Should I Follow in My Parent’s career...

Should I Follow in My Parent’s career Footsteps?

by Alexa Cairns
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Many children choose to follow in their parent’s footsteps career-wise; ever wonder why that is? Growing up, we become exposed to the reality of those jobs, the fun aspects of that career, as well as the challenges. However, children are often inspired by their parents, and often mimic parts of their lives, such as their likes, their dislikes, their career, and more. It is common to follow the lead of your parents, but it is also important to avoid the pressure to do so if you do not feel it is right for you. It does not matter if your siblings or friends are following their parent’s leads, you do not have to. There are likely so many other people feeling the same way.

A lot of parents expect their kids to have the same career as they did, but try to understand that is not the only way to go. Despite your parent’s expectations, you have the right to go into any career pathway you want. Your parents likely want the best for you, and if a certain career will make you happy, they will most likely understand and support you.

So, how do you know if following in your parent’s career footsteps is the right pathway for you? To understand if this pathway is best suited for you, it is best to visualize what you see yourself doing in the future as a career rather than what your parents visualize you becoming. Take a moment, close your eyes, and think about yourself in the future. Are you at a desk job, outside, doing something hands-on or dealing with money? What job do you feel would make you happiest? Putting your happiness first is key because studies show humans work best while doing the things they enjoy doing.

Some parents run their own business and have high expectations of their children to take on the business after they retire, but if you are in this situation, remember that this is not your only choice. You have the right to decide your career path. If you base your decision off of the pressure you feel from your parents, you are likely to not choose a pathway you enjoy or will succeed in.

One way to see what job is best suited for you is by completing some surveys. There are countless surveys online that ask a series of questions based on your traits, qualities and the things you enjoy doing. After processing, the results will tell you the jobs and careers that are best suited for you based on your interests and personality traits. You can also visit a guidance counsellor or career counsellor to get more guidance towards what area of interest you want to focus on in the future. If the results show that you should follow the same career pathway that your parents took, perhaps consider jobs within that career.

Try your best to avoid other people’s opinions. People who follow their parent’s careers have various reactions; sometimes they love it, sometimes they hate it. You will never know unless you try. Think; which courses do you enjoy doing?

Overall, choose what you want to do when you are older. If that is the same pathway your parents took, go for it! If it’s not, that’s okay, too. Your parents should support any decision you make. Try to relieve any pressure you are feeling about choosing a career. According to Career Advice Online, most people change their careers 5-7  times throughout their lives. Whether you choose to follow in your parent’s career’s footsteps or not, you’re not alone.


  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/01/learning/will-you-follow-in-your-parents-footsteps.html

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