What does 'career' mean: a review of the concept and preliminary cross-sector comparisons
- Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management (CACOM)
- Publication Type:
- Working Paper
- Onyx, J. 1993, What does 'career' mean: a review of the concept and preliminary cross-sector comparisons, CACOM Working Paper no.14, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management, University of Technology, Sydney
- Issue Date:
The concept of career is a particularly problematic one when we talk about career paths in the community sector. Indeed a great many community sector workers claim there isn't one. This kind of statement can mean one of two things. Either there is a commonly agreed form of career and the community sector doesn't offer one, or the kind of career that is offered is conceptually quite different within the community sector. This paper attempts to explore some aspects of this puzzle. In the first part, the paper reviews the concept of career as reviewed in the mainstream literature. The purpose of the review is to explicate the concept of career in general to see to what extent the concept is applicable to the community sector. I conclude that while the dominant concept of a linear career track is inappropriate, other concepts of career may be more useful. Part B of this paper then adds another piece to the puzzle. Part B presents preliminary findings from a small pilot comparative study of community sector and private sector employees. The purpose of the pilot is to explore the possibility of empirically different approaches to career between community sector and private sector workers. The findings of that study are related back to some of the literature.
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