A job vs. career is a discussion as old as time. According to some, like Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic — psychologist and personality profiling expert — a career not only provides a sense of purpose, it also eliminates life-work imbalance. For others, a career is irrelevant because a job pays the bills and ensures there is money in the pocket.
The discussion still rages and whatever your opinion, it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with either. However, there is a critical question to consider, why is it that some of the most successful people in the world today advise job seekers to focus on careers and not jobs?
There are three key reasons.
1. A Career Provides Financial and Life Security
A career is often compared to a video game where the goal is to get to the final level. That means at each level; there are hurdles to conquer and skills to learn that will ensure you progressively move through each level.
Similarly, a career involves a series of jobs in a particular field with the aim of gathering experience and skills that will enable you to advance in pay and responsibility progressively.
A career provides financial security because with a career you can easily weather the uncertainties that come with employment.
Consider the example of a professor working towards tenure. He/she has to write papers and publish them if they are to be considered for tenure. Assuming he/she loses a job at university X because of the university’s financial challenges, that does not negate the fact that he has published papers and that means he/she can quickly get employment and tenure elsewhere.
In contrast, a job offers no security. The nature of a job is that all your previous posts are in entirely unrelated fields. In case of loss, you have to start your job search from the beginning with no guarantee you will get another job.
2. A Career Leads to a Happier Life
How many times have you heard the statement—do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.
From Bill Gates, who said, “You need to be committed to what you love and have a great passion for what you do,” to Steve Jobs who said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do,” the emphasis is the same. Love what you do.
It is impossible to love what you do when your focus is just any job. A career, on the other hand, requires a bachelor’s degree and often masters as well. That means the decision to invest money and time studying for that career path is rooted in love and passion for that field.
As a result, most who chose the career path are genuinely passionate about what they do. Whenever you are passionate about what you do, you do not wake up in the morning dreading the day.
Though the day to day challenges might stress you, you will enjoy conquering each hurdle and finding a solution. Essentially, you do not count the minutes until the work day is done. Instead, you find ways to merge your career life and personal life without feeling as if one is taking over.
Such harmony, between your work life and career life, is the definition of a happy life.
3. A Career Is Fulfilling
As mentioned earlier, the very definition of a career is working towards a given goal. The journey towards this goal is never easy. It requires sacrifices, assertiveness, adaptability, and hard work.
However, in the end, once you attain the goal, the reward is fulfillment. Just like Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic said, a career gives a sense of higher purpose. Purpose according to most is arguably every human being’s individual quest.
With the above in mind, you should now be convinced that there is more to life than just a job. You do not need to be extremely educated to start your career journey; you only need a foundation skill set and a deep passion for what you want to do.
Alfred Stallion is the writer of this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business-related topics. He also writes for a site NoExperienceJobs offering jobs without experience.