What is a service-oriented profession

What is the difference between “Job” and “Beruf”?

When we work, we have a job. At the same time, that's our job too. Do both terms mean the same thing or are there differences?


“Job” is a typical Anglicism that made it from English into German and made itself comfortable here. Probably the best example of this is the job center, which shows that English terms can also make it into German administrative language. Almost everyone now uses the term without really thinking about it. More and more often, “job” also takes the place of “profession” and is used as a synonym for it. But do the two words really mean the same thing? We want to take a closer look at them in this article and clarify what the differences are.

What is a job?

in the Gabler Business Lexicon the term "profession" is defined as follows:

"Permanent activity, usually requiring training, which Manpower and working time predominantly takes up. "

The words are particularly striking permanent, training and mostly. Anyone who has a job has usually learned it during university, school or company training. There is also the aspect of longevity. A job is exercised over a longer period of time and is a constant in people's lives. In general, it can be said that a job is what we understand by work. It is a specific activity that can usually be clearly identified. Classic professions include teachers, doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, journalists, etc.

By the way: One derivation from a profession is the vocation. This does not necessarily have to be related to the world of work, but can also be understood as an emotional increase in the job. If someone describes their work as a calling, it can be assumed that the activity is carried out with a great deal of passion, dedication and conviction. In this context, one also speaks of having been born for a profession.

What is a job

If you look for explanations for the term “job”, you will of course quickly find what you are looking for on the Internet. The different definitions reveal two major differences compared to the profession:

  • As a rule, jobs do not require any special qualifications
  • Jobs are usually of short duration / temporarily limited

Jobs are also often characterized by many different tasks and cannot always be clearly named or delimited. They are by far not as specific as a job and can change their “appearance” again and again. This is where the flexible and fast-moving character of the jobs becomes particularly clear.

However, to say that a job is purely for the purpose of making money and that it is done without passion is no longer appropriate. Even if the job is often limited in time and replaced by another, many people get absorbed in their jobs. They appreciate the variety and see different lessons in the different stations on their résumé, in which they have learned a lot.

Linear CV or Flexible Career?

Everyone has to know for themselves whether they choose one profession or many different jobs. However, the fact is that the classic profession is currently losing importance and the changing jobs are on the rise. Changes in the social and societal structure, an acceleration of the world of work, digitization and other factors ensure that people (not only from a professional point of view) are becoming more and more flexible. He wants to try different things and not commit himself.

A particularly pronounced form of frequent job changes is so-called job hopping. It is the answer to stuck CVs and the dissatisfaction that has built up in many over the years. Work does not have to be an inevitable evil, it can also be motivating, educational and fulfilling. It is therefore in no way surprising that younger employees in particular are tending towards jobs and that the profession is increasingly becoming obsolete. However, it is and remains questionable that lifelong employment in the same company will completely disappear from the scene. There will always be people who value their work and who like and need this constancy in life.


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