I was recently asked “what is the difference between a career and job”?

I have written many blogs posts and created videos that are around career advance, development and career change. To many people, a job and a career is the same thing.

The lady asked me the question in conversation, in the context of thinking about how she could change her job to something that she perceived to be better for her future prospects. Also, do I only work with people that have a career?

A darned good question. There is no real definition to hang your hat on. I did answer it but I had to consider the response, which is why I thought I’d provide that clarification here, from the perspective of Improving Performance personal coaching. 

Basically, you can make a career out of most occupations. If you love it and you get a reputation for being great at it, then you can say that this is your career.

A job is something that you do to get paid. As an employee, you may have several jobs throughout your working life and they often have a physical or mental requirement to produce an outcome. In a job, a individual is trained or experienced in the area that they are working. An individual does often consider longer term goals but not necessarily in that particular field. That said, a lot of jobs are the springboard for longer term careers. E.g In a call centre, an agent’s job may advance to a sales, management or marketing career.

A career is something that requires more of your time in terms of formal training, education or qualification and longer-term goal planning. A career is generally an occupation where the individual works in that ‘space’ for their whole career, albeit at different levels.

A career tends to offer the individual career advancement and the remuneration packages often include a salary and benefits package, like healthcare, company car, communications tools. It is often what the person wants to do because they have the skill or they love it. Whilst they get paid, people with careers will generally invest their time in the pursuit of advancing that career.

In this context, I make little distinction between the two as it is the result that the client is looking for.

Your future is in your hands. You decide the direction that it goes, whether you have a career or a job.

For a conversation on how Improving Performance personal coaching can work with you to achieve the career results that will positively impact your life, contact today to book a 15 minute consultation.

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