Your Career Journey: What career stage are you in?


Your career consists of various phases. This blog series will be looking at different topics. Below we split them according to their career stage.

Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for doing it.

Katharine Whitehorn

But, to start off, let us unpack the different stages that you will encounter.


Career stages

Firstly, the exploration stage is the start of your career journey. It covers the period in which you transition from school / university to entering the work environment. This is when you develop work preferences based on discussions with your family, friends and mentors. You develop (unrealistic) expectations and beliefs about work, such as:

  • I will start with a high salary
  • My progression will be fast
  • I am entitled to a great job
  • I will have a flexible working environment immediately

Blog posts applicable to this phase include:


Secondly, we find the establishment stage. This usually includes the first 10 years of working. It’s time for a reality check! You now experience what it means to be a part of the workforce. Your ideas and expectations are challenged. Often this results in frustrations due to unmet expectations.

This phase also includes a significant learning curve. You will make mistakes and are encouraged to learn from them. A good mentor and / or coach in this phase will help with the transition from newbie to solid employee.

Blog posts applicable to this phase include:


The mid-career stage incorporates the second 10 years of being part of the workforce. You are no longer considered to be a newbie, so mistakes are treated seriously. Often at this stage people start to evaluate where they are hoping to go with their career.

Juggling family and work responsibilities could affect your work performance. People will often start to look for other career prospects. Making the successful transition from newbie to a settled employee, will generally result in more responsibility and will be rewarded accordingly (yay!).

Blog posts applicable to this phase include:


This stage includes the last 20 years of an your career. The late-career stage is usually characterised by a senior position in the organisational. You could either stagnate or continue growing.

People in the late-career stage often become mentors. They are able to assist newbies to transition through the different career stages. They have now moved from being the student to becoming the teacher.

With retirement looming, this phase can be quite intimidating. The flexibility of being able to change jobs easily will also decrease as time passes.

Blog posts applicable to this stage include:


Finally! It is time to retire! As with all the other phases, this phase comes with its own set of challenges. You now make the transition from being useful and productive at work to a more leisurely lifestyle. Some people may struggle with the feeling that they are no longer needed.

This could be a very exciting time. But, it could also be problematic for the retiree and their family members as they deal with the changes that come with this phase.


Going on your career journey is exactly that – a journey. And, as with any journey, there will be challenges, but also many memorable moments! It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey, right? ?

In conclusion, we have split out the upcoming posts according to the phases, but there will be overlap. So, start with the posts most applicable to your stage right now. But you may find the others have some useful information as well.

Drop us a comment if there’s anything else you want to see coming up in this series. See you in the next one!