It's for the rest of your life: The pragmatics of youth career decision-making
Sage Publications, Inc.
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre
Although new understandings of career decision-making processes are emerging, the prevailing rhetoric points to careers imbued with new worker attributes—flexibility, job mobility, and constant upskilling. This discussion of the pragmatics of youth career decision making draws on a series of transition studies with Western Australian youths, many aspiring to enter the building trades. Here, career-related decisions were influenced by images of masculinity and aspirations for an on-the-job lifestyle of sociability and intersected with a confusing complex of impinging pragmatic decisions. In these trades, these youths sought challenge and fulfillment in their work and a degree of job security, at least during the training period. Their longer term career aspirations stood in stark contrast to contemporary conceptions and portrayals of the flexible, short-stay, new employee. The question as to how universally appropriate and even desirable might be the preparation of all to be new workers is considered.