To what extent did your parents' career(s) influence your career choice?

Did you stay in the family business/line of work? Did their choice convince you to do something else? Was it not a factor?

My dad worked in an office, my mom was a SAHM, and later a caterer. I worked for my dad part time in high school, and I knew I’d hate doing what he did. I joined the Navy on a whim and it eventually led to me becoming an engineer - something neither of my parents would ever have done. And after being home a while in retirement, I realized I’d have hated being a SAHM, too, altho I might not have realized it if I’d gone that route.

Sadly, in a way I pretty much followed their footsteps, I don’t work in an identical field but I work in a very related field. I really didn’t know what else to do careerwise. It isn’t bad though (my job has a lot of perks), but looking back it makes me realize I never really developed my own identity when it comes to making a living.

I’m a teacher, as was my mother, but so far as I can tell, the only direct influence is that I knew of the pitfalls going in, and was able to make an informed decision that they were worth it.

Indirect influence? Who knows.

Dad was an Army Officer. I never wanted to be one; too fat anyway. Plus the few days I did actually think of taking a forces scholarship to Uni, Dad kiboshed that.

Mum was a civil servant and later Professor. I have taught part time in University; so…
A Lawyer.

My dad was a “businessman” in his case a banker. I got my MBA and have been a “businessman” in my case a consultant and company executive. I was also dialing into the whole '80’s MBA/Banker/Consultant/VC crap. Sigh. The MadMen of the 80’s.

My dad went from job to job, and my mother was one of what we now call “the fucking helpless of the world.” She got married so she wouldn’t have to work.

I’ve always prided myself on my self reliance. I support myself. When I qualified and could have gone on permanent disability, I insisted on looking for work. No way I was going to stay home and do nothing.

The older I get the more appealing this sounds.

I went into the same career as my Dad. Closely related stuff was also his hobby. And on most folks’ scales it looks like a fun job. So it was sorta injected into my blood from a very young age. Mom was also a high-powered career woman, one of the few in her era. But her work was work; difficult, long hours, and rather unpleasant. So I had no interest in following her into that.

Sadly our industry has changed since Dad’s Golden Era and my career has been a colossal disappointment versus his experience and versus my expectations. Then again that is true for a lot of folks my age in lots of different industries and careers.

I got my education in something completely unrelated and have also worked in that field. With reasonable happiness and reasonable success.

Of my two brothers, one followed Dad and me into the same career. With the same disappointing results. The other went off in a totally different direction.

I wanted to become a teacher, like my mom, but something she used to tell me prevented that. It was an accident, really. She’d tell me how lucky I was to be born in a time when women could be anything they wanted, that when she was a girl, the only options were nurse or teacher. So I heard that as I shouldn’t be a nurse or teacher.

Took me 30 years to straighten out the misunderstanding in my head and figure out what went wrong. By that time, I no longer wanted to be a teacher due to changes in education and politics, so I became a nurse.

My parents were both professors, as were several of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I went through college and graduate school simply operating under the assumption that I would be a professor someday, because that was the obvious thing to do. In my third year of grad school, I suddenly realized that I didn’t enjoy research and didn’t like the academic environment, so I left.

My dad was a physician, general surgeon.

My mom, when I was 4, tried to put some iodine on a cut I had. Note it is blood red…

I promptly fainted. Eyes simply rolled up to the top of my skull, and down I went.

At that point, I knew that being a doctor wasn’t going to be the career for me. Yet his friends would typically ask me, all the time, “Hey Johnny, do you want to be a doctor like daddy when you grow up?”

If I didn’t care about being polite, I would have replied, “Hell, no.”

[After a few abortive starts as a young man, eventually got into biology, soon moved to teaching.]

The sight of blood and guts still unsettles me.

I don’t know about “never would have occurred to them” but I definitely went my own way. My father sold packaging products (like a grocery store’s paper and plastic bags, or custom printed boxes an online retailer might get). My mother designed clothing, mostly high-end sportswear (including items used by US teams in the 1984 Olympics).

I’m in accounting. I didn’t particularly reject what parents did, I just had different talents.

My father worked for the World Bank and the ministry of finance for various countries. My mother died at 21 years old - she was a student and had not started a career yet. My aunt who raised me for the first 5 years of my life, was a high school History teacher. My first stepmother was/is a writer. My second stepmother was a high school Math teacher.

I have worked as a: mail courier, waitress, bartender, travel agent, office clerk, Veterinary assistant/receptionist, dog kennel, my ex-husband’s bookkeeper/secretary, construction (labor) and finally a librarian at a public library. I went to college in my 40s and landed a job shortly after (my current job/career). It’s the only work that I actually consider a career. I’ve been here at the library for 9 years, and I love my work!

My many parents did not influence my career choices whatsoever, I would say.

My parents had no influence, and thank god because if I would of listen to them I’d still be working in a store (nothing wrong with retail work, it wasn’t for me). My mother however was promptly pissed at me, and thought I was an idiot for quitting that when I went back to school full time.

My dad worked in a factory. My mom was a SAHM during my youth. Before she married, she also worked in a factory, and again for a time after my sister and I were in our teens.

Both were quite intelligent and could have done much more but due to family circumstances were unable to go further. My dad did have a year or so of college courses at Drexel. My mom’s parents were adamantly against higher education to the point of threatening to disown any of their children who aspired to college. My dad’s parents were immigrants who thought it would be inappropriate to aspire to anything above their “proper station.”

Both also actively encouraged and expected my sister and me to graduate from college which we both eventually did. I recall them telling me when I was a child that I could do anything I wanted to with my life and profession.

What I’ve done is nothing like what either of my parents did. Dad had a factory job, Mom was an RN.

If I had to choose between either of those jobs to do myself, I’d work in a factory. No way I’d have the guts to be a nurse.

I voted “related field”. My dad was primarily a chemical engineer, although he had various other jobs as well. I a a software engineer. My parents strongly encouraged me to go into what’s now called STEM, but that’s what I was interested in anyway.

Huh, no option for ‘really no influence at all good or bad’? Flawed poll, from an outlier’s perspective.

My mom was a teacher. My dad was a cop. I’ve done both. They were right. I should have followed my dreams and been a dancer.