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by Camille Quebodeaux | February 1, 2017

We are excited to begin the process of evaluating and choosing the winners for our 2016-2017 Dudley DeBosier scholarship contest. As this school year draws to a close, many students are faced with difficult decisions about their future. We want to give some perspective to all students who may not be sure what their next steps should be.

Honestly, what senior in high school, or even college, knows exactly what they want to do with the rest of their life? Yes, there are a lucky few that know they are destined to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or surgeon, but that is not the case for the majority of people. The choices to be made regarding a career path can be very confusing, overwhelming, and actually quite scary to some.

By definition, a job is an activity through which an individual can earn money; a regular activity in exchange for payment. A career is the pursuit of a lifelong ambition or the general course of progression (through jobs) toward lifelong goals. People pursuing careers are thinking about what they can do now to make those goals happen in the future.

The difference between a job and a career boils down to the individual’s attitude. An individual normally holds several jobs in their career, and often find themselves changing jobs in the same field of work that defines their career. Switching careers can be more difficult than simply switching jobs, and it may require you to restart at the bottom of the totem pole. Don’t worry, starting over is totally acceptable and okay, as long as you are happy. After all, you only have one life. While most people’s idea of success includes money, in our opinion, it is also about your personal happiness.

Everyone is different and that means there are many ways for individuals to find their happiness. Whether the right fit for you is a simple job or a lifelong career, do it with passion and to the best of your ability. Jobs often help people jumpstart their careers through experience, knowledge  and learning about what they like and dislike. Striving for a career eventually turns into positive steps because you are gaining more out of the work than just a paycheck. Whether you choose a job or a career, you want to do your best to develop the skills you have, really enjoy what you do, and care about how you spend your time each day.

Every job is part of your career.

Some employees spend 30 years in the same department at the same company, and to many, this is the traditional sense of a career. But this is not the only way to go about seeking a career. An individual can be a contractor, lawn care taker, office clerk, or a car salesman and even though these jobs are quite unrelated, they all combine to make a career.

Every job provides skills and resources for the future.

Even though you may absolutely hate your current job, continue to complete each task to the best of your ability because you never know what skills you will take away. It never hurts to ask questions when you are unsure of something. Jobs provide skills such as dealing with rejection and negative feed back, learning how to communicate with a huge variety of people, and often times shows how great of an impact a positive attitude and hard work have on a company.

Every job offers networking opportunities.

No one is 100 percent sure where life will take them, or what their future will consist of. You don’t know which co-workers or customers you will come in contact with later on, and you also don’t know what kind of connections and networking possibilities these people have. You never know, maybe that good impression you gave to the customer last week was a CEO who can open a huge door for you.

Always do your best.

No matter what field of work you’re in, doing the minimum rarely ever works out in your favor. Always do more than what is asked, whether or not you think your current job is in your future career path. You should treat most jobs as if they are important, because they are. Not only do jobs provide immediate income but, it’s very possible that they can lead to better things in the future.

If you approach your work with a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, and a spirit of excellence, you will set yourself so far apart from your peers that your employers will have no choice but to notice you. It NEVER hurts to do your BEST!

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion”
– Simon Sinek

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