Is there a single word, idiom, or short expression, for someone who is ambitious but also egotistical?

What do you call a person whose only concern is their career and not that of their subordinates?

How can I use this word in a sentence?

  • careerist, opportunist, climber
    – Drew
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


The term is careerist:

noun ( often disapproving) ​

  • someone who thinks that their career is more important than anything else, and who will do anything to be successful in it.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

Usage examples

  • ‘Our celebrity driven news is presented by people who gave up being journalists and instead became careerists.’
  • ‘However, there are also a number of shameless careerists who inhabit New Labour, often former Tories.’



Keith Rosen lists seven types of manager, one of which is the Presumptuous Manager:

Presumptuous Managers focus more on themselves than anything else. To them, their personal production, recognition, sales quotas, and bonuses take precedence over their people and the value they are responsible for building within each person on their team. Presumptuous Managers often put their personal needs and objectives above the needs of their team.

According to this, a presumptuous manager focusses only on his own career and ignores his responsibilities to develop the careers of his subordinates.

Another term is the narcissist manager. Dictionary.com describes a narcissist as

a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.

A narcissist not only does not think his subordinates matter, but probably believes that it would be pointless trying to develop their careers anyway, as nobody could ever be anywhere near as good as he is.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.