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Level Up to the Career of Your Dreams

Bonny Calfy | June 11, 2015

Did you know there’s a difference between a job and a career? Believe it or not, there is. A job can be defined as an everyday activity in exchange for a paycheck.  A career is a journey that includes jobs, experiences and training within one field.

To get a good understanding, think of your career as a video game: one that you preordered, then waited outside in the pouring rain until midnight to pick up. Ultimately, you want all of the skills you’ve accumulated from other games to aid you in obtaining your desired end result.

Some game changers to turning a job into a career path are the following:

Requirements

Now that you’ve acquired the game that you dreamed about playing for months, what do you do? You pop the disc into your console, of course! But if you don’t have the proper equipment for the game, you’re at a standstill yet again. To have a great career, it’s the same concept: You need a well-developed foundation to propel you to the next level. Whether that is a college degree, specified training or certain certification is dependent upon the field of your choosing.

Attitude

An hour goes by, and you’re suddenly stuck on level two. No matter what you do, you just cannot find all of the coins needed to proceed. You have a couple options here. You could throw the controller, making matters worse. Or, you could briefly walk away from the situation, and return refreshed and ready to find all of those coins! With a career, many people think about their long-term goals. If you’re not having a great day at work, and things are overwhelming, you don’t walk away. You take a deep breath and think of strategic ways to make your current frustration better.

Time Is Money

You have spent your entire Saturday playing this game, and have completely avoided finishing any of the other tasks you set out to do. This may not be a good lifestyle choice, but you’re that much closer to the outcome you desire: finishing the game. Let’s compare this to your career aspirations. Say you really want to be a fantastic sales representative. In order to do that, it’s going to take a lot of drive. You’ll have to excel in college, be a leader and be an effective communicator. These are achievable goals, but you have to be willing to put in the effort.

End Result

Finally, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel : the last level. Right now, you’re experiencing a whirlwind of emotions from excitement to sadness and everything in between. But, in the bigger picture, you’ve met the goal you set out to accomplish, and that in itself is cause for celebration. This rings true with establishing your career as well. After spending hours and dollars on preparation, you can pat yourself on the back, because now you have the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Whatever your lifestyle dream may be, go for it!

Don’t get stuck on a level in your career game; choose to take the time to complete them all. Be intentional with the steps you take now, as they will affect the outcome of whether you have a career versus a job.

Original artwork by Brock Lay

About the author
Author picture, Bonny Calfy
Bonny Calfy
As Paycom’s recruitment marketer team lead, Bonny Calfy writes about such topics as human capital management, company culture, talent acquisition and career advice. Her brand-awareness efforts at Paycom have included launching Paycom Careers’ blog and social media channels, and producing several recruiting videos, all to help attract top talent nationwide. Outside of work, Bonny enjoys reading, fishing and spending time with her son and husband.