Since last week, I’ve been employed. That is, a company is paying me money to do work, and I even get a consistent full-time schedule.
However, to me, that’s only the first level. You see, I went through a temp agency to get this assignment, and I ended up taking it despite the fact that I really did not want second shift. Plus, until I get further along, there’s no way of knowing how long this factory is going to hang on to me. So, I consider it simply employment.
The next level I hope to achieve is what I consider an actual “job.” That would be something that’s pretty agreeable to me–nice hours, good pay, and confidence that I would be able (and willing) to hang on to it for more than a few months. That could still be at any number of places–a more generous factory, or maybe even an office setting.
Finally, there’s the career. A career is what everyone fantasizes about, and it’s my true goal for the next several years. With a career, I would actually be using my own unique skills to do something that I cared about, and I’d help the company or project–as well as myself–continue to grow.
My mistake up until now was to assume it would be easy for me to get a “real job” quickly after college, and that I’d move toward a career and probably get it within a year or two. This is silly. It takes many people their entire lives just to figure out what a career means to them, and some, sadly, retire without ever feeling that they did so. As long as I don’t fall into that last category, I ought to be happy with myself.
What level do you find yourself on?