Families and Careers

Families and Careers

Postby WorkingMomx3 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:08 am

A story to lead into my question....

I have a cousin (close to 70) who is very interested in genealogy. He had shared some emails with my brother about a small family cemetery from the late 1700's that was just recently found near Waynesburg, PA where our fathers (the brothers in the picture I posted on FB from WWII) are from. Jack was talking with the other cousins about visiting the cemetery on Black Friday. My brother, Bob, copied us on one of the emails. It now looks like the 3 branches of the family are going to meet at the cemetery on BF.

The brothers are John, Robert (my dad) and Jim.

John was a lawyer, like his father (my grandfather). He had three children - 2 boys and a girl. Both boys are lawyers. One of the sons is now in law school - so that is 4 generations of lawyers.

Jim (the only surviving brother) is also a lawyer. He has four children - 3 boys and a girl. Two of the boys are lawyers. I don't believe any of their children are lawyers.

Bob (my dad) also had four children - 3 girls and a boy. He was the "black sheep" of the family because he did NOT become a lawyer - he became an engineer. My brother became a lawyer but doesn't practice - he is a corporate VP of Finance. My older sister has a Master's in Architecture. My younger sister has a hodge-podge of degrees - international studies, French, Masters in cross-cultural counseling - but works in corporate insurance sales. I followed my dad into engineering. I married a man who went back to school to finish his engineering degree. Colin has an engineering degree. We joke that Duncan will become a lawyer because he is so argumentative and Ian is thinking engineering. BTW - my mother had a degree in business administration but was only able to work until she was married.

I just find all this rather interesting. So is this Nature vs Nurture? Do we have a predisposition to certain types of careers or is it because we are exposed to certain careers as a child? Most likely a combination of both.

Your thoughts? Any similiar family stories to share?
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Re: Families and Careers

Postby Esther » Tue Nov 25, 2014 9:17 am

Just drove by Waynesburg last week on our way to/from Morgantown from Pittsburgh!

I think it is a combination of both, I definitely think there is a genetic predilection component. My Mom studied music and taught music for her whole career and also taught piano. Out of the 5 of us children, only my next closest sister and myself took music lessons (piano, and then band - clarinet for her, flute for me) - we were the two youngest. Although I didn't study music in college, I could have but chose computer science instead. But I am a lifelong musician and it is my hobby and I've played with churches as an adult for 26 years. My sister went into music ed and has both an undergrad and master's and has been a band director for over 30 years in eastern PA. My sons are all into music and band, as you know my oldest son is a senior studying Music Ed with the intent of teaching at the high school level. He's also going to pursue a master's down the road but wants to teach a few years first. My second, while not majoring in music (studying accounting) is enjoying it in college as a member of Baylor's marching band. My youngest is in high school marching band and is considering it as a possibility to study in college. For sure there is a genetic component. Even if a kid was interested in music, there has to be some underlying talent and skill for it, and desire.
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Re: Families and Careers

Postby erin » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:07 am

My family is so odd when it comes to stuff like this.

My grandparents on my mothers side never finished college. My grandfather didn't even finish high school until my mother was graduating high school and he only did so because the Marines wanted it for advancement. My grandmother took a few college courses but never did it in hopes of a career, she did it for fun. She worked for the state in an administrative position (which my sister by the way does, never thought of that until right now). So of my grandparents 4 kids, only two went to college. My uncle has a degree in computer sciences but has done everything from working for NASA to working for a phone company in Guam. My mother is the other one who went to college. She has a degree in analytical Chemistry. Of my cousins, sisters and myself (11 in total) only two have finished college, both have degrees in computer sciences but both are not the kids of my uncle with the computer science degree. I have equivalent to 4 associates degrees but nothing else, not yet at least, but that will be in nursing.

My fathers family was different, my grandfather had a masters in chemical engineering and helped develop a ton of compounds used by the military and even the ink on money. They had 6 kids. 4 of the 6 have a minimum of a masters in psychology/social work. And with that, 2 became teachers or at least in the educational profession. The other two (my dad and 1 aunt) didn't finish college. My aunt was married basically out of high school and my dad just never finished. When he did go he studies English Lit.

So my dad who was the English Lit major married the chemistry major and had my sisters and I. 1 sister works for the State of Washington in HR as an admin. The other sister is a SAHM, but prior work in the service industry (restaurants and home depot, but that was a lot more like my dad as he was a restaurant manager or worked in a retail office supply store). And my, the bounced around a lot of jobs, never had a real career but has been going to school with nothing to show for it yet. lol. So really, I do see some patterns but if anything, we all were encouraged to do what makes us happy.
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Re: Families and Careers

Postby erin » Thu Nov 27, 2014 12:08 am

Oh and my two kids are musicians and NO ONE in the family is a musician, on my side or their dads side. The only thing close is my cousin who isn't a blood cousin. (he isn't my uncles bio son but not too many people know that). So I have no clue where the boys got it from.
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