The company that pays me always harks on their employees furthering their “careers” within the company. In the almost 15 years I’ve been with said company, I’ve never felt that what I currently do, or what I have done in the past, is a “career”. To me, it’s always just been a job. Something that pays the bills.
Merriam-Webster’s definition of “career” is: “a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling” or “a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life”. None of the positions I have held at said company fit either of these definitions. The definition of “job” is more suited: “a regular remunerative position” or “a specific duty, role, or function”.
When thinking about the term “career”, only one thing comes to mind: motherhood. Now many can rightfully argue that motherhood is more a “job” than a “career”, with using the definition of “something that has to be done” or “an undertaking requiring unusual exertion”. However, “motherhood” is a profession for which one trains (constantly) and which is undertaken as a permanent calling. Many people change their “careers”; but you can never change the “career” of being a mother. Since the definition of “career” uses the phrase “permanent calling”, I’d say “motherhood” is definitely the only “career” in the world. No other “job” or “career” is more permanent than giving birth to another human being and raising that human into an adult. And even as an adult still being their mother. Forever and ever. Through thick and thin.
Unlike someone who may decide to change their “career” from truck driver to plumber, there is no changing the motherhood “career”. It is 24/7, 365, until the day you die. And even then, you’re still a mother. But instead of being a mother who is there for their child every day, you are a mother who is missed every day by their child.
Are there a lot of rewards with this career? Way more than there are with the paying job. Are there are a lot of headaches? Of course. What worthwhile career doesn’t have those? There are many more years to go in my motherhood career. But for now I can look back on the 17 years I’ve already been working this career and be proud of what I have accomplished.