Career Vs. Job: Passion For Your Work

What’s really the difference between having a job and having a career? It ultimately lies in your end goals. Take a look at the following characteristics:

If you have a job (or jobs), you probably:

  • are simply looking to earn a paycheck
  • are looking to complete routine tasks at work
  • needed little to no prior education or experience
  • can easily move from one to another unrelated job
  • don’t have a long-term plan for your work
  • are given lower-level responsibilities
  • are not presented with many impactful¬†networking opportunities
  • are paid wages
  • are looking for a “safe” job – stability in income
  • think short-term

If you have a career, you probably:

  • are looking to advance in a field that excites you
  • are looking to break out of a routine – constantly improve
  • need a specific educational background and experience
  • strategically choose connected jobs that will add to your experience
  • are frequently¬†thinking of your long-term goals for your work
  • are given higher-level responsibilities
  • are given many opportunities to advance and receive promotions
  • are constantly able to network with people who could potentially have a meaningful impact on your career
  • are paid on a salary
  • are encouraged to take thoughtful risks – might not always mean stable work
  • think long-term

Why choose one over the other?

Again, this is determined by your end goals. If you aren’t interested in committing to a life-long pursuit of advancing in a career, and would rather find stability in many (sometimes more than one at a time) jobs, then choosing to stick with jobs throughout your life is the right decision for you! This is a personal decision and not everyone is going to have the same “right” path. However, for those of you who do want to find a career, you might be wondering, “How do I turn a job into a career?”

As I stated earlier, having a career means advancing in a field that excites you. To get excited about your career, you need to find passion for your work. How?


Deena Varshavskaya wrote an article for Forbes discussing “4 Practical Ways To Find Your Life’s Passion And A Career You Love”:

  1. “When You Know It’s Not Working, Quit Fast”

    Often times, people know they hate their jobs but will stay there for a long time anyway. The main reason for sticking around is the fact that they don’t know what they want to do. However, nobody can find what they are passionate about, by spending all of their time doing something they are not passionate about. Leaving your current job will free you up to spend all of your time and energy on finding something new. Without any source of income, figuring out something new becomes an urgent matter. “Finding the next thing goes from optional to required.” That sense of urgency can become a powerful motivator.

  2. “Follow Your Curiosity”

    “Even though you may not have a clear vision for your career, you are probably curious about things which may or may not be obvious to you.” Pursuing those interests can lead to unlocking who you are and where your creativity comes from. In order to do this, though, you can’t limit yourself. Think: “What would I do if I had a billion dollars?” Push yourself to explore your curiosities and they will lead to something great.

  3. “Don’t Make Money Your Primary Consideration”

    To find a career in something you truly love, you will have to treat your finances as secondary. As soon as they become the primary concern, you limit your options. Financial struggles can be difficult, but pursuing your curiosities will, in the long term, earn you money on your own terms. “When your work fits who you are so well, you stand out as being uniquely capable and uniquely powerful. And the better you get at expressing yourself through your work, the higher your earning potential will be in that capacity.”

  4. “Don’t Set An Artificial Ceiling For Yourself”

    Basically, don’t limit yourself! Your potential is set by you and nobody else. “If you want more growth, then don’t hide behind the belief that someone else needs to empower you to do what you want to do.”


In Summary:

  • Figure out what your end goal is
  • Spend your time and energy finding your passion
  • Explore your curiosities
  • Put finances secondary to passions
  • Don’t limit your potential