It is estimated that the average worker will have 14 jobs in his or her working lifetime. It is no longer a bad thing to change jobs. But that doesn't mean you should wander aimlessly from company to company. If you know the difference between a job and career and think long-term, you will prosper wherever you go.

A job is:
• A regular activity performed in exchange for payment
• A position in which one is currently employed.

A career is:
• A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation.
• The general course or progression of one's working life or one's professional achievements over time

Bottom line: your job is what you are doing today. Your career is what you’ve done over the past years and what you plan to do in the future.

So when you think “career”, you have to think long-term.

And when you think long-term, you begin to realize the following:
• Everything you do counts
• Everything you do needs to have a good reason behind it
• You have to make good decisions
• Always think “What’s my next step?”
• What you do today determines your tomorrow
• Mistakes can potentially haunt you for a long time

You should pay serious attention to this “career” thing. Your job feeds you and your family today. Your career will feed you and your family tomorrow and beyond.

Author's Bio: 

Dee Piziak is a manager for a Fortune 500 company and a university instructor. Her consulting firm, Acadia Communications, specializes in professional coaching, career development, and resume writing. Visit her website at