A job is essentially a combination of tasks that an individual is required to perform. It is typically used in an employment setting; however, the term may be used in other settings, such as schools, home environments and volunteer organizations. Therefore, an individual may have a job description in a variety of settings without being employed. Alternatively, employment involves a contract between an employer and an employee that also includes a set of tasks and responsibilities for both parties.

Job Tasks

An individual’s job includes his job description as well as his daily or periodic assignments. There is no requirement for an individual to be employed to have job tasks, although most employed individuals are required to perform their services according to their job description and job tasks. On the other hand, volunteer workers, students, business owners and other categories of people may have job tasks without being employed.

Employment Contract

The scope of employment encompasses a written or verbal contract between an employer and an employee whereby the employee is required to perform certain services for the employer; in this instance, the employee receives a fee for services performed, which may included a base salary or hourly wages. According to the employment contract, the employee is typically required to work at designated locations and perform work according to the job description. Also, employed individuals are required to devote a certain amount of time on a continual basis to the work.


Both job and employment can be used in conjunction with the term occupation. An occupation is basically an individual’s means to earn a living, and it encompasses a variety of professions; it may include employed individuals or self-employed individuals, or it may be referred to in connection with an individual’s business enterprise. For instance, an individual may have an occupation as a teacher and be employed by a school district, whereas a sole proprietor may have an occupation as a lawyer. Each occupation encompasses a variety of job tasks, but one individual may work for himself and the other individual performs services for an employer.


There are some major distinctions between the terms job and employment. However, many people use the terms simultaneously to refer to the same thing. For instance, if an individual works as an employee for a company, he may refer to his employment with the company as his job.