What Is The Difference Between A Job, Career And A Profession?


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Connor Sephton answered
You could describe all three instances as being a job because that is an activity that someone does to earn money, but generally a job tends to describe particular paid work. For example, a person could have a career in teaching but their first job would have been as a newly qualified teacher. They could get promoted and become a form tutor: Their job is still teaching but they are moving forward in their career.

Other promotions could lead to that person becoming an assistant head of year, then head of year, then head of department and perhaps even head teacher. This means that they will have had many different jobs throughout their career.

A profession can be described similarly but the field is a little narrower because professionals tend to be those who have had a university education and who have jobs that are sometimes described as white collar. Examples of professions are teaching, medicine and the law.

Blue collar workers (the opposite to white collar workers) are those who tend to be more hands on (though of course, doctors and nurses are very hands on and so this rule does not always apply). Examples are trades people, such as joiners, plumbers and electricians. Even if someone is not regarded as having a profession they can still have a career, and their work, when good, is often described as being professional.

Ultimately, a career is something that encompasses a person's entire working life, whether that is in a profession or not. When young people first start out in the world of work, they take careers advice so that they can take a long view of what it is they want to do, and so can plan the steps, and the jobs that they need to do in order to achieve that goal.

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