What causes people to gravitate towards their career? We know that there are numerous factors including socio-economic status, location, age, academic inclination, mentors, and parental influence.
For many years, centuries it seems, it was common for children to follow in the footsteps of their parents—daughters following mothers, sons following fathers. Given how we used to learn things and the very nature of old class systems, that careers were family-centric is in no way surprising.
In recent times however, children are less likely to take similar career paths as their parents. In fact, according to recent findings from Ancestry.co.uk, just 7% of children today end up in the same job as their mother or father (as compared to 48% a century ago).
Indeed, from a career perspective, all sorts of things have influenced career gravitation for women, including the Suffrage movement, Title IX, and even technology.
According to Ancestry.com’s studies, children today are three times more likely to choose a different career from their parents.
So let me ask this question of HR Professionals. Was one of your parents an HR Professional, or the earlier derivations such as Personnel Manager or Payroll Administrator? If yes, how much of an influence was this on your own career choice?
In my entire career, I have only met one mother/daughter HR duo, and in reality, the mother was only the HR Professional for a few years before taking over the company from her father. How come there aren’t more mother/daughters like this?
I think it behooves us to ask:
- Are we promoting our career in a sustainable, attractive way?
- Are we happy in our career, and do we project happiness?
- What can we do to promote this field to our children?
Talk amongst yourselves.
About the author: Bonni Titgemeyer is the Managing Director of The Employers’ Choice Inc. She has been in human resources for 20+ years and works in the international HR arena. She is the recipient of the 2012 Toronto Star HR Professional of the Year Award. You can connect with Bonni on Twitter as @BonniToronto, often at the hashtag #TEPHR.