A sequence of roles a person holds during their life is considered a career
. The term commonly refers to positions involving paid employment
, usually within an organisation or as a professional
. In modern societies careers form a important, and usually dominant, aspect in people's lives, as they sustain livelihoods, defines self-identity and status
, socialise communities and provides a focus for personal development and goals.
There are four types of careers, as identified by management analyst Michael Driver:
Transitory careers involve people working for different employers, interspersed with periods of unemployment, sometimes in different localities and occupations. Young people often are transitory careerists until they have found an occupation of their own calling. The term can also be used for contractors who perodically work in time-limited jobs.
Steady-state careers are the traditional careers, where a person after undergoing training enters an occupation, which they may stick to for their entire working life. People may choose a steady-state career because of a committment to their chosen trade or profession. Unfortunately, there is a risk that they may become to rigid to adapt to restructuring, and may not be seen as suitable for managerial positions.
Linear careers (or vertical careers) are like steady-state careers, except that the focus of these careerists is to progress to increasingly more senior management roles, including generalist roles where their skills are less likely to be used. Unfortunately, as there should only be no more chiefs as their are Indians, there will invariably be more losers than winners. People motivated solely for power and authority are not very nice people to work for/with, and they may burn-out or become demotivated if their goals do not materalise.
Spiral careers are taken by people who value creativity, self-actualisation and self-development, and whose interests and identity continually evolves. As a result they like to shift between different employers and occupations. Spiral careerists may also include women with child-minding responsibilities. Unfortunately it can be hard for employers to assess what 'fit' a spiral careerist would have in their organisation.