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Daniel C. Feldman


Career refers to the series of occupations and jobs which individuals hold over their work lives. The study of careers in organizations has focused on six issues in particular: 1 how individuals' aptitudes, interests, and skills change over the course of their working lives; 2 how individuals make decisions about which jobs to pursue and which organizational positions to accept (or leave); 3 how individuals adjust to new job situations; 4 how organizations plan for and manage these transition processes; 5 the impact of short‐run career decisions on longer‐term career options; and 6 the integration (or conflict) between career demands and personal life demands ( Feldman, 1988 ). While the term career generally applies to all occupations and jobs, over time the term has also developed some frequently used connotations. In some cases, the term career has been used to connote an occupation or profession requiring high levels of education and training. For example, it is not uncommon for law and medicine to be labeled as careers, but plumbing and construction not to be so labeled. In other cases, the term career has been used to connote either long‐term commitment to or heavy psychological investment in an occupation or an organization. For instance, the term career diplomat refers to an individual who has made a long‐term commitment to public service, while the term career employee ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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