You went through four years of college, got your diploma, went through round after round of interview, and now you are in your first real job. Feels good, right? I don’t want to spoil your mood since you are probably still celebrating the fact that, in spite of the tough economy and very soft job market, you landed a good job.
Still, it is never too soon to focus on this key truth: you can either view your job as just a source of paychecks which allow you to do what you really want to do or you can view what you are doing as part of a career. The fact is, these are two totally different concepts even though they may seem very similar since they both put money in your hands.
How a Job Mentality Operates
A job can best be defined as ‘just over broke’-it is something you do just enough so as not to get fired but you’d really rather be doing something else. A job is an eight hour block of time you endure every day in order to give you the means to do the things you really want to do. It is unpleasant. It is just something you have to get through. Preferably, you’d rather get it over with sooner rather than later.
To borrow from Karl Marx, a job can easily become a ‘daily humiliation.’ You view it as far from the essence of your humanity. As a result, people with jobs just do barely enough to get by. Predictably, their employers return the favor.
People who feel they are laboring at jobs don’t get promoted as much as they should. People with jobs often have an ambivalent attitude toward their work. It is drudgery, a hassle. Sooner or later, it erodes your soul-you become impatient, you feel trapped, you feel deprived.
How a Career Mindset Performs
Compare the very common perception of work as a ‘job’ above with work as a ‘career.’ People who view what they do as careers are driven by the fact that they can go up in their career. The more they learn, the more results they achieve, the higher the quality of their work, the higher and the further they get in their career.
Instead of seeing a series of boring and pointless details to learn, work requirements are viewed with a sense of wonder and curiosity by those who view their work as a career. Every new detail they learn is viewed as an achievement worth of pride.
People with careers view increasing their work awareness as something to look forward to. These people view their work as reflections of how much they have mastered their craft. Consequently, quality is very important to them. They place a high importance on expertise. Finally, people with careers would probably want to do their work even if they weren’t getting paid. They see it more than a means to a paycheck at the end of two weeks-they see their work as a celebration of their lives and a source of their personal meaning.
Put Yourself In The Place Of Your Boss
If you were the owner of a company or a manager, which of the people above would you want to hire? Which person would you feel good promoting and trusting? I thought so. It is completely your choice as to which person you want to become. The good news is that it is never too late-make the right choice today.