Timesheets | Register


Executive Blog 12/5/2022

The 5 Career Stages – Where are you?

Mal Stuart
By Mal Stuart
The 5 Career Stages – Where are you?

The 5 Career Stages – Where are you?


Professional careers tend to follow a path that can be defined by 5 stages. Each stage has a purpose, which is important to understand, in order to progress your career.



You have entered the workforce and are finding your way. This phase usually occurs in your early 20’s, while finishing your degree. Individuals narrow down their work preferences as they gain actual work experience.

This stage is characterised by:

  • Shorter stints of employment.
  • On-the-job training – gaining practical experience.
  • Considering roles that will suit your personality and interests.



This is the start of your professional career. You will be working under the guidance of a manager or mentor and on a steep learning curve – mistakes will be made. Work is exciting and full of possibilities. Your peers will be a big part of your social life.

Tips for success:

  • Find a mentor – this stage is critical for your learning and professional development.
  • Complete further education or professional accreditations (it is now or never).
  • Build relationships.



You are now considered a highly capable professional. You have developed the necessary knowledge and skills to perform your role to a very high level. The learning curve is flattening, and you are climbing the career ladder, motivation is high.

This stage is characterised by:

  • You are in high demand – you are receiving promotions and there are also opportunities externally.
  • You have never been busier – work is demanding, managing teams and you also may have a growing family (and mortgage). WFH has provided some much-needed balance.
  • Stability – job changes are less frequent, and you are being well-rewarded financially.



You have progressed through the stages and found the top of your ladder. There are fewer opportunities for advancement, but your outlook and priorities have also likely changed. Although changing companies is still possible, you are less inclined, preferring to stay with what you have established.

Tips for success:

  • Seek to actively mentor and develop others.
  • Although work may not offer the same level of spark, you are at a senior level and your peak earning capacity.
  • WFH allows you to get your job done and avoid unnecessary meetings.



These are your final years in the workforce. Your financial situation will be dictating whether this stage is 5 years or 10 years.


  • Contracting or working part-time.
  • Passing on knowledge.
  • Keeping fresh by taking longer holidays and enjoying life on the way.