Job vs Career

by McKenzie Chapman   Ulticareer  | Job search  | Advice  | New perspective  | Career decision  | Job satisfaction  | Career advancement  | 

The words job and career are often used as synonyms. However, the truth is they mean different things. Everyone tends to use the terms interchangeably, but if you listen you’ll notice that people who are working to grow in their current industry will use the term career, while those working part-time, or at jobs they don’t enjoy, will rarely, if ever, use the word career to describe their situation.


Careers are long term while if you just consider your work a job, you’ll likely be looking for a replacement. When you’re in a career, rather than look at other jobs, you’re interested in moving up the ladder where you are.


This means that you’ll likely be more motivated to go above and beyond while pursuing your career. You’re more likely to work late and aim to exceed expectations because you think it’s worth it to grow in your career. But if you’re at a job that you don’t consider part of your career, then you’re likely to get away with doing the bare minimum to get by because you’re not concerned with impressing anyone. Since a job that isn’t part of a career is often short term, you can be less motivated to impress employers and take on big projects. It follows that a job that isn’t important to your career will have minimal impact on your resume.


In your career, you’ll be focused on gaining experience. Usually a job taken outside of a career path is more focused on getting paid. However, you can typically expect a career to have a salary and often benefits, while a job may only have an hourly wage.


Part of what sets a career apart from a job is values. Usually a career will have values that align with yours, which make you more passionate about pursuing long-term goals. While a job outside of your career doesn’t necessarily need to have an emphasis on values at all. With a career, you usually have more opportunities to make a bigger difference in society.


In a career, you’ll be connected with more people who share the same values, and expand your networking, and thus your employment opportunities. Careers will usually have a higher barrier to entry, which means you’ll likely be required to have special training or education.


The differences described here differentiate what most people think are the difference between a career and a job. However, a career can be made out of any job if you have the right perspective. If you stumble into a part-time job fresh out of college and have the passion and vision to make it into a career, then by all means, make it happen. In fact, many careers can grow from something that was initially taken for granted as a simple job.


What has your experience been? Did your career stem from something you first just considered a job? Help people at the beginning of their careers get to know what your type of job is really like by sharing your story on UltiCareer.



on UltiCareer to help others on their job search, get to know what your type of job is really like.

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