Job vs. Career vs. Vocation Article Type: Fight Club
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A job might be part of your career or might be your vocation, but the connotation of a job is closer to getting paid for your time than for your skills. Working at a fast-food joint? Job. Handing out skee-ball prizes at the arcade? Job. Painting fire hydrants during the summer? You guessed it.
Careers require much more of a time commitment in terms of education and training (either in school or on the job). The longer you are in a specific career, the more likely you are to have greater responsibilities (and higher pay!).
Keep in mind that, while vocations may technically refer to activities that bring you immense satisfaction, lots of people are going to use this term as a synonym for “technical career”. It is therefore kind of a loose term. You can choose whether you want it to mean “that which makes you happy” or “blacksmith”.
Lots of folks out there stuck in dead-end jobs or jobs they hate or jobs that pay minimum wage. Don’t be one of those folks.
Just like jobs, people can get stuck in career paths they aren’t stoked about. Make sure you’re careful about what you choose to devote yourself to, because getting into a career is a pretty big life commitment.
Your true calling might not pay much, if at all. While it may make you immensely happy to collect sea shells, “beachcomber” isn’t a job title that’s going to net the biggest paycheck you’ve ever seen.
Bet on a Job If: You’re exploring an industry to get a feel of what it’s like, or you need to get your hands on a paycheck for whatever reason.
We spent one whole summer working at an amusement park just to finance our Starbucks habit. Gotta get those non-fat low-milk half-calf organically grown caramel macchiatos.
Bet on a Career If: You know what you want to do, and are ready to take long-term steps to do it.
Bet on a Vocation If: You’re a hands-on kind of person and want a job where you can use your technical skills.