careers

 

career is an individual’s metaphorical “journey” through learning, work and other aspects of life. There are a number of ways to define a career and the term is used in a variety of ways.

 

 

Definitions and etymology

The word career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person‘s “course or progress through life (or a distinct portion of life)”. In this definition, career is understood to relate to a range of aspects of an individual’s life, learning, and work. Career is also frequently understood to relate to the working aspects of an individual’s life e.g. as in career woman. A third way in which the term career is used to describe an occupation or a profession that usually involves special training or formal education, and is considered to be a person’s lifework. In this case “a career” is seen as a sequence of related jobs usually pursued within a single industry or sector e.g. “a career in education” or “a career in the building trade”.

Career management

Career management describes the active and purposeful management of a career by an individual. Ideas of what comprise “career management skills” are described by the Blueprint model (in the United States, Canada, Australia, Scotland, and England) and the Seven C’s of Digital Career Literacy (specifically relating to the Internet skills).

Key skills include the ability to reflect on one’s current career, research the labor market, determine whether education is necessary, find openings, and make career changes.

careersCareer choice

According to Behling and others, an individual’s decision to join a firm may depend on any of the three factors viz. objective factor, subjective factor and critical contact.

  • Objective factor theory assumes that the applicants are rational. The choice, therefore, is exercised after an objective assessment of the tangible benefits of the job. Factors may include the salary, other benefits, location, opportunities for career advancement, etc.
  • Subjective factor theory suggests that decision making is dominated by social and psychological factors. The status of the job, the reputation of the organization and other similar factors plays an important role.
  • Critical contact theory advances the idea that a candidate’s observations while interacting with the organization plays a vital role in decision making. For example, how the recruiter keeps in touch with the candidate, the promptness of response and similar factors are important. This theory is more valid with experienced professionals.

These theories assume that candidates have a free choice of employers and careers. In reality, the scarcity of jobs and strong competition careersfor desirable jobs severely skew the decision-making process. In many markets, employees work particular careers simply because they were forced to accept whatever work was available to them. Additionally, Ott-Holland and colleagues found that culture can have a major influence on career choice, depending on the type of culture.

When choosing a career that’s best for you, according to US News, there are multiple things to consider. Some of those include natural talents, work style, social interaction, work-life balance, whether or not you are looking to give back, whether you are comfortable in the public eye, dealing with stress or not, and finally, how much money you want to make. If choosing a career feels like too much pressure, here’s another option: pick a path that feels right today by making the best decision you can, and know that you can change your mind in the future. In today’s workplace, choosing a career doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick with that line of work for your entire life. Make a smart decision, and plan to re-evaluate down the line based on your long-term objectives.