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What's the difference between those, if any?

(In the U.S., in case it matters.)


Well, the reason I ask is that Google+ has both an "Employment" section and an "Occupation" section. :P Confused me as to what that meant.

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'Job' is often placed in contrast to 'career', another word for the list. – Mitch Jun 30 '11 at 14:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In the US, Employment and Occupation both refer to having or looking for a job.

If you're looking for a job (any non-specialized job not requiring a particular degree or amount of specialized education), you're looking for employment - temp work, retail sales, etc.

If you have an occupation - it refers to the 'field' or 'type' of work you perform.

People will normally ask, "What's your occupation/profession?" You'd respond, "I'm an accountant." or "I'm a surgeon."

So if there's an Occupation/Profession section somewhere, it's for people who have an education in a specific field of work - nurses, accountants, doctors, architects, etc.

I have never heard the word employment used in the US in the manner Ham and Bacon suggests above.

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It's "Ham and Bacon *suggest" (plural). (jk, +1) – Mehrdad Jun 30 '11 at 7:11
@Mehrdad, isn't "Ham and Bacon" a nom-de-plume used by a single person? Therefore "Ham and Bacon suggests" – pavium Jun 30 '11 at 8:11
@Pavium yes, yes it is. – Darwy Jun 30 '11 at 9:04

Like Ham and Bacon says, a job is something you are doing for money. Employment means you are being regularly paid by a person or organization for ongoing work. A job is more likely to be short term while employment is usually expected to last longer. You could have several different jobs over the course of your employment with one company.

Occupation and profession are similar in that they both refer to the general type of work you would seek employment in. The difference is that an occupation may require specialized trainging, but a profession normally requires specialized schooling. Auto mechanic is an occupation, but teaching is a profession.

It is possible (especially in challenging times) for someone to seek or accept employment outside their preferred occupation or profession, but I'm not sure what distinction Google is making.

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The basic difference is this:

Occupation and employment are similar, but job is the one that specifically refers to a professional vocation.

A job specifically refers to something you are doing for money or work. i.e. A job at the supermarket, or a thief 'doing a job' at the bank. It has a nuance as well of something being in your responsibility.

Occupation can refer to a job, but it can also mean :

any activity in which a person is engaged.

Occupation is like something you are occupied with, and you're not necessarily doing it as a 'business' thing.

Employment is the same as occupation, and can refer to something you are employed in doing, but not necessary a job done for work or money

i.e. Baking a cake "Sarah was engrossed with her current employment, that is, reading the Encyclpedia Brittanica."

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I believe that in the context of a job interview, your employment/profession would be what you studied and are qualified for, and your occupation/job would be what it is that you are currently working as.

So if you studied law and are a practicing lawyer, your profession and occupation would be the same thing. However, if you studied law and you are currently working as, say, a bank teller, then your profession/employment would be lawyer, but your occupation/job would be a bank teller.

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Occupation — any work for hire or employment through which someone makes a living

Job — any work for hire, regardless of the skills level involved and the responsibility involved

Profession — virtue of his fundamental education and his training in a certain filed of expertise, to apply the scientific method and outlook he has gained in the analysis of the problem its respective field, solving it diligently and accordingly.

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"Jobs" are those positions that job-seekers are hunting; likewise, these are those vacant positions that company-owners want to immediately fill. In short, these are those public postings or notices without a skilled person yet.

"Employment" is more of a process. From a vacant job to filling that position with a skilled worker. The moment a job finds its skilled match, employment takes place.

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