Career is a concept that is often associated with work. In fact, the concepts of career and work are sometimes confused with each other. In order to avoid such confusion, first of all, the concept of business should be explained. The dictionary meaning of the word job is defined as the work that people do to earn their living. Job refers to being in active employment. Accordingly, people who are not in active employment and cannot find a job are considered unemployed. Career, as stated in the section above, is defined as a sequence of job roles that a person has undertaken throughout his life. However, what is specifically meant to be expressed by the “job” in the definition of a career is that this job is not just a job, but a job that requires expertise, and that it also includes promotion and advancement. In this respect, it can be stated that the concept of career has an elitist connotation and is often used as a tool by organizations to motivate employees.
After explaining the differences between the concepts of career and work, another concept that is confused with career, profession, should be mentioned. When the literature is examined, it is seen that the concepts of career and profession have been used interchangeably for a long time. However, profession and career represent two different concepts with different meanings from each other. Occupation, in its most basic sense, is defined as a job based on the knowledge and skills gained as a result of a certain education and the rules of which are determined. It is noteworthy that career, as explained in the above section, means “progress in the profession” as well as “a list of the job roles that a person has undertaken throughout his life”. Considering that career is also defined as “progress in the profession”, it is more clearly understood that profession and career refer to two different concepts. When the literature is examined, it is striking that the meanings of the concepts of career and profession, as well as the time of their emergence, differ. While it is seen that the career phenomenon started to appear with people starting to work in large and bureaucratic organizations established as a result of capitalism and industrialization, it is noteworthy that professions existed in pre-industrial times. In this respect, it can be argued that the term profession is a concept that lays the groundwork for the term career. When the professions from past to present are examined, it is seen that self-employment emerged first. Self-employment, which is the oldest type of profession, is usually related to the fields of medicine and law. Accordingly, it can be stated that doctors and lawyers serving their individual clients in the 19th and 20th centuries are typical examples of self-employed people. These professionals acquire their knowledge and skills as a result of a long-term education. It is seen that once they get their specialty certificates, they choose a place where they can practice their profession. It can be stated that they generally prefer places where they are needed and where their colleagues are not so much. Finding customers is easy as they provide services that anyone may need at any time. Accordingly, it can be said that the inevitability of illness and legal needs guarantee their long-term economic security.
It is seen that self-employment started to be called “professional careers” over time and they occur due to the monopolization of socially valued knowledge based on certain knowledge and skills. It can be stated that people who have a professional career identify themselves with their profession rather than their organization, even if they are working in an organization. In the 20th century, besides professional careers, other career types appear to be the careers of entrepreneurs and the careers of people working in businesses. It is noteworthy that business owners or founders have entrepreneurial careers. The careers of people working in businesses are generally referred to the careers of white-collar employees. At this point, it is necessary to explain what the white-collar employee means. A white-collar worker is defined as an employee with a relatively high level of education and a certain amount of authority, who rely on mental effort or mental effort compared to physical effort or muscle power.
White-collar workers are divided into two as white-collar workers who perform technical and non-technical jobs: Engineers, architects and designers can be given as examples to technical white-collar workers. Non-technical white-collar workers are given as examples of accounting specialist, finance manager, assistant sales specialist. It is stated that blue-collar employees, unlike white-collar employees, work with physical effort and muscle power, have relatively lower education levels, and do not have authority. An example of blue-collar workers is workers on the production line.
As emphasized in the section above, it is seen that the “job” in the definition of career does not mean any job, but rather jobs that require expertise. Accordingly, when careers of people working in businesses are mentioned, it can be stated that white-collar employees are generally mentioned. Accordingly, it is noteworthy that title and status come to the fore in the careers of white-collar workers, fame and knowledge in professional careers (eg, doctor, lawyer), and value creation and profit-making capacity in entrepreneurial careers.