That may sound like a dumb question, but it really is one designed to make you think. A job gives you a paycheck to be able to do things like buy groceries, pay bills, and support your child’s activities. That is not a bad reason to have a job. In fact, I’d say it is the only reason to have a job. If you need money, get a job. Right?
But a career is different.
Two people can be working side by side at the same task in the same workplace and one will have a job while the other has a career. One is focused on the paycheck, the other is focused on the future. If you are taking the time to improve your skills, paying attention to more than your job description, and getting ready for the next opportunity, then you have a career.
Improve your skills by learning to do things that intimidate you a little bit. Read more. Write more. Take some classes or tutorials about using software that might be helpful. Learn to do your job and be open to learning how to do any other jobs around you.
Pay attention to more than your job description by noticing how things happen. What’s involved with getting the product to the shelves or the service to the customer? How is this business managed? What other businesses feed into it or support it? Expanding your perspective opens your eyes to networking possibilities and possible career paths.
Get ready for the next opportunity by keeping your resume up to date and looking for ways to stay current with the job market. Seek out an executive resume writer to help bring your resume current. The Job Search Resources page has a lot of ideas here. It may say “Job” in the title, but it says “Career” in the result. The difference between a job and a career is the attitude you have about your long-range plans.