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4 Differences between Work Job and Career

This article aims to give an emphasis on the 4 major differences between a work job and a career.

Differences between Work Job and Career

In a world where the economic condition is going south, survival becomes the paramount thing to all and sundry. In order to survive, one needs to have enough resources which can be food, shelter, clothing, etc. In order to acquire these resources, one would need to have adequate money to buy them. As it is known, money doesn’t grow on trees. If it did, life would have been very enjoyable and stress-free and there wouldn’t be any need to look for a means of survival. Hence, there is a need to work in order to make money.

At the mention of work, two words come to mind; Job and Career. Oftentimes, we talk about career and job interchangeably. So are they the same thing? There has been a lot of confusion about this. To clear this long existing confusion, we have dedicated this article for that purpose, hoping that at the end of this article, you will understand if they mean the same thing.

After my graduation from the University, I stayed years without any work. Countless times, I was advised to take up a teaching job as it was readily available, but I would always turn down such gestures. I never liked teaching for anything although I was assigned a teaching job during the compulsory one year National Youth service. This is a programme for every Nigerian graduate.

During that programme, I discharged my duties reluctantly, I struggled to prepare my lesson notes and daily I prayed for the one year to elapse. Teaching was never what I enjoyed doing but I had to teach regardless.

After many futile searches for what to do to make ends meet, I decided to put my creativity into good use. I’m a talented writer who also enjoys graphic designing. Having such creative skills, I decided to monetize my skills and started designing and writing as a freelancer. I enjoyed doing this so much that I hardly take note of the stress involved. I was glad to be doing what I love and equally earning from it.

So, whether career and job is the same thing, they are not the same thing. There are many differences between a career and job.


There are two main types of jobs, they are part-time and full-time jobs. Full-time jobs require an employee to work for at least 8 hours daily while part-time jobs can be done over a short hour and not necessarily done on a daily basis.

Most people take whatever job that is available not minding that they are not passionate about it as long as they can earn money that is enough for them to survive daily.

Usually, people do not have a sense of fulfillment in their jobs. They need their jobs for survival.


Just like a job, it is also a group of tasks but here, it is carried out with passion, making it more personal than a job. Hence, career makes one to use all their skills and knowledge to ensure they deliver work effectively and efficiently.

The difference between job and career lies in level of engagement with the work.  When you’re involved in an occupation you love and are passionate about, you’re engaged and challenged on a daily basis, and it gives you a sense of fulfillment regardless of the earning capacity. That is a career.

On the other hand, a job is what a person feels like doing just to get their salary. They are not fully committed to it and it’s not a long term endeavour, unlike a career.

Taking a look at the illustration above, the teaching job is a job while the writing and designing is a career. This is because I taught as a teacher to make money for survival, though I did so reluctantly. I never enjoyed the work for one day, all I looked forward to was for the one year programme to end, but the reverse is the case for writing. I write without stress and doing that is one thing that makes me happy. Content writing has come to stay with me and the goal is to grow into a big brand. It is clear that content writing is my career and not a job.


Taking a deeper look at the differences between a job and career, here are the major differences:

1. Purpose

Either a career or a job, both have a purpose. The main purpose for having a job is just for the money and maybe network, whereas a career is a something you build over a period of time with delayed gratification in view.

As the world’s economy escalates and technology advances, industries evolve, hence, job security is no longer guaranteed. In such situations, having a career over a job is a safer idea.

A career increases the likelihood that you’ll earn higher pay and better benefits. You’ll be of greater value to employers as you progress in your career, and you’ll be rewarded accordingly. A job may give you a steady income but this might be on a short-term basis because its security is not guaranteed.  But a career gives you long-term financial security and it encourages you to build on your skills, qualification and experience for more improvement and growth.

While career also brings money to the table, the work brings maximum fulfillment and a feeling of satisfaction

In summary, the purpose of having a job is to earn money while the purpose of a career is to gain experience and connections as well as to make money.

2. Duration of Goal

A job usually comes with short term goals while a career deals with long term goals. The goal of people with a job is to finish a task and get paid. For people with careers, their goals do not revolve around payment alone. Their goal is to be able to contribute to the growth of the organization in the long run. This is because part of the plan is to get promoted for higher responsibilities while those with a  job would usually end their employment at any given time to find another job once they get tired of the job.

3. Result After Work

For a job, the result after work is the feeling of exhaustion, tiredness and unwillingness to continue work except for the salary which always gives motivation while people with careers complete their work feeling productive and always looking forward to working the next day.

4. Level of Effort

People with a job exerts little effort on the work to be done, they do just what they are required to do without going extra miles, most times, this is done lackadaisically but in the case of a career, more effort  is exerted and they go beyond expectation. In other words, people with careers don’t usually mind the number of hours they spend doing their tasks. Their concern is to have good results in the end.


Job and career are words people usually confuse one for the other . While both terms are used in employment, there is a huge difference between the two. When the work gives you maximum satisfaction, you put in much effort like your life depends on it, lose track of time when on the work and have long term plans and goals for the work, then it is a career.

On the other hand, if engage in a task just for the sake of doing it, no passion, no long term goals, always ready to leave one for for the other, then this is not a career but a simply a  job.

Career is more important than a job. Therefore, it is wiser for people to look for a career path and not just a job so they would be able to have a fulfilled life while still earning. Having a career instead of a may require more sacrifice, patience and dedication but it’s worth it.

Nevertheless, this is not to condemn anyone with a job but while in a job for the money, also make plans to build a career if you wish to make more money and also have a feeling of fulfillment. Making money with happiness is second to none.

I believe this article has been able to clearly distinguish between a job and a career.

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