If you haven't read a previous post of mine (can't link because on my phone), I have a girlfriend who used to be an incredibly successful investment banker. She finally married in her late 30's, to a man that she "helped" become a successful general manager of a major hotel chain. Anyways, the post was about how she felt she sacrificed a lot for her husband but then he ended up cheating on her, and whether or not that could have been prevented.
I spent some time with her last night, and she talked about how she had to fend for herself since she was a teenager because she went abroad for boarding school and she wanted to be independent and not rely on a man for money. (It's not clear to me whether she was "forced" to fend for herself because of family circumstances, but most likely not if her family was able to afford international boarding school). She's 46 now.
So she talked about how she chose a lucrative career (financial investment) that allowed her to make a lot of money. She is not family oriented at all. She rarely goes back to see her own family and she spent her 30's being very high status because of her assistant vice president position.
Anyways, so I was just pondering last night after the conversation because I'm a woman that was babied when I was growing up and was taught the importance of family. My parents let me choose an arts career because they said my main job was to take care of my family and work came second. However, with my brother, they insisted he had to choose a career path that would allow him long-term and sustainable success, because he's a man.
Compared with my friend, she's very experienced in life but also very hardened. She's extremely calculative - bordering on pessimistic because she knows what will work and what won't. And I'm on the naive side - I still cry when my boyfriend goes on a business trip for more than three weeks because I miss him so much. And I hate making major decisions because I'm afraid.
So my question is - How did your family upbringing affect your career choice as an adult? Were you ever forced to fend for yourself? Was it feminism that inspired you to choose a certain career path? Or did you choose an industry that would allow you to have time to take care of family? Do you find your choice of career affects your personality as well? (are you softer or harder because of your job choice?)
Last funny side story: My friend realized she was "too independent" and that kept her from being married until she was late 30's, so nowadays she tries very hard to "not be capable" (although we all know she's very capable), to the point where she won't open doors or move chairs by herself and stands there expecting other people to do things for her. It's a bit comical sometimes...thought RPW would enjoy this tidbit.