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Discovering your Family Tree

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by

Susan Wortman

on 29 January 2016

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Transcript of Discovering your Family Tree

Discovering your Family Tree
Career development…concerns [the whole person] in the ever-changing contexts of his/her life. The environmental pressures and constraints, the bonds that tie him/her to significant others, responsibilities to children and aging parents, the total structure of one’s circumstances are also factors that must be understood and reckoned with. In these terms, career development and personal development converge.

-Wolfe and Kolb, 1980

Jacobsen talks about some of the ways our family can influence us regarding our values and expectations given....

The expectations our parents have for us but also for themselves based on their own experiences in the world (both economically and psychosocially),
Direct
Indirect

Our birth order and what role we play in our family based on the roles that are available and the apparent needs
"Hand-Me-Down Dreams"
How about those parents...
“The strongest psychological influence on children is the unlived life of their parents.” -Carl Jung

What education eluded them?
Was the career they hoped for not available to someone of their gender, class, race?
Did illness, accident, or poverty interfere with their career plans?
Did they follow their parents’ or society’s advice instead of their own desires?

Indirect or Direct and why?
DUTY – obligation vs. invitation; saying “no” is not an option

GENES – predictable, repetitive traits that give a family a sense of distinctive, inherited identity

DESTINY – family’s belief that fate or divine providence determines each generation’s careers

Family Expectations Manifested....
Children belong to their parents


Love equals sacrifice



Loyalty means protecting your family from change

Jacobsen suggests you belong to yourself

Sacrifice can be distinguished from giving and need not be a stand-in for love

Systems fight change but they can and will adjust.
Perspectives on family love & loyalty.
We have roles not only in our families, but in all of our relationships with others. These roles include the obvious ones:

Child
Significant other
Sibling
Student
Friend
Employee
Birth Order and Family Needs
What do these roles mean?
Each child’s skills and traits will be seen in light of the family’s current economic and psychological condition, as well as the talent already available to the family team.

Parents assign jobs through the selective attention, approval, or relief they telegraph emotionally in response to their children’s behavior

The parent who feels least satisfied with life, and most urgently in need of help, determines the first child’s assignment.

As each child is born, she or he inherits the next unfilled task.

We may internalize these roles, regardless of how
true they are to our actual self




But also...
The Peacemaker The Loner
The Funny One The Rebel
The Golden Child The Oldest/Middle/Baby
The Responsible one The Difficult one
The Scapegoat …and many others
So how does this relate to career?
What are your parents’/family’s expectations about your career?

Were these spoken or unspoken?

What your parents actually said
What your parents implied but didn’t say
What your parents meant
What you yourself really want
Genogram Discussion
Begin to look for patterns in education, employment, health, etc. There are a number of questions about your family for which your genogram may provide answers. These include:

● View of men’s work…women’s work
● Attitudes toward success, failure
● Which jobs were seen as valuable…which were scorned
● Attitudes about money, leisure, work ethic

You genogram can also help you understand your own beliefs regarding:

● To which family member(s) would you like to be compared?
● Which family member(s)’ career paths do you hope to emulate or avoid?
● Who are you most like? Who are you most unlike?
● What are the repeated patterns and how have they affected you?
● In what ways has your family impacted your career choice? Were you aware of their impact?


But also! It might not be all bad!
Some families really do want what's best for us
To have what they did not
To protect us
To ensure our stability and happiness
To support us...in whatever way they know is best

While many of us trust our parents or families have our best interests at heart,
the key is understanding the difference
between our own definitions of success and happiness, and others.
A Genogram is a pictorial display of a person's family relationships. It goes beyond a traditional family tree by allowing the user to visualize hereditary patterns and psychological factors that punctuate relationships.


It can be used to identify repetitive patterns of behavior and to recognize hereditary tendencies.

IT'S GENORGRAM TIME
Start with the tree...
Then add relationship
qualifiers
Names
Date(s) of birth, marriage, divorce…
Birth place (city, state, country)
Degree(s) completed and dates
Occupation(s) & Roles in the family
Medical and mental health conditions
Cause of death and date

Include:
What a genogram teaches you about your family
Family’s view of men’s & women’s work
Which jobs were valued; which scorned
Attitudes about leisure, retirement
Attitudes about money
Family’s definition of failure, success



Q: What are some factors that you think have influenced your knowledge of, and plans regarding, careers?
Full transcript