Individuals throughout the community college system look for identified career paths that they can follow to advance within an institution or within the community college system. Career paths and promotions provide a type of bonding between the individual and the institution which ultimately affects the employee’s motivation and job satisfaction as it relates to the work position.
A career begins with an individualized unit known as a job. As an individual move from one job to another, a job history known as a career is created. Career is defined as “any unfolding sequence of jobs, whether or not consciously planned in advance”. An orderly career would include the application of skills, knowledge, or experience accumulated from previous positions to current positions, whether the change was vertical, horizontal, or downward. Careers have been studied from many varied perspectives. The movement through an organization is viewed as a socioeconomic approach with both the organization and the individual adjusting to the occupational environments.
Career lines are viewed as an important factor from a socioeconomic perspective. A career line is described as “a sequence of positions within a single firm through which a worker progresses in a rigid manner: entry occurs at the bottom of the job ladder, and promotion is through well-specified grades”. Career lines have been identified as having a job or position which serves as an entry point for future positions. This entry position may lead to a “career-line path– that is, an ordered sequence of jobs”.
If the career line can be used to identify a career path for a number of employees, a career pattern is then identified. The career pattern can be used for career trajectory. Career trajectory is the possibility of projecting an individual’s future position based on the entry position into an organization.