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How Do Careers Differ From Jobs, And Why It’s Important To Know The Difference

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

An image of a large magnifying glass resting on its side with the words, Career Vs Job, visible in the middle of the glass.

Understanding how jobs and careers differ as well as how they are related is essential to success in life and work. According to, while a job is something you do to make money, a career is a lifelong journey to fulfil your goals and ambitions. It’s important to understand the difference between the two not only to make the most out of each, but to ensure that you’re ultimately taking steps towards fostering a fulfilling career.


First, let’s talk about jobs.

Jobs are the building blocks of a career, and each gives us the opportunity to learn, develop new skills, gain valuable experience, and guide us along our career path.

A job is an easy concept to understand; a person performs a set of specific tasks in return for compensation. A job focuses on short-term initiatives and objectives, be they manufacturing, assembling, packaging, or shipping products; supporting customers; or completing any type of current project, contract, or deliverable. In general, jobs have predictable hours and termination points. We spend our careers performing one job or another, frequently moving through different positions as we try to attain our career goals. Jobs provide income, security, and frequently social relationships that help fulfil our basic needs.


Careers on the other hand require planning, evaluating alternatives, and making long-term decisions to allow us to pursue lifelong passions through work. A career typically doesn’t have fixed hours like a job does, and although the rewards are less tangible than simply compensation, a career can give us a variety of additional benefits, including purpose, drive, and deep satisfaction.

If a job is a means to an end, a career is an end in and of itself: a career grants its own fulfilment.

A career is critical because it allows us to work on what we’re passionate about, holds our attention, and keeps us growing and moving forward. It requires goals and planning, and plays to our talents and strengths.

How to turn a job into a career:

It goes without saying that having a career that you are passionate about is important. To be able to do what you love and be able to make a living doing it is many people’s dream, and for good reason. So, how does one go from working for a living to having a career you love? For one thing, you have to remember that every step along the way has value.

From our earliest jobs to our most recent positions, each experience teaches us lessons, helps us refine our skills, and steers our direction in life.

Even jobs that we hate help us understand what we want to avoid in our careers. As such, it’s vital to keep learning through every job experience, so that we can better adapt to achieve the career we want.

Building a career is a multifaceted process so for additional resources, take a look at other helpful blogs from our career experts, including finding a mentor, learning to love your job, moving into a leadership role, making a career change, and many more! Remember, a career is a lifelong endeavor. If you can’t see past the day to day, maybe it’s time to start chasing your dreams.


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