How work, job & career is different? 10 conclusive differences can change your future

How work, job & career is different? 10 conclusive differences can change your future

In this article, “How work, job & career is different?”, emphasis is put on the points to clarify you the differences between work, job, and career that confuse career aspirants, job seekers, parents, teachers, etc. by covering required topics and terms, like ‘What is a job & why you do it?’, ‘What is a career & why you make it?’, ‘How are job and career different?’, ‘Comparison chart between job and career’, etc. The important terms are also used to clarify the concept of work, job, and career, for examples— profession, occupation, dream, future bright, interest, satisfaction, agriculture, dairy, farming, politics, journalism, teaching, finance, IT or computer science, space science, aviation, wildlife, photography, cinematography, acting, social work, business, discovery, invention, field, industry, etc.

What are differences between work, Job & Career?

Nowadays parents, students, general or professional degree holders, and people, in general, are confused between work, a job, and a career. This confusion makes them not to take the right decision at either beginning of taking admission in an educational/ professional course or after completing education about their future course of action for a specific field they are interested in and have the passion for.  And without making a decision they think about earning a livelihood for self or family. And thus they wander here and there throughout their life without having a fixed destination to reach there and get success and satisfaction in life.

The difference between work, job, occupation, profession, and career is more than their meanings. Understanding the real and practical differences can help parents, degree holders, job-seekers and others point out what it is they want to do according to their interest for a living or anything else in life.

To short out the above confusion urged by parents, degree holders, job seekers, career choosers, etc. I am writing this article for the present and future youngsters.

So first, I would like to tell you about the work then a job, and thereafter a career.

Basic Career Related Article:

What is a career?: Meaning & Definition, Synonyms, Difference between Occupation & Profession, Career Path, etc.

How can you define work?

Work as a Verb:

Work is defined as to perform or fulfill duties or task physically or mentally especially in sustained effort under compulsion or necessity for a purpose of either earning wages or salary or accomplishing own desired goal or objective and have the interest in and passions of.”                                                                                                                                __ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari

Work as a Noun:

“Work is defined as a specific task, duty, function, or assignment of self or others often being a part or phase of some larger activity in which one exerts physical or mental effort to do or perform something for the purpose of earning a livelihood or fulfilling a goal or achieving an objective of life.” __ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari

Work is anything where you expend effort, whether paid or not, such as you are cleaning your kitchen is hard work, or you work in a café, and farmers work on their farms. A job can be either a piece of work or an activity for which you are paid. A career is a lifetime progression of paid occupation. A profession is a career with high status and one requiring training, often at degree level. Occupation is usually a paid job, whether professional or not, but it can be unpaid like farming, business, etc.

What is a job & why you do it?

“A job is a regular and official activity that anyone does in office, firm, or anywhere else and receive money in the form of salary to fulfill the needs of self and family.”__ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari

job is a regular and official activity that anyone does, and receive money to support basic needs in the form of salary for his/her activity. It can be full-time or part-time such as 40 hours a week or around 25 hours a week respectively. It may be also for long or short-term i.e. for 6 months or 2/3 years. For doing job he/she might need to learn certain skills connected with that role, but not all jobs require a specialized degree or advanced training.

The person who performs the job is known as an employee and the person for whom the job is performed is known as an employer. It involves mental or physical work or both. There is a fixed time for doing a job. Rights, duties, functions, responsibilities, and powers are associated with each job.

No doubt, the job is one of the best sources of regular income to earn a livelihood. That is why, most of the youngsters join jobs, just after completing their education to earn a steady income, gain some experience, get independent, and settled as soon as possible. Normally, people hold a job for a certain period. Once the purpose for which they joined the job is accomplished or when they get some better opportunity for life, they leave the job. Jobs also help prepare career seeker in making his/her career by providing valuable skills like time management and communication.

What is a career & why you make it?

“Career provides an opportunity to learn skills for the foundation of required experiences through different jobs in the same field of interest that help to reaching on the top in the chosen profession and making life satisfied.” __ Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari

A career is a long-term professional journey you may choose based on the interest and passions of your life. It is not confined to a job only, but it is a course of life, in which you employ your education, knowledge, skills, and competencies. It is the path you embark upon to fulfill your professional goals and ambitions. You may require a certain level of education or training to achieve these goals. People pursuing careers often have set salaries with benefits such as stock options, retirement plans, pensions, and bonuses. They also gain benefits beyond money, like work satisfaction, personal pride, self-worth, and position in a hierarchy.

In other words, a career is not just making money to earn bread and butter, but it is something bigger. It is what a person loves to do, it is what a person interested in, it is what a person is passionate about, it is what that keeps a man working without getting distracted, it is something for which a person can take any kind of risk, it is what a person’s dream to see himself as, in the future, and it is what anyone may wish to be remembered forever.

Anyone can choose and make a career in a field of his/her choice and life passion, for examples, a career in agriculture or dairy farming or politics or journalism or teaching or finance or IT or computer science or space science or aviation or wildlife, or photography or cinematography or acting or social work or business or discovery and invention or anything else where he/she will be called for help, advice, leadership, decision making, and remembered forever for his/her contribution in the field.

How are a job and career different?

A job and a career are usually used in the same context, but they actually mean pretty different things. While both are focused on how you earn your money, there are more differences than you may realise.

A job is planned for more a short-term period and tends to focus purely on earning money to fulfill current needs. On the other hand, a career is a series of related employment in one field that provides experience for your future and helps you earn a better paycheck and professional status in the industry. In other words, a job is an activity that an individual does to fuel his livelihood, a career is something related to pursuing a passion in life. Therefore, it is important to know whether you’re looking for a job or for a career to plan your professional goals. This article will explain the difference between a job and a career.

For examples:

A teacher is doing the job of teaching, and a guard of protecting peoples, etc. People generally do the job without any passion because they are not getting any guidance and they don’t have any particular goal to achieve through that job. In simple words, any work we do to earn money without thinking of progress is called a job.

However, a career can be considered as a job but a job can’t be considered as a career every time. One can start his career from a job getting a very small amount of money with the focus of reaching to a reputed position after a particular period of time. For Example,

If the dream of a boy is to become a software engineer he can start his career with any job of web-designing, Java Developer, or PHP Developer. But he doesn’t get this job. Then he starts his career with an internship where he gets paid less or none. With the help of internship experience, the boy gets a job as a programmer based on java language and after 6 years of job in different IT companies, he became the most wanted programmer in his field. Thus he becomes a software engineer and makes his career and future bright.

But, in the current scenario, many engineering graduates are opting for a job in a call center, retail, marketing, etc. without a goal of what to achieve in a particular field. Such imperfect career decisions make them without a fixed field in which they can learn more, improve their confidence, and raise career graph in the same industry.

I hope that readers have been able to understand the differences between work, a job, and a career. And also it will help how one can choose a perfect job to start his career at the beginning.

Comparison Chart between Job & Career


Definition A job is an activity or task opted by an individual & performed to earn a livelihood. A career can be defined as a journey of a professional working in a field following life passion.
In one word what is it? Trip Journey
Time value Time earn money Time earn life-passion & ambition.
Concept A means to earn money for fulfilling the needs. An end in itself
Duration Short term Long term
Qualification Education and skills. Education, training, experience in a profession.
Objective Regular income and job safety Innovation, learning more, taking risks.

10 Main Differences between Job and Career

There are important differences between a job and career, for examples,

  1. The job is defined as a task or duty performed by a person for getting a salary or wages. Whereas a career refers to an occupation or profession carried on by a person following his/her passion and interest for entire life.
  2. A job is a trip, but a career is a journey for reaching a destination.
  3. In a job, anyone invests his/her time and skills to earn money, but when it is about a career, he/she invests time to achieve life dreams.
  4. A job is working for a fixed time while a career is a working without time limit. In working for a career you don’t know whether it is morning or afternoon or night, as you sleep late at night and wake up early just to learn and explore more and more with a passion.
  5. A job is a means to fulfill the needs of life, but a career is an end in itself, what a person pursues in life to satisfy a passion for life objective set before.
  6. A job maybe for the short term while a career is seen as a long-term dream of a person.
  7. A job may require education and skills while a career may need education, training but specialization and experiences in a particular field are required to be successful.
  8. A job has minimal impact on a person’s future work life, while a career provides experience and learning to fuel his/her future.
  9. A job offers few networking opportunities, but a career is loaded with them.
  10. Therefore by following the above difference, when you work at a job, you may do the minimum without annoying the boss. But in a career, you should go the extra mile without giving importance to assigned responsibility, doing tasks beyond your minimum job’s requirements.

Moreover, the real difference between a job and a career is in your attitude toward money, work, satisfaction, interest, passion, and dream of your life destination. Those, who want to make a career, always think about their long-term goals. They think about what they can do now to achieve those goals in the future to reach the destination set before.

Therefore, beginning job seekers are advised not to try for money, but for a field and industry where you can learn those skills and knowledge that will help you in the future. It might take a few years to earn bigger paychecks and have more interesting job responsibilities with the required authority. Thus the lower-level jobs with learning scope, in the beginning, can lead to great opportunities in time to come.                                                                                                                                                     _______________

Copyright © Writer (Dr. Md. Usmangani Ansari)         

Next career-related articles:

  • How to turn job into career ?
  • How to make your hobby a career?
  • What is the role of parents, teachers, schools & government’s policies in making a successful career of children?
  • What is the career planning process?
  • When and how to choose a right career? OR What is the role of the analytical approach in career-making decisions?
  • What is the role of self-assessment before choosing a career?
  • How and when to change your career?
  • What is career progress and advancement?



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