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Jul 01 2015
Career or Job?
April Tanner, Kimball Equipment

Often people use the words "career" and "job" interchangeably, but they are two different things. A job is something a person does as a means to an end . . . something you do in the short term to earn cash. A career is a long-term pursuit of a lifelong ambition - often a professional choice. Another definition, "Passion is the difference between a career and a job."

Do you consider what you do for work a career? Do you want a career? If YES, then think about this. A career is a life choice that can be made at any time in your life. Sometimes a person can have more than one career in their lifetime. A career involves taking your interests, goals, education and skills and using them to earn your paycheck. Your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly decisions involve your career. Sometimes sacrifices are made for careers, both at home and at work. You may be asked to work late to head a project - thus advancing your skills and status at work. You may need to take night classes and give up family time in the short term to earn a degree to advance your career. A career is like a living thing, you have to feed it with new goals, education and skills to keep it alive and growing, just like a body needs food, water and shelter to survive.

Sometimes the difference between a career and a job is as simple as your own perception of yourself and your work. What image do you portray on the outside? I remember an impactful class I had in college about "dressing for success." Do you dress for the career you have now or want to have in the future? Does the language and tone you use when answering the phone and in correspondence project a professional image? If you are looking to improve your image and have a career, there are some other questions you can ask yourself. Are you attentive and detailed? Do you actually listen and participate in the meetings you attend even if you don't want to be there? Do the reports and projects you are given look polished when you are finished?

A career is something for which you are proud. Do you tell your friends and family what you do at work, and the importance of your career to you, your family, your community and the world?   If you are reading this you likely work in credit and finance. Credit careers are important and vital. They help the business world not only function, but when we do our best work the economic world thrives. If you are not willing to promote yourself and your career, who will?

You are valuable, treat yourself that way. The world needs people with careers in all professions: medicine, engineering, engine mechanics, plumbers, and credit. You would never hear a medical Doctor say "Oh, I am just a pediatrician." In describing your career choice, please don't describe your career in credit as "just a clerk" or "just a money person" etc. Take pride in your career - promote it and yourself.

A career is something that becomes part of your life, not just a thing you do. A career takes dedication. A career should not be drudgery and all sacrifice. Many good things come from careers. A professional employee is valued by employers. An employer will acknowledge an employee with a career mindset, not always monetarily, but rewards are out there. They can come with offers to pay for additional education, travel opportunities, extra vacation days, and paid time off for emergencies etc.


In short, if you want a career remember that you can apply for a job, but you can't apply for a career. A job is given to you; a career is made by you. It is made by you every day in the small and big choices you make; in the way you dress and talk, in the education you have now and will get in the future. If you want a career you need to pursue it and grow it daily. BEST WISHES FOR A GREAT CAREER - GO YOU!