Sunday, January 30, 2011

Which Do You Have: A Job Or A Career?

I’m long over due for a new post, so rather than sit on my coach while the idiot box watches me (I really should just cancel my cable service), I figured I’d write. 

It was either write or exercise, so I opted to write about work, a job or career—if the word “career” applies.  I would think that by the time one reaches the ripe old age of 30, he or she would be employed in a “career” of choice but this is far from the truth.

I am employed and relatively content.  I have my complaints just like the next person (or coworker), and I have noticed that it is highly uncommon to find individuals, at least within my circle of friends, who are truly satisfied with their jobs or who admit to having careers. Ironically, I would actually call some friends’ jobs careers if it weren’t for their utter disenchantment with their positions.

So how does one differentiate between a job and a career?

When I was younger my understanding of both terms was very clear-cut, like black and white and night and day.  I believed that a job merely paid the bills and wasn’t something that one went to school for or particularly cared to do but did it to survive; a career was something that I believed required one to go to school to become proficient in a particular area.  Since schooling was required to procure a career, I logically considered a career to be something that folks wanted and that they were happy to perform the daily tasks associated with that career.  Furthermore, I assumed that with a career came economic stability.

I have plenty of friends who have degrees but are not working in their area of study or have decided to switch from a “career” to a job.  I also have friends who have “careers” that barely afford them life’s necessities.  I also have friends who have jobs (according to my youthful perception of the term) and are doing quite well for themselves and are quite content.  

Do you think that it is merely a matter of perception?  Is there really a difference between “having a job” and “having a career”?  I mean, if I were rich I would opt to have neither a job nor a career.  I would just have a hobby that I performed on a daily basis.  So talk to me folks; what do you think?

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