Job or career? How to decide which is right for you

job or career

Decide if a job or a career is better suited for you by knowing the difference between having a job and having a career.

There are two types of people in this world: the ones who entertain and the ones who observe job people and career people. Neither one is better than the other - it's simply a matter of personal preference. After all, not everyone feels the need or desire to work their way up the corporate ladder, while others dream of having a corner office with a view and an executive job title.

Then there are people who are a mix of both. For example, many people have pursued long-term careers only to decide later that a job would be better suited to their lifestyle, while others may start off in jobs that they eventually turn into careers.

Not sure which category you fall into? Consider the differences between having a job and having a career:

Job versus career: What's the difference?

A job is defined as "the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money." A career is defined as "a job or profession that someone does for a long time."

Career people tend to thrive in a competitive corporate environment, constantly working toward the next promotion or searching for a bigger opportunity. They have an actual answer to the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

Job people tend to be less concerned with their job title or stature and simply want to make a living. They may enjoy what they do and be good at it, but they are usually more concerned with making enough money to pay the bills than making the necessary sacrifices to move up in the company. They would rather use that time to pursue a passion or interest outside of work.

Career people may hold several different jobs or roles as they get promoted, gain more experience, demand higher pay and work their way up. Job people might also hold several different roles, but they might be unrelated to one another in scope, department or industry.

Whether one has a job or a career, both will require a certain level of education or special certification, depending on the role and industry. However, people in careers are more likely to take ongoing educational classes and training sessions to supplement their skills and accelerate their career advancement.

Perhaps the simplest way to decide if a career or a job is right for you is to ask yourself if you want a promotion more than just a paycheck, and what you're willing to do to get it.