The career is a person’s journey through learning, employment and various other facets of everyday life. A career can be defined as anything that a person does for a living or that involves their skills. In the modern world the career has become a wide-ranging term, which involves a great variety of professions such as: business careers, academic careers, government careers, healthcare careers, social work careers, technical careers and volunteer careers. The concept of the career has changed drastically over the years as well as the terminology associated with it. There are various ways to describe a career and in many ways the term is still used in various contexts.
Broadly speaking, there are three main types of careers – the traditional career path; the changeable career path; and the entrepreneurial career path. The traditional career path encompasses all the occupations which were considered “mainstream”, those occupations which involved relocating to take up employment elsewhere, and also those occupations which typically required a fixed start and end date and were usually related to a particular industry. In this type of career the skills learned in one occupation are transferable and are useful in other occupations. It therefore requires little effort or creativity to move from one occupation to another.
A career path is considerably narrower and is usually related to an area of specialization such as the arts, sciences, humanities, business and financial needs. The salary offered in the career path depends on the skills, aptitude, experience and qualification of the person entering the profession. A person with skills and qualifications that are highly marketable will command higher salaries. However, it should be noted that entering a new profession does not guarantee a higher salary and often the initial salary constitutes only part of the overall package.
A changeable career path is one in which people can shift focus from one career to another over a period of time. For example, if a person is a scientist, he may want to take up teaching as a hobby. In such a case, his academic qualifications could work for him but he could work as a researcher also. He could decide to remain in the science field for a long period and earn a PhD while he continues his job in teaching or research.
People who are looking at changing their career from one to another also need to consider their skills, capabilities and personal interests. The skills required for a person who would like to change his career but stay in his current job could be very different from the skills required for someone who wants to shift his focus from one field to another but remain in his current job. The two personalities would have to integrate well to create a successful combination. This could be a challenge as both personalities would have completely different skill sets and competencies.
In addition to the skill sets and competencies, one also needs to look at the salary. Salary of a given career depends on a wide range of factors such as the level of experience, location and type of career. One can always negotiate with his current employer to increase his salary if he feels that his salary is fair. He can also look at other positions in the same company to improve the compensation. The choice of the career also influences the salary. For someone who is willing to switch careers and settle down into his new career, he has to be sure that the new career would offer good financial prospects in the long run.