Our companion house rulebook will be coming out shortly and my group is integrating Careers benefits with new ideas (x.p. bonuses, free feat, bonus trained skills, etc.). We dont' want to go overboard, but still encourage taking careers for roleplaying.
BTW, here is our playtest of what we'll be using in our campaign. It's not finalized yet, so if you have any feedback, please let us know.
Career Purpose and Advancing Careers (House Rules)
Careers are there to deepen roleplaying opportunities. Players may also gain crunchy benefits in certain situations by leveraging their career relevance. For example, player says "I went to pistolier school, does that help me determine the make of the gun?" That would be a +2 bonus to a particular skill check or a (1/2 level +3) check if there was no relevant skill.
Players should design characters with careers and backgrounds in mind. For example, if a player decides to take the "Watchman" career and puts all of his skill points into knowledge arcane and athletics, he's probably a really sucky "watchman" but great at chasing down fleeing wizards. Careers don't always give you hard benefits. They help you flesh out your character's personality and purpose in the world.
Advancement of careers has some hard benefits, but is also necessary to advance your social standing in the world. You don't always want to be known as a dung collector afterall.
Advancement of Careers
a) Basic starting career is rolled at character creation (roll twice, choose one). Clerics, wizards, and warlocks should join a relevant career. They will not be recognized by peers until they do and there may be some in-game issues with witch hunters and peasants with torches and pitchforks otherwise.
b) Switching careers has requirements and benefits.
New Career Requirements:
You must be doing SUBSTANTIAL role-playing prior to the switch and justify it to the other players and the DM. The DM has final say.
There must be at least 3 levels since last career exit (for example: 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th)
Must own all listed trappings for the new career
Must have at least one of the equivalent feats (translated from talents)
c) New Basic Career Benefit: 15% level difference x.p. boost (e.g. 5th -6th =2000 xp difference. You get 300 x.p.)
d) New Advanced Career Benefit: 30% level difference x.p. boost (e.g. 5th -6th =2000 xp difference. You get 600 x.p.)