What is Career? – Definition, Career Pattern, Examples, Career vs Job

Imagine yourself waking up every day excited to go to work. That’s the power of choosing the right career! It’s not just about a job – it’s about finding something that fits your interests and keeps you motivated. Just like picking the perfect outfit for the day, choosing a career path is a big decision that impacts your happiness and success.

Definitions of Career 

According to Young and Collin they said that, “career” can be defined as “the patterns and sequences of occupations and positions which are occupied by people across their working lives”

Arthur, Hall, and Lawrence says that a career as “the evolving sequence of a person’s work experiences over time”

Career refers to the movement of an object or person through time and social space, most within occupational or organizational space.

Career is “the unfolding sequence of a person’s work experience over time” as stated by Arthur, Khapover, and Wilderom.

Career Patterns

Career patterns are different developmental paths within a career that can be shaped by various factors such as genetics, social background, economic circumstances, and life stages. So, these factors play an important role in the choices of individuals to make their careers.

‎ Fun Fact

The first resume is believed to have been written by Leonardo da Vinci in 1482. He listed his skills and accomplishments to apply for a job with the Duke of Milan.


Genetics is one factor that can impact career patterns. Research suggests that genetic influences contribute to children’s occupation choices through their education. Another study identified six modal personal orientations or personality types which developed on the basis of genetic factors, environment, and parental influences, that can influence career choices.

Social Background 

It is another influential factor in career patterns. It focus on elements such as cultural background, family influences, and social networks. The Social Cognition Career Theory (SCCT) admit the impact of social background on career development by addressing issues of culture, gender, genetics and many more issue. That are created before and after choosing the career.

Economic Circumstances 

Economic circumstances is also shape career patterns. Individuals from different economic backgrounds may have different opportunities and constraints. When it comes to career choices and progression. Additionally, a study on the gene-environment interplay approach to show how life events like job loss or financial failure can influence career path.

Life Stages

Life stages, such as early career, mid-career, and late-career. It also contribute to different career patterns. The career choices of individuals always have at different stages of their lives. It can influenced by a combination of genetics, social background, and economic cases.

Examples of different career patterns

  1. It is influenced by include linear progression (traditional), specialist vs. generalist, stable vs. changing industries, and entrepreneurial ventures. 
  2. Linear progression is a traditional career pattern where individuals move up the hierarchical ladder within a single organization. 
  3. Specialist vs. generalist focuses on the depth of expertise in a specific field versus a broader range of knowledge and skills. 
  4. Stable vs. changing industries refer to career patterns influenced by the nature of industries individuals work in. 
  5. Entrepreneurial ventures represent a career pattern where individuals choose to start their own businesses in self-employment.

‎ Fun Fact

The world’s oldest continuously operating company is Kongō Gumi, a Japanese construction company that was founded in 578 AD and operated for over 1,400 years before being acquired in 2006.

Difference between Career and Job 

FocusLong-term professional journeySpecific role within a company
ScopeBroad field or industryDefined set of tasks and responsibilities
ProgressionAdvancement, skill development, increasing responsibilityMay offer stability, but advancement may be limited
PurposeFulfilling, aligns with interests and goalsProvides income and may offer some fulfillment
ExampleSoftware developmentSoftware engineer at Google

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