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Importance of Careers
After studying this section of the chapter, you will be able to:
Explain the concept of work.
Discuss the reasons people work.
What Is Work?
When used as a verb, work is putting forth an effort to produce
or accomplish something. As you go to school, you work or put forth
an effort to do your homework, read books, give reports, and study
for tests. You receive passing grades in return for the work you do.
At this point in your life, schoolwork is very important. You are
preparing yourself for your future work—your career.
A job is the work done, usually to earn money while pursuing
an interesting career. For example, delivering newspapers is a job.
You may deliver newspapers while you study to become a police
offi cer. Some jobs are full-time jobs, but many jobs are part-time
or temporary jobs. You may take a job to earn money for a specifi c
reason, such as to make a special purchase.
An occupation is employment that requires related skills and
experiences. When does a job become an occupation? A job may
involve one or two tasks. An occupation involves multiple tasks
at various levels of diffi culty. However, an occupation is not a
career. For someone starting out, like yourself, a career is a series
of jobs taken to advance in your chosen fi eld of work. These steps
or occupations could be illustrated using the rungs of a ladder as
shown in Figure 1-1.
A career ladder is a sequence of work in a career fi eld, from
entry to advanced levels. Each rung of the career ladder is another
step in the progression to a better job. Each step in your career may
require that you learn new and more complex information and
skills. Reaching your fi nal career objective may take many years and
require considerable education and training.
At what age should
you begin looking
for work?
Key Terms
career ladder
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