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career stages

Edgar H. Schein


The word career has both an internal and an external meaning. From an external, societal point of view the concept of career refers to the sequence of formal roles that are associated with a given occupation. In academia, for example, the external career consists of being a graduate student, instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor, the granting of tenure, and then being made full professor. Most occupations have formal or informal status progressions of this sort. From an internal point of view, the concept of career refers to the sequence of life roles that an individual envisions as he or she progresses through one or more external careers. Thus, in the internal career of an academic there may be a progression from student to graduate student in a specific field of interest, to researcher, teacher, scholar, and ultimately revered and successful scholar, measured by peer acceptance, publications, references, and so forth. There will usually be some correspondence between the formal occupationally designated sequence of roles and the internal experienced sequence, but not necessarily. In defining career stages , therefore, it is necessary to specify whether we mean in the internal or in the external career. Externally defined career stages are usually well defined by formal occupational criteria and by organizations if the career is embedded in an organization. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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