a vision for what you want to accomplish during your employment?
- Is there room for promotions?
- Do you want to be promoted?
- Do you want to make an impact on the company or on other people?
- Are you creative with your work?
- Would you decline another job doing something completely different that you probably wouldn’t like for double the pay?
- Do you want to be the best at what you do?
This isn’t the end all be all list of questions that will guarantee your career search but if you can answer yes to all or almost all of these questions than I think it would be safe to say that you have found a winner.
I know what most of you are thinking. “I have a job and I want a career, but……blah blah blah.” I’m not discrediting whatever your reasoning is, I’m just going to let you finish in the blahs yourself. The best advice I could give to most people who are stuck in some variation of this situation would be either to A) go after your career while you work your job, B) quit and start your career, or C) ask yourself is having a career really for you? This last question is important, because just like I believe not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur I also believe that not everybody is meant to have a career, though I would love for everybody to. I only say this because sometimes our potential career doesn’t mesh well with what’s important to us. Like maybe it’s too risky for you to start a business, maybe it would take too many hours to work that career, maybe you would feel embarrassed if people knew you did that for a living, or maybe your spouse doesn’t support or respect it. I’m not saying that those are good enough reasons to not go after your career, but I am saying that I understand and I don’t believe that you HAVE TO pursue an enjoyable and passionate career. Some people feel are more comfortable at their boring desk job.
As a reminder, my goal is to help you find that CAREER! If you want to. And the only way to do that is to explore, research, and experiment. I believe that the greatest resource out there that would help the average person achieve such a feat successfully would be Tim Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Work Week.
Tim’s book will help you do 1 of 3 things; help you establish your career while working a job, help you turn your job into a career, or help you realize that establishing a career is just too much trouble. I hope it’s one of the first two options. You can do it.
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Mel Jones the BEAST