Career conflict: family dynamic is strained because of future choices

The volume rises and so does the tension. The walls rattle and the ceiling shakes due to the force of the arguments. Neither side is willing to give in, yet they are both tired after arguing for so long.

Junior Nga N. has known and passed through moments like this as her career choices and her parents’ choices have drifted apart.

“My parents want me to become a doctor but I want to be a nurse,” Nga said.

Most conflicts are usually easily resolved, although some important conflicts like these can have an effect on a person’s entire future and career.

Career choice conflicts start to become a more common problem as students start to grow up and begin to think about college.

Parents might want their children to do something that they think will make them rich or famous, while their children may want to try out a job that is more appealing to their interests.

The reason for most parents to try and influence their children’s career choices is because they want their children to be proud of themselves and have a reputable job. Nga says her parents want her to become a doctor because of the respectable reputation associated with the job.

“They think it’s a prestigious job and people look up to you and you don’t have to bow down to people and they just want me to have a lot of money and just be proud,” Nga said.

Even though doctors have good reputations, Nga would prefer to become a nurse because she believes they have more freedom to do what they want.

“I want to be a nurse so I have more time to do things that I like such as dancing,” she said.

Junior Jesse A. also faces pressure from his parents to choose a career in the medical profession.

“They feel like those are the only things that I can do where I will have enough money to take care of a family. They don’t want me to be dependent on someone else after I get out of school,” he said.

Although he has not chosen his career yet, Jesse prefers not to talk to his parents about it.

“They’re still trying to steer me towards doctor type stuff. I try not to talk to them about it, because it always comes out to an argument of some sort.”

On the other hand, many parents plan careers for their children because of past family choices. Junior Sammy G. says that her parents want her to take a career as a doctor because of other members in her family.

“It runs in the family; I have a good history of prestigious family members who are doctors in China so they kind of wanted to keep going,” she said.

However, Sammy would rather do something in the field of art rather than become a doctor.

“I’m aiming more towards art, I want to do graphic designing and probably going to do tattoos and stuff like that; I’m more into expressing myself instead of being a doctor,” she said.

These differences may often cause friction between the parents and their children. Although some parents might not agree with their children’s decisions there are some who will support their children in their career choice.

“My dad and my grandparents are not that happy but my mom is supportive so it’s not that bad,” Sammy said.

She recommends that people be honest with their parents about their decisions to avoid future problems.

“Be honest with your parents,” she said. “Don’t lead them into thinking that you’re going to be a doctor just because they want you to tell them the truth, tell them that’s not something you want to do before you’re a senior or else they’ll be kind of mad” she said.

 Nga advises people to do what they want to instead of what their parents want them to insure they live their life to the fullest.

“Don’t bow down because eventually you’ll figure out that that’s not the job you wanted,” she said. “And your whole life is going to be boring and you’re not going to enjoy it and you’re basically living your parents’ life and not yours, so just pursue what you want.”