Anonymous Interview

*The interviewee wishes to remain anonymous

Organisation responsible for the interview: WISAMAR

Country: Germany

Date of the interview: 20.04.2023

Short summary of the interview

Young people often have vague career ideas, popularly opting for jobs like a motor vehicle mechatronics technician or a hairdresser. Lack of information and limited exposure to various professions are key issues. Many youth make choices based on personal interest, familiarity, or what’s considered “cool”. Parents’ influence is not prominent in decisions, but cultural norms, personal biases hold significance. Stereotyping influences gendered career choices. The counselor suggests getting more information helps confront biases and stereotypes.

Statements of utmost importance – top statements/ information

There are several key takeaways. First, young people often prove to have a foundational but limited idea about their career interests. They tend to choose familiar careers like motor vehicle mechatronics technician and hairdresser. This could be because of what’s within their immediate vicinity, reflecting the theory that impressions about careers are often informed by media, role models, or societal norms rather than research and exploring one’s interests.

Second, the influences on these career choices range from personal interest, familiarity with chosen careers, to peer pressure, with little to no influence from parents. Though aspirants often come under-prepared, not understanding the complexity of the career training system in Germany, these choices could be heavily interest-led.

Third, despite these factors, cultural norms do tend to dominate career choices. Certain careers are favored or disregarded based on cultural stereotypes and social norms. Personal biases and preconceptions often restrict individuals from exploring unfamiliar career paths. These biases can be addressed by seeking more information about various career options and making informed comparisons between expectations and reality.

Furthermore, the interview presents striking observations on gender biases and stereotypes influencing career choices. It appears that males and females are conveniently pushed towards occupations considered traditional for their genders, visible in the men preferring stereotypically male jobs and women preferring care professions. This dichotomy is partially due to prevailing misconceptions that certain jobs are associated with a particular gender.

Stereotyping can deter aspirants from considering entire occupational groups perceived as gender-specific; for instance, care jobs are seen as “unmanly”, and typical male professions might seem unfeminine or intimidating to women due to the potential of facing sexism. Unfortunately, such stereotypes are observed to be noticeably ingrained in craft professions.

The counselor strongly advocates for acquiring additional information regarding various professions wherein learners could contrast their expectations and computed realities, creating a more comprehensive career choice framework. The reductions of personal biases and preconceptions and the confrontation of gender constricting stereotypes can become a consistent practice through well-rounded information collection efforts.