Whose Career Goal are you Pursuing?

Whose Career Goal are you Pursuing?

"My mom said I should be a librarian because she knows someone whose daughter is a librarian and said that's a good option," my student told me.

"Do you want to be a librarian?" I asked.

"I don't know...", she broke eye contact.


At least it's obvious that she's pursuing Mom's goal instead of her own. Some of us are working on a far more insidious type of career choice....the one made through more subtle clues about what our parents or family members want of us. It's more common that I work with a student who says, "My parents are worried about what kind of internship I'll have this summer."  Or, when I ask "How did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?" the answer is "My dad is a Neurologist," which, I have to remind the person, is not actually answering the question.

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