Linear and Nonlinear Career Models: Metaphors, Paradigms, and Ideologies

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The communicative dimensions of career models have been insufficiently explored in contemporary career literature. Linear or bureaucratic career models dominate career research, metaphors, paradigms, and ideologies while maintaining career myths. These myths suggest the possibility of flexibility and individualized routes to “success” in organizational systems incapable of offering such versatility. Nonlinear career models offer suggestive metaphors for re-visioning careers and the promise of personalized definitions of success, control, and growth. Nonlinear approaches reconfigure career concepts to incorporate acceptance of individual needs and communal values consonant with demographic and structural societal changes.

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Management Communication Quarterly, v. 4, issue 4, p. 466-505