A career and a job are two related yet completely independent things. Think of your career as the endgame and the jobs you take up during your lifetime as means to that goal. From a mathematical perspective, your job would be the subset of your career. Makes senses, doesn’t it?

There is much importance associated with managing your career well. The ideal approach would be to figure out your interests and then proceed from there, but life often has other plans and you might not end up where you originally set out to be. Depending on your age, though, there is still a lot you can change.

While we’re on the topic of age, career management for youth also needs a lot more emphasis since that’s the building block for all your future endeavours.

Let’s take a look at some handy tips for career management at different ages.

The Early Years

The early years of your career are usually considered the years of experimentation. You can scope out your likes and dislikes and get a job accordingly. This is also the phase where you learn the most and gain useful insights into the workings of an organisation.

The best part of being at the start of your career is that there is no pressure to establish a full-fledged career right at the beginning. You can actually quit a job that doesn’t feel like the right fit without fearing the consequences too much. But there should still be a cap on the number of jobs you switch during this period since too many changes will make you appear unstable to future recruiters. Also, remember to acquire as much practical knowledge as possible during your early years so you can solidify a career path yourself.

The Age of Establishment

Once you have found your calling, next comes the age where you establish yourself in your chosen field. The transition from being a learner to someone who knows what they are doing should be seamless and effective. This is the stage where the foundation for your career is actually laid and freedom you experienced during the early years begins to fade away.
Also, if you successfully establish yourself in a specific line of work, be prepared to deal with increased responsibility and more importantly, accountability. Remember that this is your last opportunity to make a career switch since you’ll probably find it hard to find a footing in a completely different field of work later.

The Period of Growth

If the establishment phase goes well, you can look at an extended period of growth. Just remember to work to your full potential and create a lasting impression on your managers and seniors. Once you grow to the desired level, you can relax for a bit. If you’re not experiencing the growth you think you deserve, it may be a time for a reassessment of your goals, a job change, and an adjustment of priorities or the pursuit of an alternative lifestyle.

The Closing Years

Once you have had a successful work life, it’s time to retire gracefully and pass on the mantle to your successor. This period can be tough on people who have grown accustomed to a particular lifestyle and love what they do. It doesn’t have to be the end, though. Once you know that your time in the corporate world is done, start preparing for how you’ll spend your time post-retirement. Is there a business venture you want to try your hand at? Gather all the details before you actually retire.

Also, remember to impart as much information and tips to your subordinates as possible since there might be people who look up to you and value your advice.

These are just the basic outlines of the different stages a career goes through. There are many career management challenges that await you, but a planned approach can make the entire process effortless.