Do You Have a Career or a Job?

When I was very young the idea of a woman having a career seemed remote. I thought a lot about having a job and my own money but actually girls of my class weren’t really encouraged to think about careers; all the talk was of pin money, supporting husbands, and bringing in a bit extra for ‘treats’. I didn’t actually know many women who worked outside of the home and those that did were frowned upon. I wasn’t sure why but it definitely wasn’t a good thing to work when married with a family.

You may think that makes me about a 102 years old but actually I’m in my fifties which seems quite young really! (Old is always about 5 years older than you, isn’t it?) Things have moved on, hooray. That said, I think the child bearing years can be a minefield for a career woman and I long for the day when our systems change to make time off for child rearing a realistic option for both genders. Things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been…

Job or Career?

Having a job is not the same as having a career; you will have very different feelings about a job, usually it’s just a means to an end. Jobs come and go and can disappear in an inkling, often for reasons well beyond your control.

A career is something you have for life (although you may have several careers in one lifetime.) A career is something YOU control.

I have had loads of jobs (too numerous to mention) and I have had three careers – as a professionally qualified social worker, as a manager specialising in change, and now as a personal development specialist working with great women. I’ve loved them all but have been able to recognise when the time to move on came. Once your enthusiasm begins to wane, when getting out of bed is a hurdle, when you’re watching the clock until you can do something you like, believe me then it’s time to go!

A career is a lifetime experience of making the most of your skills, your knowledge and your life experiences. People with careers tend to read and study in their spare time and it doesn’t feel like drudgery. A career is something you develop and plan. Having a career that you love really does mean that work isn’t like working!

Are You Passionate About Work?

Do you have a passion for your work? Do you love what you do or is it a chore? Do you think you can’t change it? OK, in today’s climate you may have to stay where you are short term but don’t let that stop you making plans to do something you love. I’ve worked with so many women who thought they were trapped until they began to allow themselves the freedom to explore what they really wanted to do and let go of some sacred cows.

I’m currently having a brilliant time ‘working’ on updating and editing a new edition of When Work Isn’t Working so look out for news of that early next year. Meanwhile though you can get an immediate download of the current edition for the sale price of £3.99 and you can listen to my visualisation totally free. Try it out, it might just be the boost you need!

If you have changed jobs for the better, or have a career you love, do share your story. You might just inspire another woman to take that first step to having a work life they love!

Thinking of expanding your training business? I can help you. To find out more, click here.


Posted on August 31st, 2012 by

3 Responses to “Do You Have a Career or a Job?”

  1. Linda says:

    Good evening, Jane.

    I so agree with your view about the difference between careers and jobs.

    Like you I’m in my 50s, but I’ve never had a job. It was never an option. Where I grew up and was educated, expectations were polarised. You either married and had children very young or you didn’t. And if you didn’t, there was something ‘odd’ about you; you didn’t ‘fit in’.

    So all my adult life I’ve ‘fitted out’. Had a very stimulating and rewarding career until recent times, which commanded a fair degree of respect as well as financial return. And recently, I became even more ‘odd’.
    I was introduced to the wonderful world of blogging and in less than 12 months have gone from barely knowing how to switch on a computer (always had secretaries, so there was no need to learn)to becoming the ‘Bill Gates’ of computer know-how and blogging for business purposes where I now live. Not that I know very much still, but compared to other men and women of our age in these parts I’m a whizz-kid!
    But these are not people without cognitive abilities – just lacking in the belief that they can do anything other than cling on for dear life to jobs that don’t give them pleasure and businesses they don’t seem to like, let alone want to spend their time developing.They seem unbelievably reluctant to let go of their safety blankets ‘in case it doesn’t work out alright’ – they don’t seem willing to consider that it might just ‘work out alright’ if they give it a go with an open mind.
    I can’t claim all the credit for the changes I’ve enjoyed in the last 9-10 months. I’ve had an awful lot of help from some wonderful people. But what I worry about is the mindset that others pass no to young people, for whom even the ‘jobs’ route in life is very limited these days. If their elders aren’t able to embrace the possibilities of change, of being adventurous and trying out things that are new and enjoyable, what chance do the youngsters stand with such role models?
    Oh dear – I’m getting on my soapbox again. My apologies. It’s just that attitudes don’t seem to have made much progress in the last 40 years!

    Kind regards,

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Linda. It’s brilliant to hear that you’re making such positive changes in your life. I wish you all the best. I wonder if you read this post too? Are You Being Sold the Fifties Myth? Jane

    • Linda says:

      I most definitely have, Jane.
      I’m not actually convinced even in our so-called modern and liberated world, we’ve really moved much further from the the dark days you described. In some places and ways, maybe, but in the provincial settings I inhabit much of the time it still seems frighteningly much as it was over half a century ago.
      But maybe I’m blessed by having had parents who actively sought to promote a different vision from my early years and what I say now reflects that very progressive thinking.Perhaps in some ways it’s blinded me to what progress has actually been achieved.

      Kind regards,

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