The Difference Between Your Job and Your Work

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“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain [tweet this]

There’s a difference between your education and your schooling.

Your schooling is what happens in the classroom. It’s the classes that you take to achieve a standardized level of education and get a diploma.

Your education is what you learn in all of life. It’s what you read, practice, experience. It’s what you learned from coaching little league, and how you grew as you led a project at work.

Your schooling is part of your education, but your education is much bigger than your schooling.

Similarly, there is a difference between your job and your work.

Your job is what you do to pay the bills. It’s a role in some organization (even if it’s your own) where you bring value to the organization in exchange for payment.

Your work is about making an impact. Your work is a theme of meaning from your story that gives energy to the things you do and gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

Ideally, your job is part of your work — an avenue through which you have the opportunity to make a meaningful impact.

Few jobs bring a perfect alignment between your real work and your job. The more you can do your work in and through your job, the more connected you’ll feel to what you do.

But remember this:

Your work is much bigger than your job.[tweet this]

No job can contain all that you have to offer.[tweet this]

In the comments, how do you see your work as different from your job? How are you able to do your work through your job?

I’d love to hear some of your stories. Click here to comment.

Dan Cumberland is on a mission to push you into the places meaning, life, & work intersect. He is the author of The Meaning Manifesto. Read more about him here, and connect with him on facebook and twitter.

There Are 2 Comments On This Post.

  1. Paul

    It’s a simple differentiation – My WORK vs. my JOB, though one that we definitely need to be reminded of. I’ve always appreciated that Mark Twain quote too. As I enter my senior year at college, I know I want to combat the inhibiting effect that my “schooling” has on my education. I’m trying to bend the rules and degree requirements as much as I can to milk the most out of my schooling to actually LEARN the most as I combine my interests in healthcare and entrepreneurship. I think through this pursuit I can manipulate and positively perceive my schooling as legitimately being part of my education.

    • I think you’re doing it right, Paul. Your school should serve your education. A lot of us don’t figure that out until we’re out of college— then we go back to school for something that brings the two more inline with each other. I think you have a good year ahead of you 😉

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