You may have to take jobs as a dog walker, cat groomer, and fish feeder before you complete school for a career as a veterinarian. Small jobs in the short term give you experience for a long-term career.

Career comes from the French carrière, from an older word for "street" or "road." Staying on track for a certain career is like driving a car in one direction on a road, instead of veering in different directions. Maybe the expression "career path" is helpful in remembering that a career is something that progresses, or moves forward on a set path. It can also be used as a verb to describe something moving quickly and uncontrollably, like a car careering into a ditch.

Primary Meanings of career

the particular occupation for which you are trained
move headlong at high speed
Full Definitions of career

n the particular occupation for which you are trained

calling, vocation
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specialisation, specialism, speciality, specialization, specialty
the special line of work you have adopted as your career
the principal work of your career
walk, walk of life
careers in general
business life, professional life
a career in industrial or commercial or professional activities
Type of:
business, job, line, line of work, occupation
the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money

n the general progression of your working or professional life

“the general had had a distinguished career
“he had a long career in the law”
life history
Type of:
advance, advancement, forward motion, onward motion, procession, progress, progression
the act of moving forward (as toward a goal)

v move headlong at high speed

“The cars careered down the road”
“The mob careered through the streets”
Type of:
go, locomote, move, travel
change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically

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