What is career? What is right career? How to choose?

What is a Career?

Sullivan and. Baruch (2009) ‘We define a career as an individual’s work-related. and other relevant experiences, both inside and. outside of organizations that form a unique pattern.

An occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer. a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking: His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.

A career means you stay in the same type of work. A career can be one job or many jobs. You can work for one company or many companies. A career is sometimes called a “career path.”

A career includes education, training, and work experience. In a career, you need to think about how you can grow in your job or move into another job.

Here is an example of a career path:

  1. Manny worked in a restaurant prepping food.
  2. Manny worked in a restaurant as a line cook.
  3. Manny went to cooking school.
  4. Manny worked at a very nice restaurant as the chef.

How to select the best/ find the right career?

  1. Maximum utilization of abilities
  2. In line with personality and abilities
  3. Sense of satisfaction/completion
  4. Decent payback
  5. Personal growth
  6. Return to society

Is a Job the Same as a Career?

Sometimes the word “job” is used. Sometimes people use “career.” In fact, they mean two different things.


job is the work you do at a company for which you get paid.

“I have a job as a cashier.”

“I have a job as a taxi driver.”

“I have a job as a janitor.”

A job is work you perform to earn money to support your basic needs. It can be full-time or part-time and may be short-term. You might earn an hourly wage or a set paycheck rather than a salary with benefits. You might need to learn certain skills connected with that role, but not all jobs require a specialized degree or advanced training.

career means you do the same type of work over the years. A career can be one job or many jobs. A career has a goal of improving your skills so you can grow in your job, or move into another job.

“I have worked as a Home Health Aide, a Certified Nursing Assistant, and a Nurse. My career is in health care.”

“I have worked as a General Construction Worker and a Roofer. Now I am a Construction Manager. My career is in construction.”

A career is a long-term professional journey you may determine based on your interests. It is the path you embark upon to fulfill your professional goals and ambitions. You may require a certain level of education or training to achieve these goals. Individuals pursuing careers often have set salaries with benefits such as stock options, retirement plans, pensions and bonuses. They also gain benefits beyond money, such as personal pride, work satisfaction and self-worth.

What’s the Difference?

Getting a job is a one-time event.

A career is a lifelong process.

To have a career, think about what type of work you want to do in the future, and what education you will need to meet your goals.

Where Can Career Planning Take You?

Two people go to work every day. They both change jobs in the next few years. One person has a career plan. The other person does not have a plan. Look at the charts below. Which person has a career?

 Two Years AgoOne Year AgoToday
Person ATaking English classes at ABE CenterWorking at a restaurant cleaning tables and helped the servers$6.15/hourDecides to find out how to get skills for better paying jobs in restaurantsTook the ServSafe Certification and passedPromoted to kitchen helper$8.50/hourFinished English classesPromoted to assistant cook$10/hour
Person BTaking English classes at ABE CenterWorking at a restaurant cleaning tables and helped the servers$6.15/hourWants a job that pays more moneyQuit the job at the restaurantWorking in a manufacturing factory$9/hourLaid off from the factory jobWorking as janitor$7/hour

How does a job affect your career?

  • Jobs make up your career
  • You learn from each job
  • Jobs provide you with networking opportunities
  • Hard work pays off

How to turn a job into a career

  • Continue learning and developing
  • Expand your network
  • Apply for an internship
  • Get a mentor (career counselor)

What is a career?

A career has been defined by researchers as “an individual’s work-related and other relevant experiences, both inside and outside of organizations,  that form a unique pattern over the individual’s life span.” A person’s career is a symbolic “journey” through education, work, and other aspects of life. Your career includes your education, training, and work experience.  A career might consist of one or several jobs. You might work for a single company or a number of them.

 Your career is being built as you get more experience in the worlds of work and life. Your education, training, and paid or unpaid work all factor towards your career path. It also incorporates your family and personal duties, as well as your interests, volunteer work, and community participation. A career could mean working as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, carpenter, veterinary assistant, electrician, cashier, or hairstylist. 

6 factors to consider when choosing the right career for yourself

The perfect career has everything to do with lifestyle and the kind of job that fits into the life you envision for yourself.

  1. Maximum utilization of abilities

A career is considered suitable when it gives you the platform to utilize all your abilities to the max.  It involves the using of your skill set, your physical and mental capabilities as well as your education. It also provides you with the resources necessary to accomplish your goals and improve your skills

  • In line with personality and abilities

The best career is one that aligns your job with your personality. It matches your abilities and your nature.  If you enjoy academics, you’ll find important lifestyle benefits working at a university, for example. Or if you’re an introvert, a job with public speaking will not be for you. A career should be one which is compatible with your personality and nature

  • Sense of satisfaction/completion

It should also provide you with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. At the end of the day, you go home with the feeling of having spent a good day. This also includes a career whose values are in line with your personal values, and  in which you are working your best to complete your goals with excellence on a daily basis.

  • Decent payback

Another important quality of a good career that you cannot ignore is a decent and reliable payback.  It should be ensuring that you can afford to live securely. It should include benefits such as paid leave, health care, and contribute to your retirement and future investment.

  • Personal growth

A good career path provides ample opportunities for you to improve your skills and advance in your career. It equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge  you need  to grow and maintain success in the long run.

  • Gives back to society

A career that directly helps others on a professional level or helps you give back to the society is deeply satisfying on a personal level.  Your career should contribute back to the world, to the society and to other people striving for a career of their own.

Is a job same as a career?

Sometimes the word “job” is used. Sometimes people use “career.” In fact, they mean two different things.


A job is something you do simply for the purpose of earning money. Jobs usually have a minor influence on future resumes because they are unrelated to your current or future profession.


A career is all about building your abilities via a variety of jobs, allowing you to advance to higher-paying and more important positions. Careers give a foundation of experiences that aid in fueling your professional life for many years.

What’s the Difference?

  • A job is the work you do at an organization for which you get paid. Getting a job is a one-time event.

Example: I have a job as a cashier. I have a job as a teacher.

  • A career is when you do the same sort of work for a long period of time. A career might consist of a single job or a series of jobs. A career aims to improve your abilities so you may advance in your current position or go on to something else. A career is a journey that lasts a lifetime.

Example: I have worked as a General Construction Worker and a Roofer. Now I am a Construction Manager. My career is in construction.”

Or a career path could look like-

Human resources: HR assistant -> HR specialist -> assistant director of HR -> director of HR

Job VS career


  • A short term pursuit
  • Often does not require specialist experience, skills and training
  • Earning money is often the main driver
  • Reward most likely is wage or salary
  • Relates to one single period of employment with a single employer


  • A long term pursuit
  • Often requires specialist skills and training or experience
  • Passion or a sense of fulfillment is often the main driver
  • Rewards can include career satisfaction, salary, pension, growth, etc
  • Can span multiple jobs across multiple employer

How does a job affect your career?

Even if you don’t have a specific career path in mind when you first enter the workforce, you will most likely hold a variety of jobs during your lifetime. It may be helpful to think of each position you have as a stage in your career. Your job may have an impact on your career in the following ways.

  • Jobs make up your career

A career is made up of all of the jobs you’ve held, regardless of whether or not they’re related. You might work for the same company for decades in the same department. Alternatively, you may work as a receptionist, executive assistant, or information technology consultant during the course of your career. They all help to define your career and connect you to different options that you are interested in.  The short-term duties in your jobs can assist you in achieving your long-term objectives.

  • You learn from each job

Every job you do teaches you something you can use in the future. You’ll learn a wide range of skills, information, and experiences as well. For example, perhaps your work as a store clerk taught you how to deal with tough circumstances diplomatically. You may have learned strong communication and customer service skills while working as a receptionist. Other positions might aid in the development of your writing talents, as well as your interpersonal skills, develop your capacity to deal with rejection or instill in you the importance of hard work and endurance.

  • Jobs provide you with networking opportunities

With each job, you expand your professional network and community. You may equip yourself with the capacity to reach out to these contacts throughout your career if you maintain a constructive and professional relationship with all of your colleagues and clients and it can be beneficial for your career ahead.

  • Hard work pays off

Your present work may have an unexpected effect on your future career. For this purpose you should   aim to go above and beyond the minimum standard. A good attitude, a desire to learn, and consistently high-quality work may set you apart, open up new doors, and win you recommendations for your future.

How to turn a job into a career

If you feel that you are currently working a job rather than a career, but would like to turn your job into a career, what should you do? If you aim to have a career, you can work toward meeting that long-term goal. These strategies can help.

  • Continue learning and developing

Always aim to enhance your skills and knowledge. You should try to improve and develop your present abilities that are relevant to your chosen career. This can be accomplished through formal education or on-the-job training.

Similarly, consider what abilities you presently lack that might help you succeed in your chosen field, and then look for methods to improve them. This might be done through official training courses or through job experience. If you’re unsure what new skills you should be looking to develop, ask people in your chosen career and ask for their advice

  • Seek out mentoring

If possible, try to find at least one mentor who can help you. A good mentor would be someone in your career who is senior to you and has a lot of expertise. Request if they will consider professionally assisting and advising you. There’s a good possibility they’ll agree — being asked to be a mentor is an ego boost and pride for most people.

  • Build your network

You should look to meet other people in your chosen field to build up your network of contacts. Workshops, conferences, seminars, and social gatherings are all excellent venues to meet people in your field. This will allow you to acquire perspective and opinions from others as well as assist you in developing a network of connections that you may use in the next step your career.

  • Considering internships

If your present work is not in the field of your intended career, you should think about how you might gain experience in your chosen field. An internship can help you develop or break into it that sector.  In addition to giving you relevant experience related to your career field, internship will also show your commitment and dedication towards it.