Career Stages

A Career mentioned above, includes many positions, stages and transitions just as a person’s life does. It can easily understand if we think of career consisting of several stages. Most of us have gone or will go through the following five stages:


This is the career stage that usually ends in one’s mid twenties as one makes the transition from college to work. What we hear from our teachers, friends, relations and our own observation of careers of our parents shape our future career choices at this stage. From an organizational standpoint this stage has least relevance as it takes place prior to employment. However the organizations can still track the minds of young people by offering internships to them or offering on the job training to bright students. For the individual this is the stage of self exploration seeking answers to various puzzling questions about careers.


This career stage where one begins the search for work and picks up the first job. It includes the first experience on the job, peer group evaluations, personal tensions and anxieties that confront a person trying to make his mark. This period is characterized by committing mistakes, learning from those mistakes and assuming increased responsibilities. One does not reach the summit at this stage as he rarely gets a chance to handle powerful assignments. It is like going uphill, spending a lot of time and energy all the while.

Mid career:

Mid career is a stage that is typically reached between the age of 35 and 50. At this point one may continue to show improved performance, level off or begin to decline as you are no longer viewed as a learner. Mistakes committed by you would be viewed seriously and may invite penalties as well. If you are good enough you may grow and turn out good results. If you do not have the same fire in the belly when you started your career the best thing would be to hold on to what your have. Technically speaking plateaued career stares at you more or less happily with what comes your way, the organization can place you on jobs that require experience and maturity. The organization can’t discount your worth and treat you as deadwood, since you still retain the flavor and continue to show reasonably good performance. But then what would happen to those employees who have employees which have both interests and productivity at work? Organizations often show them the door or shift them to less important jobs.

Late Career:

This the stage where one relaxes a bit and plays the part of an elder statesperson. For those who continue to grow through the mid career stage this is the time to command respect from younger employees. Your varied experiences and judgment are greatly valued and your word will carry weight undoubtedly as you can teach others and share your experiences with others.

For those who have stagnated or deteriorated during the previous stage, the late career brings the reality that they are no longer required to run the race and its better to redirect the energies to family, friends and hobbies.


During this period a person’s attention may turn to retirement. The achievements of a long career and the frustrations and anxieties that go along what that phase are left behind. Regardless of whether one is leaving a glorified career or a dismal job, one has to make adjustments and get along with people and things.
Source: HRM