During the time in which I have been a student, I have had a job as a writer. On those rare occasions when I actually  have time to write something other than school papers,   I write for online agencies that pay per piece.  This kind of work is not career writing.  It is a job.

Prior to  grad school, I owned a content company and contracted work out to workers in foreign countries and the USA.  This was a career.  It was a business.  It was a pain in the ass,and I hated it…. but I could have done it forever.  I  opened this business where I kept books, paid taxes and had employees.  Career. Not job.

On July 6th, when I graduate, I will begin my new career, one that integrates psychology, art, writing and that has a focus on empowerment.  Thus far, however, my career is that of an artist.

I started making art as a child, studied art extensively in college and beyond and supported myself doing this.  To this day, I continually supplement my education as an artist, go to exhibits, museums and visit other artists’ studios in order to stay abreast of what is current in the industry.    This is a career.  It is a career in which I spend long hours into the night, go into production, cut my fingers, lose sleep, get filthy, sometimes fail and sometimes succeed. It isn’t glamorous.  Sometimes it can be the most frustrating, non-gratifying  endeavor in the universe.  Sometimes I make virtually no money at it, but when I do…man-o-man-o-man!  It feels great.

See the difference?  Job vs. Career

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What is it? A career is the pursuit of a lifelong ambition or the general course of progression towards lifelong goals. Job is an activity through which an individual can earn money. It is a regular activity in exchange of payment.
Requirements Usually requires special learning that includes individualized components that develop abilities beyond that which training is capable of. Education or Special training may or may not be required
Risk taking A career may not mean stability of work as it encourages one to take risks. The risks are often internal and therefore planned. A job is “safe”, as stability of work and income is there. However shifting priorities, especially in resource jobs, can abruptly change the demand and require relocation which is an unstable factor. Risks may be completely external.
Time Long term Indefinite term but sometimes full time
Income Varies depending on value to society or to some other entity. Non-monetary benefits may be higher. Salary is more common. Varies by demand. More likely to be wage.  Can be per piece or per project or per task. Zero contributions to society.  Zero non-monetary benefits.
Contribution to society May have high value as social change/progress may be possible. May actually have a negative impact when counterproductive social practices are continued in the name of protecting jobs.