Job vs Work: Difference and Comparison

Many words are used by people frequently in their day-to-day life, and two such words are work and job. Most of the time, people get confused between these two words.

Key Takeaways

  1. A job is a paid position within an organization or business with specific duties and responsibilities; work refers to any productive activity that creates value, including jobs, volunteer work, or personal projects.
  2. A job provides compensation and benefits in exchange for completing assigned tasks; work can be done for various reasons, including personal fulfilment, community service, or financial gain.
  3. A job is performed within a structured organization or business; work can be done independently or as part of a team and may not be associated with a specific employer.

Job vs. Work

Job is an assigned activity performed by a person. People get paid for the job they do. Any company can assign a job to the people. There are different categories of jobs, including full-time jobs, part-time jobs, and internships. Work is any physical or mental activity done by a person. There is no payment for doing normal activity. People do work for themselves.  

Job vs Work

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonJobWork
NounIt is a countable noun.It is an uncountable noun.
MeaningIt refers to the assigned activity done by a person for consideration.It refers to any activity done by an individual, either physically or mentally. 
NatureIt is specific.It is generic.
PaymentIn this case, people mostly get paid.In this case, people don’t get paid.
Derivation of nameThe word ‘job’ is derived from the Middle English word “gobben”.The word ‘work’ is derived from the Old English word “weorc” or “worc”.
DescribesThis describes the position of an individual in a company.It describes the normal activities done by an individual.

What is Job?

The job refers to an activity performed by an individual in return for a specified payment, also called salary. It describes the position of a person in a company.

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It is also called an occupation, profession, career, or trade. An employee’s responsibility is to fulfill the allotted work by the employer because he is paid for it.

The word ‘job’ comes from Middle English, “gobben.”

In a job, a person is first asked to sign a contract and complete the required formalities. The company assigns goals and targets, and the daily activities are almost the same.

Jobs can be categorized into 3 main types, they are:

  1. Full-Time Job: A full-time job is one in which the employee works full working hours as specified by the company and is not supposed to simultaneously work in any other company. The employee gets the status of a permanent employee, his main income source.
    Almost everyone except students, housewives, and old people prefer full-time jobs.
  2. Part-Time Job: A part-time job is one in which the employee works half of the working hours specified by the company and can also work in any other company simultaneously. The employee might get the status of a permanent employee, depending on the company policies.
    This job is done just for a side income. Housewives and students mostly prefer it.
  3. Internship: An internship is a job done by students for industry experience, certificates, and stipends. Depending on the company, it is mostly of a specified duration from 1 week to 6 months or even more.
    Students mostly do internships during their summer break. An intern gets the status of a temporary employee in the company. College students prefer it.
job

What is Work?

Work is an activity done by an individual that requires physical or mental effort to accomplish a goal or finish a task for oneself. An individual works for his friends, family, employers, or himself.

It means that any activity which produces some output and consumes time is considered work. The word ‘work’ comes from the Old English word “weorc” or “worc.”

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Work is mostly done because of interest, need, or responsibility and doesn’t always include payment. The work doesn’t have any specifications. It could be of any kind. 

Many people have misunderstood that mental efforts cannot be termed as work, but thinking requires energy and is working as well.

work

Main Differences Between Job and Work

  1. Job refers to an assigned activity that an individual does for consideration, whereas work is an activity done by an individual for themselves. Also, the job refers to a designated post or position in a company, whereas work doesn’t describe any position.
  2. The number of activities an individual does can be calculated in a job because the activities to be done are specified, whereas the number of activities done as work cannot be calculated.
  3. People get specified fees or salary for doing jobs, but there is no fees or salary for work. Their fees or salary is calculated depending on the output they give to the company.
  4. The word ‘job’ is derived from the Middle English word “gobben,” whereas the word ‘work’ is derived from the Old English word “weorc” or “worc”.
  5. The activities done at a job are specific and almost the same every day, whereas the activities done at work are general and are not the same every day.
Difference Between Job and Work
References
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1982-24778-001
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118133880.hop212004

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Job vs Work: Difference and Comparison”

    • Yes, I especially appreciated the detailed definition of a job, including full-time, part-time and internship categories. It highlights the differences really well.

      Reply
  1. I think this explanation is very enlightening. Often, people use these terms interchangeably, and it’s great to clarify the differences

    Reply
  2. The nuanced explanation of work, including its intrinsic motivations and the misconception about mental effort is very thought-provoking

    Reply

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