Career vs Job: The Key Differences

| 3 min read
career vs job

A career vs job which one do you have? Although these terms are often used interchangeably to mean being employed but looking deeply at them they are two diverse concepts. An ability to understand what the distinct differences between a career vs job could make a whole lot of difference and positively affect your professional life.

What is a Career vs Jobcareer vs job

A job is a task or piece of work, especially one that is paid while a career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

A job and career both involve getting paid but a career is more focused on a lifelong activity than a job which is usually immediate and more short term.

Key Differences Between Job vs Careercareer vs job

Professional Growth

A job compared to career presents less professional growth opportunity and recognition for you especially thinking about both concepts long term. Specialised training and other self-development skills training are aimed at contributing to your lifelong pursuit in the chosen career field.

A career presents you with more opportunities for professional growth as well as a chance to become a thought leader and specialist in your field. A job, on the other hand, presents you with an opportunity to earn your next pay and very low or non-existent career progression opportunities.

A Journeycareer vs job

A job is not a lifelong journey but an immediate hustle with the sole end goal of the pay while a career is a journey. A career journey as defined by Oxford dictionary is a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.


Less Fulfilmentcareer vs job

A job guarantees less professional fulfilment while a career will ensure you are more fulfilled in terms of career goals and personal achievements. Professional recognition, achievements, awards and rewards are more likeable to be awarded to you for a career than for a job.

People with a career usually come into work on Mondays happier than those on a job. This is simply because of a career routines feel less boring to them and it’s a launchpad to their future goals.

Do You Have a Career or a Job?career vs job

Neither a career or job is more important, the one you choose will be based on your needs, age, qualification and more. It’s important to note sometimes you can take on several jobs to stay afloat financially, find your feet, passion before you commit to building a career.

It is also important to understand that if you are at the start of your career, try not to get stuck doing a job for purely monetary gains. Building a career is a lot of work and takes commitment but it’s is more rewarding financially and on the long run, helps you develop your leadership skills, positions you more as an industry leader than a job.

In conclusion, take an audit of your professional life and decide which path you’re on if it suits you or not and most importantly make required changes if needed.

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.


  1. Am in a job because no career path available in Abuja, I have experience in customer service came out with a third class…so this job want give me time to do my post graduate diploma or get a professional course. I work weekends the pay is within 50-100k. I feel like it’s career suicide.

    should I resign
    should I do business
    am really confuse

    • Hi Tomi, I would not advise you to resign because even being out of a job is challenging and can be depressing for most. You also do not want to jump into business without learning the basics and how to provide more value. Do you have a passion for customer service, can you invest in developing yourself and skills so you can attract job opportunities with better pay? Develop yourself and build meaningful relationship to grow your career. Best Regards

  2. I find this piece enlightening, I was previously puzzled about the two earlier. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I now have a better understanding of the difference between a job and a career. Thank you for sharing

  4. Thank you Mr. Princewill for this awareness. However, where would you place entrepreneurs, job or career? Bearing in mind that entrepreneurs are self employed.

    • Hi Enobong,
      I would say a career in most cases, especially in situations where these entrepreneurs are in fields of their passion and drive. This makes their entrepreneurial pursuit just beyond about earning morning but providing value and change.

  5. This is beautiful… I’m a graduate of Economics, second class lower division. Completed my NYSC December 2017… I want to build a career in Economics, monetary Economics. But right now i need a job first I guess..

    • Hi Igelle,
      Great to hear; you need a good CV, building up your confidence and knowledge for job application and interviews. The job would eventually come and we wish you all the best. Please look around here for further resources to help your search.
      Best Regards

  6. I definitely have a job and not a career yet because it is the paycheck for survival that keeps me there. I want to improve on the necessary skills to pursue my career though, but it seems like the opportunity is not existing (financial and time constraints). I know I will eventually pursue my career.

    • Hello,
      I am glad and excited that you being true to yourself and pleased about your optimism, I would advise you to write down the skills and career you want, also write down required actions you need to take then match that with the timeline that suits your current resources. Looking forward to great exploits by you. Best Regards

  7. I am graduate presently doing my Master Just lost my job getting offers as a sales team leader but the pay is below my previous take home which was not even enough. I am confused what do I do?

    • Hello Emmanuel,
      Your CV might be the challenge here to the offers you are getting. Look at a CV rewrite, you can contact our team at for a rewrite. Also be strategic with your job applications, you might be applying for jobs below your pay grade. Best Regards

  8. Thanks Princewill for this enlightenment. Really learnt something important about job vs career.

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