Career vs. Job

career counseling chicago

Career vs. Job

By: John D. Moore, PhD

One of the things I have noticed in my work as a career counselor in Chicago relates to the large number of people who are requesting guidance with their career path immediately after graduating college. In many instances, job seekers come to me seeking advice about how to land a job in the field in which they studied, such as business, finance, healthcare and technology.

While the schools may collectively do a good job with preparing graduates for the workplace, many have fallen short on helping these recent graduates find a job. 

Career counseling can be particularly helpful to people who are just entering the workforce and to folks who are considered mid-career professionals.

One of the many things that are covered during career counseling include the concept of job interests, which is not to be confused with career interest

What’s the difference?

A job interest is just what is sounds like – a job. Many people take a job because they need the money or because the hours suite their particular needs.

A career however is something a person is emotionally connected to and in many ways, passionate about. To drive this point home, let’s assume you are passionate about working with new technologies.

Let’s also assume you have an undergraduate in computer science with a specialization in e-commerce. One day you see a job being offered in an online listing that is right up your alley – with the right pay and benefits. You apply and a few weeks later, you are brought in for an interview.

After another week, you receive a phone call with a job offer. Hooray! You just landed a job that is part of your career track. 

career counseling chicago

On the flip-side, let’s assume that you recently graduated college with the same credential mentioned above. You are having a hard time finding work and have become desperate for cash.

Needing to feed yourself and put a roof over your head, you decide to look for a job to essentially pay the bills. In keeping with this mindset, you decide to blast out your resume to any employer who might be looking for someone with your skills.

One day, you get a call from a local construction company that is interesting in hiring you to answer their phones and do some light data-base management. The pay is OK and you are not really thrilled about the work. Still, you need to eat and stay warm. You decide to go on the interview. After successfully going through the process with the construction company, they call you up a few days after the interview and offer you the position.

Hooray (kind of) … you just landed a job. Nope – it’s not really connected to your career per se’ but it will pay the bills and keep the wolves at bay. 

See the difference?

Career counseling can help you in these kinds of situations by helping you to understand that a job is not always related to a career. More importantly, career counseling can also teach you that taking a job to survive is perfectly OK! In fact, most employers would rather see someone who has some type of job history on their resume as opposed to giant gaps of time filling with nothing. 

To learn more about career counseling, including what to expect and how you might benefit from this specialized kind of counseling service, be sure to visit our career counseling page.  If you found this post helpful, please share with others. Like us on Facebook, Twitter 2SC or Circle us on Google Plus.

Remember, every life has a 2nd story – and that means your life too!