In the first part of what will assuredly be a several part series on tag cleanups, I'd like to discuss merging into .

Both tags generally are about jobs: working at a job, career development, getting a job, etc.

Is there a reason we need to keep these tags separate?

3 Answers 3


This seems to have been proposed a long time ago but never followed through on. This is what happens when you let them fester...

Anyway, to me there are actually several different subcategories of career questions, almost none of which are properly represented by the current tags:

To me, this is not just a simple matter of merging a tag. The tag itself is very unfocused and contains a lot of questions about job searching, job management, and I think a few about hiring. Merging it with the tag will only create more chaos in that tag.

I'd like to suggest dispensing entirely with both the and tags and propose the following new categories (of course, this is just a suggestion):

This is the type of thing that's only going to be solved by a long, arduous process of community-supported hand-sorting. Fortunately, I think this site has enough daily activity to support some bulk manual retagging.

Alternatively, go ahead and merge it all into but then put the tag on notice saying that it needs to be phased out and sorted into subcategories.

  • A positive side-effect of having well-focused tags is that they tend to result in more focused questions. With a broad [career] tag it seems like anything goes - hence the awful "advice" questions - however, with the proposed list above, it's hard to find a tag in which to fit the rambling nonsense. Of course some people will try anyway, but this is a game of inches.
    – Aaronaught
    Jul 15, 2011 at 12:58
  • I get what you're saying, but historically, tag choice is not given this much consideration, and everything gets tagged randomly (or worse, simultaneously) with all career-related tags. If I'm looking info on getting a job, that's career advice, isn't it? Learning a language? Career advice! Am I doing a good job? Career advice. Developing my career? Well I'm asking for advice about my career, so... you get the picture. I'd rather see one general tag being used for these questions than a ton of tags being misused because nobody wants to think about tagging: they just want to ask a question.
    – user8
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:25
  • @Mark: That "one tag" is an ambiguous, unclear tag which accounts for nearly 10% of all questions on the site. Your comment suggests that the current use of [career] is not already a misuse; I'd argue that it is, because it was originally intended to be for career development questions, but because of its vagueness, started to be applied to all sorts of other questions. I'd rather see 5 or 6 smaller (but still large) tags get misused than one inscrutable mega-tag, because the misuse is more obvious in the former case and people will retag. If the tags make no sense, nobody bothers.
    – Aaronaught
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:36
  • @Mark: Keep in mind that there is tag auto-complete; I seriously doubt that people will get confused to the point of brain-implosion if there is only one "career" tag and maybe 4 or 5 "job" tags. It's not like we're asking people to sift through dozens of tags to find the one they're looking for. If somebody is so lazy that they can't choose from a list of 4 or 5, then they probably put about the same level of effort into the question itself (i.e. none).
    – Aaronaught
    Jul 15, 2011 at 13:38
  • I meant to say that [career-development], [career-advice], [career], [jobs], and all the related tags are currently subject to excessive misuse, which is why they were merged or being considered for merge: nobody was parsing career advice questions that finely, and the existence of tags led to confusion we indiscriminately welcomed all career-development questions. Career/job-development/advice is only on-topic under a very specific set of criteria, and many of the questions out there now should probably just be closed.
    – user8
    Jul 16, 2011 at 4:46
  • To that end, I think I'd favor your alternative: sort the whole pile into one tag, get your posse on it (which, by the way, is going quite strong, I might add!), and sort out the survivors later.
    – user8
    Jul 16, 2011 at 4:47
  • @Mark: Perhaps the tag [career-development] needs more refinement, as that seems to have been the one that got people into a tizzy; I don't think that merging it all into [career] was the right answer, because that just makes it looks like any career questions at all are allowed. I guess as long as people are diligent about retagging, it'll work either way...
    – Aaronaught
    Jul 16, 2011 at 11:36
  • In addition to the tag auto-complete, there is also a pre-submit-question script which can apply some rule-based blocking on misuse of tags. This is the orange popup that says "Oops... something" the moment you hit "Post Question". By putting those ad-hoc rules in the submit trigger, it does not affect the realtime performance of the auto-complete. The pre-submit trigger can also automatically flag for moderator notice.
    – rwong
    Jul 29, 2011 at 4:55

No reason I know of. Lots of closed questions in both. I would support merging them.


I would support eliminating both tags since very few seem to not get closed.

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