Jobs v. careers

What’s the difference between a job and a career? A job pays, but a career fulfills. That’s how I think about it.

We talk a lot about the “job market,” but why not think about the “career market”? Ben Casnocha has written about the value of being in “permanent beta.” And Anya Kamenetz wrote on “The Four-Year Career” a few years ago:

Shorter job tenure is associated with a new era of insecurity, volatility, and risk. It’s part of the same employment picture as the increase in part-time, freelance, and contract work; mass layoffs and buyouts; and “creative destruction” within industries. All these changes put more pressure on the individual–to provide our own health care, bridge gaps in income with savings, manage our own retirement planning, and invest in our own education to keep skills marketable and up to date. …

[Adam Hasler’s] interests are transdisciplinary–he’s what might be called a “T-shaped person,” with both depth in one subject and breadth in others. He demonstrates cross-cultural competency (speaking fluent Spanish, living abroad) and computational thinking (learning programming and applying data to real-world problems). The intellectual voracity that drove him to write 50,000 words on Western cultural history while running a coffee shop is a sign of sense making (drawing deeper meaning from facts) and excellent cognitive load management (continuous learning and managing attention challenges). Above all, Hasler’s desire to synthesize his knowledge and apply it to helping people, and his ability to collaborate with those who have different skills, shows a high degree of social intelligence. In the future, says Gorbis, “everything that can be routinized, codified, and dissected will eventually be done by machines. Social and emotional intelligence is what humans are uniquely good at–at least for the next decade or two.”

A career with “transdisciplinary” experience—”both depth in one subject and breadth in others”—seems like the key for the future.