The word career refers to a person's chosen profession or occupation. A career often requires special training and comes with some expectation of progress throughout the course of an individual's life.

The word can also be used as an adjective, in order to describe someone following a career: An individual labeled as a career diplomat, for example, would be expected to follow a diplomatic career throughout life. Career can also be used as a verb, meaning to move rapidly along. Career entered the English language in the 16th century, originally meaning "a running course." The word comes from the Middle French "carriere," meaning a road or a race track, which itself comes from the Vulgar Latin word "cararia," meaning a carriage road or track.