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Understand What Career Terms Mean

Ever wondered how a job is different than an occupation? Find out. See what career professionals mean when they use common career terms.

Career

What it means to you:
Paid work you do throughout your adult life.

How career professionals see it: 
The overall course of a person’s work–related activities. A career includes learning experiences, occupations and jobs.

Career counselling

What it means to you:
Talking to the school  counsellor about what to do when you’re finished high school.

How career professionals see it: 
The process involved in helping people gain the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that will help them manage their life, learning and work effectively.

Career development

What it means to you:
It’s probably not a term you use.

How career professionals see it: 
The process of actively creating the life one wants to live and the work one wants to do.

Job

What it means to you:
Work you do for money.

How career professionals see it: 
A set of specific duties performed for a specific employer. “Heavy equipment air conditioning technician at XYZ Verification” is a job.

Occupation

What it means to you:
It's a job.

How career professionals see it: 
It's a group of similar jobs. “Air conditioning technician” is an occupation.

Sector

What it means to you:
An industry, often known by familiar names like “oil patch,” “health care,” “high tech” and “the arts.”

How career professionals see it: 
A group of related industries operating in a specific area of the economy. “Oil and gas industry” is a sector.

Labour market

What it means to you:
The job market.

How career professionals see it: 
The marketplace where workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers.

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