Difference Between a Job and a Career

Posted by | January 8, 2021 | Career coaching

First and foremost, when young adults graduate from higher institutions of learning or decide to learn a trade or handiwork, what they usually get in the end is either a job or a career. A wise man once stated, that the socioeconomic landscape of the country of location determines whether majority of its population are doing jobs or careers. One thing a lot of us fail to understand or come to terms with, is that there is a whole lot of difference between a job and a career, and they should not be used interchangeably. According to nairametrics.com, Nigeria’s unemployment rate stands tall at 27.1%, and that about 21.7 million Nigerians are still very much unemployed. This simply suggests that even jobs are not available, talk more of careers.

It is important to know, that the differences between a job and a career are quite huge and not so close as some people may have you think. There are however 2 of the most profound or outstanding differences between a job and a career discussed below:

1. A job keeps you breathing while a career gets you living

In Nigeria, and most parts of the world, due to the fact that a man cannot survive so many days without food, people are subjected to terrible conditions of work or living because no one wants to starve. It becomes so ridiculous because only a man that has eaten can think about making something out of his life. A career, on the other hand ensures you are breathing and living. It ensures that a man can make meaning out of his life or existence. A career ensures that a man finds fulfilment in what he has chosen to do and be a solution to a particular need of his immediate environment or his generation at large. A career is like a calling, a purpose for which the man is existing, while a job is just like a service that it is to ensure that a man does not go hungry. A typical situation to very much highlight the difference, is when about 50,000 people apply for the position of a truck driver in a company with several thousand having either a master’s degree or a doctorate degree and several others possessing just a degree. This is a typical example of a job because it is done to survive, not to provide answers to questions or the needs of mankind.

2. A job stresses you, while a career stretches you

While it is true, that a job puts food in one’s mouth and gives man the basic of all needs which is survival it is sometimes mistaken as a career by some people. What a lot of people fail to understand is that, no matter how long you do a job for, no matter the length of years, as long as the person does not find fulfilment in it the job becomes a problem. The problem is such that the person would begin to complain of any little challenges, the physical body pains and mental stress the job brings, the lack of adequate remuneration, the health challenges etc. On the other hand, when it comes to a Career, make no mistake, it is not that it is all milk and honey. It is such that despite the presence of similar challenges present in a job also in a career, the fact that the person has seen it as a purpose for which he or she lives, breathes and lives that career. If the challenges even come, he would either not notice them or even pay attention to them because such person is not driven by material benefits as it is in a job. As such a career stretches you beyond your comfort zone and expands your capacity for new possibilities.

In Conclusion, although both a job and career yield money, a job yields money for survival while a career yields money to make wealth. To put in a different way a job means Just On Break(JOB) because you are still coming back to sit down after being fired or retired, while a Career can be described as Carrier because it creates wealth for you. It may not be immediate but surely the end justifies the means. Examples would not do justice to what a career is because that is dependent on whatever each individual finds as his calling.


By Festus Oyetunde

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