Children, as they are growing up, pass through phases of passionate declaration about their future. At various stages of their growth the express the desire to be a bus driver, train driver, fireman, policeman, teacher, doctor, astronaut or actor. They are attracted to the glamour that they perceive to surround these professions.
Children’s books often attempt to make certain, otherwise not so popular, professions seem glamorous such as lawyer, scientist etc.
As the aura surrounding successful sports persons is magnified a hundredfold by the mass media, a greater numbers of youngsters are avowing dedication to life as a footballer, tennis star or golfer.
It is very rare that a child grows up to pursue any of their childhood dreams. As they mature into adults, parents and counsellors encourage them to consider their likes, dislikes, skills and talents and make a career choice.
By the time they are teenagers some children have already displayed talent in a particular field and start to seriously consider further honing their skills to make a career out of their talent. Dancers, musicians, sportspersons, actors, photographers and writers fall into this category.
Others are helped to chart their life’s path in accordance with their academic and other abilities. Future teachers, lawyers, scientists, doctors, dentists, vets, pilots, engineers etc. start making plans to forge their career while they are still teenagers. They will need years of study, costing a lot of money, if they are to achieve their dreams.
Many children decide that they do not wish to lose their youth to the demands and pressures of preparing for a high powered career and decide instead to simply take on a job to make money and pursue their interests in the free time they get.
Often in the course of the job, people discover their true career. They can then train on the job and add on the necessary degrees and diplomas to realize the ream. Thus a teaching assistant may find that she/he has a passion for teaching, or a sales girl may want to be a shop manager, a delivery boy a fast food chain operator.
Some young people find a very strong, magnetic attraction to certain careers. This is a calling. Priests, service men and women, environmentalists, activist, police persons, forest rangers are usually following a calling.
Business men and entrepreneurs do not pick their careers. They take the right decisions, have the right contacts, get the lucky breaks and voila, they have a career that has filled the coffers to overflowing. Thus a drug store owner uses his chemists training to formulate a drink. The next thing he knows is that the drink is being sold in all corners of the world; or a guy, who makes a good burger, as do so many home cooks, suddenly finds he’s top of the pops in burger charts worldwide. These are careers that happen. They are not planned.
In conclusion we can draw up the following differences between a job and a career
- A job is something you do to earn money. You may or may not be passionate about it. A career is something you’re passionate about. Earnings are the secondary consideration.
- A job gives a certain amount of stability. The earnings are steady. There is a regular work schedule and weekly off, yearly increments, annual leave, sick leave, holidays, insurance and other benefits. A career provides no such stability. The person works as hard as she\he needs to in order to get his/her career off the road. However there is no ceiling on the earnings and benefits of a successful career, as is witnessed by the lifestyles of famous actors, sportspersons, writers, doctors, lawyers and many others.
- A career is a life project. From childhood onward the individual has invested time and money into it. Once chosen it stays for life. Jobs are far more transient by nature. People often job hop until they find a job that suits them. The time and money spent in training for are job, is negligible compared to a career.
- Jobs may lead to careers and unsuccessful careers are sometimes abandoned for jobs.