Index > Authors> Mantus> Redefining Job and Career: Are You in The Right Field?

Redefining Job and Career: Are You in The Right Field?

Throughout your job search, there will be several moments that will cause you to re-think whether or not you made the right career choice. While you may quickly dismiss those thoughts — you didn’t go to college and pick a major just to get a job in something completely different — you shouldn’t count them out permanently.

Could it be that you’ve been fooling yourself into thinking you wanted to go into one field, when your true passion lies in another? This post deals with that understated struggle of determining whether you’re looking for a job, or a career.

You may think you know the difference between a job and a career, but there is actually something else about each one that you may not know. Until now.

Jobs.

To put it simply, a job is something you do to earn money. You have little to no interest in the work you’d be doing, and it’s completely unrelated to what you’re truly interested in, so putting it on a resume wouldn’t really help you. There’s virtually no career advancement, and there are very few networking opportunities in jobs, because if you leave it there’s little chance you’d seek employment in the same field.

When you hear job, you probably think of a service industry worker, part-time jobs, sales jobs, or something similar. But a job could be anything that you just don’t have the heart for. Here’s an example:

There once was a man who absolutely loved working with children. He would relish the moments he had to play with and teach his two little nephews, and he could feel the immense joy he received every time he was around them. When he started college, he had every intention of becoming a teacher but was pressured by his parents and peers to pursue a business major since it made more money. As he went through college, he started to forget about his love of teaching children and focused on a career in business. As soon as he graduated, he got what some may consider a ‘dream job’ in the business field.

His family was proud of him and he was making a lot of money, but the man secretly despised his job and did just enough work to get by. He loathed every moment he was in his office, but all the transferable skills he had only translated to other jobs he knew he would hate.

If this sounds similar to a path you’re currently going down, it may be time to rethink and analyze your life plan to fit something that will truly make you happy. Which brings us to…

Careers.

In technical terms, a career, and career advancement, is defined as a chosen profession that connects multiple years, skills, and achievements. There are multiple networking opportunities, since your next position will be in a similar industry. To put it simply, it’s the occupational path that allows you to do things you love and where your passions lie.

In a career, you’re trying to become more than just an executive or expert in your field. You’re reaching your true happiness by pouring your heart and soul into doing something you love. For some, a career can mean owning a business. For others, career goals can more specific, like becoming a banker or comedian.

Any jobs you may have had in your life were to earn enough money so you could drop everything and start doing this. Let’s go back and finish the story about the man who hated his seemingly-great job:

After working his way up to an executive position, the man finally realized there was no way the industry he was in could make him happy, but he didn’t know what his options were. He had a new family who relied on his income to survive. A few years later when his babies grew into children, the man reacquainted himself with his true passion for children. He told his wife about his passion, and they agreed to budget the large amount of money he made at his job so he could quit and go back to school.

It was a rocky road to becoming a teacher, but the man didn’t doubt his decision once. He finally graduated (again), started networking with people in the industry, got a job as a 3rd grade math teacher, and lived the rest of his life happy and complete.

What Does This Mean?

That story illustrates both extremes of jobs and careers, but this is not to say everyone’s experience will be like that. The point is, if you’re currently looking for work but are constantly questioning the field you’re in, then maybe it’s time to think about what truly makes you happy.

Once you’ve found it, start networking with people that work in the industry you’re trying to get in. Ask them how they got there and what you can do to get there yourself. Never underestimate the power of networking.

There’s an old proverb that says, ‘If you love what you’re doing, you won’t work a day in your life.’ Discover and pursue what you love doing, and the road to happiness won’t be far away.

What are your career goals? Are you sure you’ve found what you love doing yet?

By Alex Macksoud