Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jo-Ida C. Hansen & Shuangmei Zhou
A career differs from a job in terms of the length, breadth, and depth of personal involvement. A career is a profession in which one makes progressive achievement, whereas a job is defined by specific tasks. Establishing a career serves many purposes, including providing sustainable income, expressing personal beliefs and values, and providing social connections. Most individuals move through three career stages, each of which is associated with different social and psychological characteristics. During the first stage, individuals are motivated to establish a foundation in the organization and seek opportunities for advancement. The second stage, midcareer, is a time for people to seek new meanings and reenergize. For others, midcareer coincides with midlife crises or problems related to health and family, and it presents challenges related to work. For example, an individual may reach a career plateau when he or she progresses to a point at which hierarchical promotions are ...