C is for Career

Career Vs. Job

What’s the Difference Between a Job and a Career?

Job and Career

Have you ever thought about the difference between a job and a career? While we often use those words interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two.

One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re working a job or a career is to examine your mindset. Are you working this position as just a means to an end?  Do you work just to support your basic needs but aren’t passionate about what you do? If so, you’re probably in a job.

Does your work fulfill not only your monetary needs but also your goals and ambitions?  Do you feel passionate about what you do and align with your company’s values? Then you’re probably in a career.

The Characteristics of a Job


While a job can be full-time or part-time, they tend to be short-term, time-oriented, hourly-wage positions with fluctuating hours. Typically, jobs don’t include benefits like paid time off, paid sick days, health and dental insurance, retirement contributions, or stock options.

Jobs are simply a place to earn enough money to meet your basic needs and may or may not have much room for professional advancement or growth.

The Characteristics of a Career


Where jobs are usually time-oriented, careers tend to be goal-oriented and are often salary-based. Careers also typically come with partial or full benefits, as well as upward growth potential. While you may enjoy a job, your career is hopefully something you’re passionate about and a long-term journey of professional growth.

People in careers tend to find personal pride, self-worth, and satisfaction in their work. Most careers require some level of education or specialized skillset and tend to be long-term positions.

How to Turn Your Job into a Career

Job to Career

While your job may not be a long-term position, don’t underestimate its importance. View each position you hold through the lens of your ultimate career goals. Think about how you can use your current position as a stepping stone to the career you desire. Use each job as a learning experience to gain valuable knowledge to apply to your future career goals.

Don’t forget the importance of using each position as a networking opportunity! When you consistently go above and beyond expectations, you can earn recommendations for future jobs as you work your way up in your field.

Your career will consist of all your jobs, combined. The experience and skills you gain in each role will contribute to your career success.

Do You Need Guidance to Turn your Job into a Career?

At Vision to Purpose, career guidance is our specialty, and we’re here to help!  Send us a message to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to discuss how we can help you in your career progression.

Melanie LemusAbout the Author

Melanie Lemus is the Communications Specialist for Vision to Purpose providing self-help, business, and career-focused topics. She lives in Virginia with her wonderful husband and witty daughter. Melanie loves her freedom – in Christ and America. She’s passionate about natural health and homeopathy, and she’s always down to take a hike through the mountains.

About Vision to Purpose

Vision to Purpose is an organization dedicated to helping individuals and businesses succeed by offering tailored career, life, and business solutions. We also help writers become published authors!

Need a resume writer? How about a writing coach? Perhaps a business consultant? Look no further; Dr. Bennett and the Vision to Purpose team can help! You can learn more about Vision to Purpose by visiting www.visiontopurpose.com.

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