Having a job refers to being employed in some small, medium or large organization and earning money for offering your services in a given timeframe. On the other hand, your career is a combination of various elements and job is one of them.
When you say, you have a career, it means you have a degree from some reputed institution, your professional experience and your job in your field of interest and all that helps you keep advancing in terms of salary, expertise and professional skills.
You may consider playing a video game with various phases and levels. Your job is just like one level of this game whereas all the levels and phases along with the punishments and rewards in the game make your career. When one does not have a career, still they may have a job but this person may be wandering in between the jobs which may be irrelevant to one another. This is why experts recommend career counseling for the students before they reach college or university level education.
Specifically, career counseling is necessary to help the students realize their field of interest before they get admissions in college or university for professional education. Without any doubt, realization of the area of interest for the students becomes the foundation for their career. And professional education plays an important role to lead the students to pursue the decided career path.
If students are not guided properly to choose a career path then because of their lack of education they are more likely to wander away from the real career path for them. Therefore, if someone is guided properly, he is more likely to have a bright career with relevant professional education, experience as well as jobs in that particular field a.k.a. career path.
Job vs Career
The key differences between a job (regardless of being full-time or part-time) and a career are many but the goal that you set to achieve is always different in both cases. You have a short term goal to achieve while having a job. Earning money to bear your monthly expenses or saving some bucks for your vacations can be your goal to achieve with the help of your job.
Whereas when it comes to career, it means your education, jobs, special training programs, and experience help you grow professionally while advancing in responsibilities and paycheck at the same time. So you are the one who has to decide whether you will let your education and experience lead you somewhere or you will like to keep switching jobs with no career planning?
Basically your attitude tells whether you are a career oriented or a job oriented person.
- Long term goals are the top priority for those who are more concerned about their career. They tend to plan their working life in a way that can lead them to make something good happen in the future.
- Job oriented people prefer the salary over the type of job opportunities and they target to earn more from the very beginning.
- Those who are career oriented, they are likely to accept the little money as a starter and will not fall prey to the higher paychecks. Rather they always browse the job listings within their area of interest and profession. Finally smaller paychecks lead them to better job opportunities and great levels of satisfaction.
The concept of job
You may be employed in some organization on full-time, part-time and short term basis to support your basic needs. You may be offered an hourly wage or a decided paycheck on a weekly or monthly basis instead of receiving a monthly salary with some employment benefits.
It may be a requirement of the job for you to learn some particular skills to perform your duties but not necessarily you may have to have a professional degree, certificates or training.
This is how usually businesses hire the services of employees to perform their assigned tasks while paying them a certain amount of money. It can be more or less similar to the freelancing where the employers do the project based hiring and they only are concerned with the required skills to perform the task instead of the professional degree of the workers.
A job can be offered in the form of a short or long term project as well. For instance, a business needs your services to replace or repair the entire furniture in their office with some office décor. They will sign a contract with you to complete this project within a set time frame.
You will be required to accomplish all the tasks decided in the contract and you will get paid as decided in accordance with terms of agreement.
Lets take another example. For instance, you have developed bookkeeping skills so businesses from different industries can hire you for short term or long term projects to perform bookkeeping for them. In a certain time period, you will be required to complete the assigned task and receive a paycheck instead of receiving a salary along with benefits that these businesses offer their permanent employees.
The concept of career
Your career is like a long journey with a number of milestones to achieve. Your career is mainly powered by your passion. Your professional ambitions and goals work as the milestones of your career. However, to achieve these milestones in your career path, you may have to have certain qualifications such as a particular level of education and training.
Professionals who pursue careers are offered salaries with employment benefits, retirement plans, stock options, bonuses and pensions. These professionals are rewarded with benefits beyond monetary benefits such as satisfaction at the workplace, personal pride as well as self-worth. Hence your career might last up to a certain age or even the entire life and you could have a number jobs in your career under several employments while you progress through your chosen career path.
Can your job affect your career?
Yes, definitely your job does affect your career. On your career path, you will come across many job opportunities and you have to be smart to get hands on only the most appropriate and relevant opportunities.
Don’t be the victim of itching palm as some irrelevant jobs may bring you more money in comparison to the jobs in your own field of interest. So better stay on track and don’t leave your career path.
There are various factors attached with the job which may affect your career negatively or positively. On top of that, employers really don’t like to hire people who come with experience in a variety of fields because these types of people can’t be considered experts in one particular field.
Keep learning from each job
You learn from every job and that knowledge can be applied to your future jobs. While working within the same organization at different positions, you gain knowledge, skills, expertise and experience. Same can happen if you have been working with different employers in different roles.
All these expertise and experiences will pay off for sure when you are hired by some employer who needs a unique set of skills that you possess specifically.
For example, you have been serving an organization as a customer care representative where you have learnt to deal with difficult situations that you come across with clients and customers. While working at the same position, you could have an opportunity to polish your communication skills.
Absolutely your employer will love to offer you a promotion as a team lead or a trainer for the customer care representatives to help and guide them how to better handle the challenging situations while handling the customers’ issues.
Also you may be offered some opportunity by some other organization who needs someone with great communication skills. So if you keep learning more and more skills then possibilities for you to get better jobs will be never-ending.
Make use of the networking opportunities
If you are smart enough to develop professional relationships with your colleagues, clients and the professionals in your field of interest then you can quickly climb the ladder of your career path.
Develop relationships with professionals, keep communicating productively and don’t hesitate to offer help if you can. This is the best way for you to provide yourself with the ability to reach your professional contacts throughout your career without any hassle.
Career consultants and experts are of the view that more than 80% professionals get job opportunities with the help of their professional networks. Your professional contacts can assist you more than you can imagine. They can offer you advice on where to look for relevant job opportunities or how to alter your resume as well as cover letters to pursue a particular job opportunity.
Not only can they offer you job leads but they can even provide you with insider information about new job openings with your prospective employer. Apart from that they can be of help to give you referrals to secure a position in an organization which is close to your heart.
Managing your professional network is not rocket science. Following tips and tricks will help you better manage your professional network:
- Make WhatsApp and FaceBook groups and add all the contacts you think can be beneficial for you to land some job opportunities in future.
- Always include the right people. There shouldn’t be a place in your network for playful people so only add serious and productive individuals in your network.
- Stay in touch continuously and share the useful information that can help the job seekers. Also encourage others to practice the same.
- Keep all the details of the individuals, who they are, where they live, the organization they serve, etc.
Hard work always pays off
Your career can be affected by your current job in many different ways. So don’t go to your office from 9 to 5 only to spend your time for nothing rather work hard and go beyond doing bare minimum. You need to do something different to standout in the eyes of your employer. Your consistency to produce flawless high quality work and willingness to learn will bring you more job opportunities.
Hence your hard work may result in promotion within the same organization to some higher position that will lead you to achieve your career goal. Or you may be offered a pay raise by your employer for your extraordinary performance. On the other hand, you may be rewarded by your employer in terms of a great referral if you wish to join some other organization.
Job hopping is a pattern of changing the jobs quickly to be an individual every once or twice in a year or two. Usually if an individual spends less than two years with one employer and jumps to some other job opportunity for a pay raise or promotion, this individual is known as a job hopper.
However, recent trends in the job market shows that more than 51% of the employed individuals switch the jobs before they complete one year with one employer. Quitting the jobs in such a case does not happen because of the company closure or layoff rather it happens because of the personal desire of the individual to earn better.
Lets look into some advantages as well as some drawbacks of the job hopping.
Advantages of job hopping
- Diversity in your professional experience is something that you gain while you switch the jobs quickly. It may help you develop an incredible blend of skills that can lead you to serve your future clients better.
- Your enhanced exposure with multiple employers in limited time will enable you to develop better skills in comparison to someone who is serving one employer for years and years.
- Better chances to develop a powerful network of professionals because you will be working with a number of colleagues serving every employer.
- Job hopping can be the best way to quickly climb your career ladder. So you will definitely be able achieve your career goal sooner than your seniors who stick to serve one employer for decades.
Drawbacks of job hopping
- As being a job hopper, you are less likely to be relied upon by your prospective employer. They will be reluctant to hire you as you are expected to leave this job as soon as you are offered somewhat better pay by any other organization.
- Since you are considered the least loyal employee by the employer for being a job hopper, you will be laid off at the very first place when the company is going through crises. In that case, get ready for job search.
- What you will be lacking as being a job hopper is the long term impact on your career. Since you don’t stick to serving one organization for a longer period of time, it means rarely you will be promoted within the same organization.
- Job hopping hinders in developing long term professional relationships which means you will have difficulty in creating reliable contacts. It will translate into not having enough referrals that can vouch for your talent.
- You are more likely to be thought out as a least reliable employee because the employers tend to consider that you are not committed to achieve the organizational goals. Famous career consultants suggest that for better career growth, one should serve an organization at least three to five years.
- When you will be looking for job opportunities, definitely you will be in contact with several recruitment agencies and different businesses. One can bet that your resume will be at the bottom of the pile of resumes and that will be just because they are not willing to trust you.
How can a wrong job affect your career?
Be careful when you land a new job. Research very well and know everything about the business organization you are going to join soon. Not only search online information related to the working lifestyle and atmosphere of the workplace offered by your new employer but try finding some sources in the organization to get insider information.
Lets take an example of switching the job by an individual who is offered a better salary along with employment benefits. But after joining the organization, it is revealed that the working environment is awful.
There is no team spirit because management keeps promising the employees but delivers what equals to nothing. Employees are not given their due respect and complaints are made by the management about the employees out loud.
You spend the first week, just trying to figure out who has the same goals to achieve as of yours and you can’t find anyone. You try matching your goals with the organizational goals and you failed to do so as they don’t have any particular goals. Therefore you don’t expect to learn anything in such a weird type of workplace.
Slowly you learn that people in such a working environment are led by fear. This is exactly what is known as feared-based culture. In this type of working environment you always have fear of being watched closely.
Instead of appreciating your hard work, they keep on checking the time you logged in your system and how much time you spent to do your lunch and what time you signed off. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
Therefore, watch your steps and be very careful when you are in between jobs or you are resigning from one job to have another one. This one wrong job will ruin your peace of mind, will affect your productivity negatively and will inculcate wrong approach towards the job. So you may end up adopting the wrong habits of your colleagues unintentionally.
Since these types of organizations exist in the market place and because of their bad reputation, the employees of such organizations are banned from being hired by highly reputed businesses. Hence it is advisable not to fall prey of big paychecks offered by such organizations. Rather skip their name quickly in the job listings whenever you come across.
Turning a job into career
To have a career, you need to set up long term goals. While you serve any of your employers, work hard, learn new skills and use all of your energies to achieve your set goals. Here you are provided with some matchless tips to follow if you want to turn your job into a career.
Never stop learning and developing new skills
First of all make a list of milestones that you want to achieve throughout your career. Then list the skills, requirements and qualifications that you require to achieve those milestones. Also you may consult the senior individuals in your career field to double check and correct your list.
Next step is that you keep learning and developing the skills you have listed regardless you are working part-time or full-time. Keep upgrading your qualification by obtaining academic degrees required to reach your career goal. Always network with individuals who have similar career goals, they can always be of help whenever you need sincere career advice.
Take help of a mentor
Seek help from mentors. Your mentors can be the individuals working in the same career field as of yours. While you work with them, better draft your questions to ask and topics to discuss for instance ‘career development’. Observe their career path to find out if yours can be the same or you think yours should differ a little bit.
There is an interconnection between jobs and careers where lifetime jobs make up your career. After graduation, you may have to start with a very small and entry level job but if you are enthusiastic enough to learn new skills and gain experience while working under pressure, for sure you can quickly reach your career goals.