I agree, Liviu. Careers provide something akin to a “meta-narrative” in the sense in which Jean-Francois Lyotard used the term in The Postmodern Condition. By “meta-narrative,” Lyotard was referring to a culture-wide, shared story that one could see oneself in (e.g., Christianity until the nineteenth century). In the case of careers, however, what we have is a thinned-out meta-narrative: thinned out because it’s a hero’s individual journey, which is unencumbered from the web of relationships with others (except insofar as others are instruments for the individual’s progress).
You write, “On the other hand though, I would argue that once you understand that your professional life is just one of the many facets of your reality, then you’ll gain an additional degree of freedom over the cultural dominance of careerism.” I think we may be of one mind here. See my first reply to Steven.