With today’s global economic downturn, professionals are finding it harder than ever to find the perfect job, one that will help them take their career to the next level.   The problem with so many professionals is they do not know the difference between working at a job and having a career.

Job vs. Career – What’s the Difference?

Understanding what a job is versus a career can help us as we create timelines or set goals and develop our professional career paths.   When you tell someone you have a ‘job’, you are telling them you work in exchange for payment of services, meaning that your job is safe and provides stability of work and you make a livable wage.

On the other end, when you tell someone that you have a ‘career’, you are implying that you are pursuing a lifelong ambition and have used your education and past experiences to work towards lifelong goals.  Careers take goal setting, education (in most cases) and a commitment to fostering your personal fulfillment.  Individuals who seek out a career, are far more likely to have a higher earning potential than those who simply have ‘jobs’.

My clients often ask me why their job isn’t considered a career.   I tell them, “your job is what you put into it”.  If you come to work simply to get paid and do not care about personal and professional advancement, you may lack the ambition, education or skills necessary to maintain a long-term career.  Any job can become the start of a rewarding and successful career, but you have to be willing to invest in your job by setting realistic goals and understanding that true success is not always about money, but personal and professional growth as well.

A Challenge for You!

I challenge you to take a look at where you are today and ask yourself “Do I have a job or a career?”.  If you are not where you want to be in your professional life, I encourage you to seek out a Certified Career Coach and let them help you discover your hidden potential and how to set long-term obtainable goals.  Whether you have a ‘job’ or a ‘career’, always put your professional-self forward and share your talents and experiences with the world.

Guest Author: Tedi R. Parsons, CCC, CEC, CPC is the Owner and Professional Career Advisor of Vantage Business & Career Solutions – an organization dedicated to the success of career-minded individuals. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates and ideas to boost your career!

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