Career Aspirations

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While children are growing up, they are becoming bombarded with different types of images from the media, advertising outlets, as well as the people in their lives that influence their thoughts and actions. Junk and Armstrong referenced in 2010, “Choosing a career is a complex developmental process that begins in childhood as individuals learn about the range of available career options.” (Gottfredson, 1981). Children are influenced from the very start about ideas of certain positions in genders.

It seems that more conventional type of careers are chosen by men, as studies have shown in the past. Also, women have been shown to take on more artistic career types. (Agak, 2001). Though, women are becoming more of an influence in leadership positions. It is not unusual today that women take on positions of authority. As these positions have been maintained in mens choices, I would say a position is given to whoever fulfills the requirements best, disregarding gender aspects. At least, this is how businesses and organizations should be, but sometimes this can cause issues. For example, in corporations sometimes people of specific positions are given the opportunity of another significant position, but they may not even qualify for that position. They may not even have the actual skills and expertise required for that position. Someone of lesser hierarchy may qualify completely for the position, but because they are lower in the end of the hierarchy, they are not gifted this opportunity. This is an unfortunate aspect that can happen in many different companies or corporations.

“Early on the path to many careers, men and women-indeed, even boys and girls-begin to differentially commit themselves to activities that are career relevant.” (Correll, 2004). Since they differentiate themselves as they grow up, it creates and maintains the gender differences in all types of jobs. This is something that needs to be addressed in all companies. Not only in companies, but this should be explained about to younger generations as they are growing up so that they are aware of the cultural differences needed for companies to be as successful and well-rounded as possible. Any one is able to take any type of position desired. It’s unusual for a women to be a construction worker, at least most people think. But then when someone sees a women on the highway doing construction work, they are acknowledged more than men.

“Gender status beliefs evoke a gender-differentiated double standard for attributing performance to ability, which differentially biases the way men and women assess their own competence at tasks that are career relevant, controlling for actual ability.” (Correll, 2004). Unfortunately, the differences in gender career aspirations have a big factor in the overall culture of different companies, organizations, and communities. It is important to include the most diverse cultural features possible in all types of communities. To put images in young generations’ minds can defect the much-needed cultural differences in future companies and organizations.

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References:
Agak, J. (2001). Career aspirations and career development barriers of adolescents in kisumu municipality, Kenya. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 2(5): 320-324.
Correll, S. J. (2004). Constraints into preferences: Gender, status, and emerging career aspirations. American Sociological Review, 69(1), 93-113.
Junk, K.E. & Armstrong, P.I. (2010). Stability of career aspirations: a longitudinal test of Gottfredson’s theory. Journal of Career Development, 37(3), 579-598.