A-Z Popular Blog Career Search »
Career Change
Career Development

Career Direction

9 Types of Career Direction

 , updated on
Career direction is the basic strategic direction of your career path. Direction indicates that you have a plan and a goal for your future as opposed to accepting relatively random jobs that aren't building to anything. Career direction has several common variations:


Climbing the hierarchy of an organization. This often has two tracks: management and advisory positions. Management positions are responsible for resources and the performance of teams. Advisory positions are experts in an area who are responsible for decision making, problem solving, knowledge development, advice and work outputs.


Moving sideways in an org chart to jobs at approximately the same level. For example, a software developer who transitions to the sales team. This may be done to improve job satisfaction, enjoy a change or achieve higher compensation.

Strategic Path

Taking on a variety of roles to gain experience for a desired future role. For example, a CFO who makes a horizontal move to become CMO in preparation for a CEO role.


Staying in your current role but reshaping your accountability and responsibility. For example, a graphic designer who shifts away from web design work towards contributing to product development efforts.

Status Quo

Staying in your current role and attempting to prevent change to your responsibilities. This is a surprisingly common strategy associated with risk aversion and ambiguity avoidance.

Work-Life Balance

Shifting to roles or responsibilities that give you more time or less stress in order to become more fulfilled as a person. For example, an operations manager who shifts to a management position in a less demanding team in order to spend more time with family.

Career Change

A discontinuous shift in your career that requires a step into the unknown. For example, an accountant who becomes a hotel manager.

Second Career

A second career is a significant career change that may require education and changes to your lifestyle. For example, a carpenter who becomes a software developer.


Starting a business that offers unique value to the market. Typically involves risk taking whereby both failure and high rewards are possible.
Overview: Career Direction
The basic strategic direction of an individual's career path.
Related Concepts

Career Direction

This is the complete list of articles we have written about career direction.
Career Change
Career Direction
Career Path
Professional Interests
Risk Aversion
Risk Taking
Status Quo
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


A guide to planning, developing and changing careers.

Career Goals

The definition of career goals with examples.

Career Objectives

How to craft effective career objectives with examples.

Career Path

The definition of career path with examples.

Career Change

The common types of career change.

Career Plan

Complete examples of career plans.

Career Planning

A guide to career planning.

Career Management

A guide to career management.

Career Risk

The common types of career risk.

Goal Setting

Developing an action plan with targets for a team or individual.


The definition of end-goal with examples and comparisons.

Personal Development Plan

An overview of personal development plans with full examples.

Employee Goals

A list of sample employee objectives for a wide range of roles, responsibilities and industries.

Smart Goals

An overview of SMART goals with examples.

Words To Describe Goals

A list of active verbs for describing goals.

Areas For Improvement

An overview of areas for improvement with specific examples.

Business Values

A useful list of business values.


The definition of insubordination with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map