A recent team building session stimulated this topic: “Is there a difference between a job and a career?”
To open the session, we were asked, “Are you happy in your current job?”. One by one we all had to give our honest answer. The responses given by my colleagues gave me a shock, as most them felt as if they were stuck in a place they did not want to be in. The team strongly believes there is more to them than PR, case studies, monthly reports, etc.
“Yes, I am happy with my job” I responded. “It has never pained me to wake up in the morning and go to the office. In fact, I often stay at the office until late, working, or even creating additional work. I often wake up in the middle of the night and put my creative juices together. I get so excited about sharing my thoughts with the team the next morning, because to me, this is not just a job, but a career.” You are probably asking yourself what I love about my job so much. I love the fact that my job allows me to express my opinion; it allows me to help organisations communicate; it allows me to be proactive and, above else, it gives me endless pleasure.
I would define a job as a place you go to with your body, but not your mind. A job only puts a smile on your face on pay day, not the day before and perhaps not the day after, as that pay cheque may already be close to spent. A job is a miserable place to find yourself in. It leaves you so drained, so stressed that you end up not being able to identify yourself. Sadly, most of us have jobs just to be able to put bread on the table. When it comes to jobs, experience is often lost. We learn absolutely nothing when all we do is to keep busy and look forward to knock-off time. I have met several people who excel in their jobs because they know that the efforts they put in today, will be the rewards they enjoy tomorrow. As much as there are people who find themselves doing their jobs daily, most of them are preparing for their careers.
I define a career as a calling. It’s that force that wakes you up in the middle of the night; that drive, that passion that you can’t ignore, even if you try. I’m not saying a career is easy. What I am saying is that every struggle endured in any stage of your career is worth it and you could do it all over again if you had to. I have had to make numerous sacrifices for my career, and all of them were worth it. I am still making more sacrifices at this very moment. If you are living your career, you are blessed. Make the most of it, don’t let any opportunity pass you by.
My thoughts? Yes, there is a BIG difference between jobs and careers.
In conclusion: To those who wake up every morning and go to their workplaces, excel! Excel in everything you do that concerns your job. Don’t speak offensively of your job. You never know who is watching or listening. Umuntu ungumuntu ngabantu. REMEMBER: recommendations count. Do you best and you could be recommended for a change from job to career.