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Career Direction

9 Types of Career Direction

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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:

Vertical

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.

Horizontal

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.

Redesign

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.

Entrepreneurship

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
Type
Definition
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.
Accountability
Career
Career Change
Career Direction
Career Path
Hierarchy
Professional Interests
Responsibility
Risk Aversion
Risk Taking
Status Quo
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