Saturday, April 17, 2010

Career Choices For Women

Times have certainly changed. For Chinese women (and Pinoy women and most women around the world, for that matter) before the 20th century, the only career choice is that of being a housewife.

In the 20th century, women have started coming out of their shells and became more involved in the workforce, although not in today's degree. My ama (paternal grandmother) helped with my angkong's (paternal grandfather) business, doing mostly accounting work even if she was not formally trained in it. My guama (maternal grandmother) didn't really become a career woman, mainly because my guakong (maternal grandfather) worked far away (he was in Iloilo and she was in China then, so she stayed home to take care of the kids.

In my mother's generation, there were now more working women. My mom was a businesswoman, trained a bit by my father but mostly by trial and error and experience.

When it was my turn, my parents encouraged me to be a doctor, even if being a doctor was mainly considered a man's job at the time I was young. My angkong would not have agreed. He thought being in business is the way to go, and I should go into a course like Management or Accounting, both of which I do not have an interest in.

I think all of them would have balked if I had mentioned that I would like to pursue a course in say, hairdressing or makeup. At that time, it was not the career to go to if you have the means to go for further education. It was mainly a skill that's learned through experience. Famous beauticians like Ricky Reyes didn't have any formal training but went on to open a bunch of profitable salons.

Of course, times have changed again and it is practical and glamorous to have a job in beauty and fashion. If I were a kid at around this time, my parents and grandparents would probably not think it's weird if I wanted to go to a cosmetology school in Minnesota (well, it's not really my interest anyway, so they won't really expect that). But if my daughter wanted that, I would let her. It's growing to a be a more professionalized service, and having the right training with experts is the way to go, not only in this field but also in other fields. It also helps if the training is recognized worldwide so if she decides to settle anywhere else, she could still put her training to good use. I also like the fact that some schools actually have job placement services for their graduates!

Also, it's less stressful than being a doctor!