Is my Career Choice Influenced by my Parents’ Work Mentality? By Gemma Scarlett Adams


No matter who you are, what you do and however high up you may be, believe it or not your parents are probably still influencing your career choices. The impact of parenting and family work values will shape your own performance and be rolled out during your job roles. The problem with your parents being so influential is that their sometimes outdated ideas about work may not consider your personal happiness.

Whose Ideas Are Yours?
Creating future career happiness is up to you and before you can, you have to discern the differences between your own ideas on the role of work in your life from what your parents have taught you. Sometimes these are aligned but in most cases, there is a conflict. Here is my own personal example:

What makes me happy?
Work that has variety and a high earning potential.

What my parents taught me:
“Work is work and you have to be practical”.

Following my parent’s advice and ignoring my own intuition would have seen me taking a solid career in finance. But, I know that working with other peoples taxes would have been painful and tedious, causing me an array of stress-related symptoms. After clarifying how my parents influenced my decisions and developing my own work attitudes, I have carved my own career in which I have found much personal satisfaction and happiness.

How Your Parents’ Views Positively Support You:
In this process I also came to appreciate the work attitudes my parents taught me (that will continue to positively serve me) including:
“Be on time and do more than is expected.”
“Find a mentor at work that will show you the ropes.”

Three Questions To Ask Yourself:
As you develop your own awareness, here are the three questions to consider:
1. What work attitudes did my parents teach me that no longer serve me?
2. What work attitudes did my parents teach me that I want to embrace in the future?
3. What are the new attitudes I want to develop myself for my future?

Answering these questions and developing your own authentic ideas will help you find and follow a career path that will bring you more happiness. Taking control of our inner beliefs and channelling them effectively can make a huge difference to you career and personal goals.