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In 2013, the Swedish government introduced a career reform for teachers (SFS 2013, p. 70) that established two new career-track positions, namely, lead teachers and senior subject teachers. This study analyses the process of integrating this career reform into the Swedish school system in its early stage and focuses on lead teachers’ professional development and learning when trying to interpret and translate this new career position in their daily working life. The study explored teacher´s ideas, strategies and actions to govern themselves in relation to the demands for research and proven experience within the career reform, as well as their underlying views of career. For the empirical data collection, we interviewed twelve lead teachers. The analysis of the data generated four different governmentalities that these teachers used to govern themselves when trying to handle the career reform in their practices: the school developer, the process manager, the subject specialist and the involuntary careerist. Teachers relate their rationalities to different career discourses where organizational, individual and professional discourses are prominent to various degrees. Furthermore, underlying representations of career relate to both hierarchical views, and to a perspective of exchange. In addition, two new representations of career emerged: career as a non-hierarchical or equal level position, and career as a sorting tool. The results indicate that lead teachers have found themselves caught in tensions between multifaceted meanings of career, research-based education, and personal and organizational pressures associated with the intentions of the career reform.