Job vs Career (or What I Want to Be When I Grow Up)
We have all heard someone say– “Oh, this is just a job–it’s not my career.”
So what is the difference between a “job” and a “career”?
According to Webster’s, a “job” is:
“A regular activity performed in exchange for payment; a position in which one is employed; a task that must be done.”
Alternatively, the definition of “career” is:
“A chosen pursuit, a profession or occupation; the general course or progression of one’s working life; A path or course, as of the sun through the heavens.”
Doesn’t the word “career” sound much more exciting and fulfilling than the word “job”? Come on…a path or course as of the sun through the heavens….versus…a task that must be done? I don’t know about you, but I hate to imagine myself chained to a Kafka-esque desk, forever laboring over some task that must be done for the rest of my days.
Is the idea of career a myth? Is it possible to find a job that embodies the concept of career?
I had no CLUE what I wanted to do right out of law school. I didn’t even know that there was a difference between transactional type jobs and litigation jobs. I landed in a firm doing commercial litigation. Phew! I got a job–that was the first and highly important step in my career. And then I got another job–and then I got another job.
And then what?
Tell you the truth–I don’t have an answer. I am beginning to understand which direction I’d like to go in. My nascent understanding comes from two sources: One–it comes from my experience–my skills set, my hands on job training. And two, it comes from my interactions with other attorneys and business people in the community–I talk to people who have careers. Especially people who have careers in the areas I am interested in.
So don’t be worried if you don’t know the answer to the question–“what do you want to be when you grow up.” No one does.
Every job you take is crucial to the development of your career. Until that day your job blossoms into the love of your life–your career…I think it behooves us to treat every job as the ONE. Love the one you are with, as the old adage goes.