Recently, one of my ex-students posted a message on his facebook wall, informing about his first appointment with a fertilizer company. Naturally, that was followed by many congratulatory messages, especially from peers. I too posted my own, adding, “…you’re on way to a golden career and a happy life! Blessings !” All said and done, I had an afterthought, that he had joined a job, and I wished him a golden career. Job and career ! There is obviously a close connection between the two. But is that known to those who are most immediately concerned by these?
The teacher in me sprang into action. I promptly drafted a message and posted it on my fb wall, addressing all my friends on the site, inviting their views on this relevant topic. It went as follows:
Hello my fb friends, Most of you (my ex-students) are in jobs all over India. A couple of you, abroad too. All are busy making a glorious career. Have you ever tried to understand the difference between a job and career? If not, it is high time you started reflecting over it. Whatever you think of it, please share here with me and all your friend circle. The brilliant ones may be incorporated in my forthcoming blog dealing with this crucial issue.
Anticipating their insightful views on the issue, the next evening when I accessed my wall, I was amazed at their response. There were more than 30 ‘likes’, but not a single comment/opinion on my query. So, that was that! I quickly figured out that most probably, they are yet to give this crucial point a serious thought. I decided to do something, to rake up the issue a little bit to clear the air around it.
At the very outset, it appears that the terms “job” and “career” are often used to mean the same thing, rather confusingly. But are they really conceptually similar or different? They are neither exactly similar nor different. However, they are actually complementary.
Looking at the job, we can say that it is something one takes up to earn money. It is simply work done in exchange for money and usually starts as a short term assignment. It is rather a single pursuit/unit. Later on one may continue with it or move on to the next stage.
Career on the other hand, is built up in the long run. It is like a sequence of jobs related to the same field or profile. A successful career is attained through one’s growth in job skills, knowledge, and experience during one or more job(s). Careers are usually vocations, such as in teaching, research, medicine, law, management, civil services etc. People often see personal goals as a part of their career. As one advances in ones career, one also derives benefits of networking in the area of activity.
So you can see, while one can work very hard at a job and even be paid well to work sincerely and competently, a career takes much more. It involves motivation, planning as well as effort than in a mere job. Due to that it becomes imperative for one to pursue ones career more consciously and carefully than as one usually does for a job.
The youth today is quite aware, conscious and equipped regarding his/her career. Career consciousness is in the air. Students usually make their choices even before writing their first Board examination. They know what they wish to become in life and opt for the respective streams they wish to pursue.
By the time they complete their education, they are ready for a job hunt of their choice. If it is in their chosen direction, the first job turns out to be their first step towards their goal, i.e., career. From then on, they have to keep to that very field, moving on diligently, persistently. Ultimately, slowly but surely, they reach their target, a sound career of their dream, to carry them through their lives.
Remember, you can apply for a job, but can’t apply for a career. A job may be given to you; but a career is made by you, bit by bit. You have to plan in advance, take a plunge into it and wade through, until you hit the goal post of your dream career.