Interview with Suellen Costa

Organisation responsible for the interview: University of Aveiro

Country: Portugal

Occupation: Consultant in the individual perspective, with the objective of giving professional guidance in the search for jobs.

Small Bio/CV: She has a degree in Psychology, and a Master in the area of social intervention from the University of Coimbra – Portugal. She works as a career consultant and mentor in different groups, age groups, diversity of professional goals and training (group and individual). I had a professional experience in Portugal in a project in a social job incubator.

Other info:

Date of the interview: 12.05.2023

Short summary of the interview

Career guidance:

Some arrive lost on the way to go, where in this case, I go modelling, assisting you, to understand and present the action plan. Others come with a lot of anxiety and expectation for the consultancy. I receive a “little box of surprises” at each meeting. But those young people of the first choice, where they finished their studies, and chose the training course for the consultancy, many come with a “I really want this” mentality, and others with a “I’m going to try it, to see what happens” mentality. And I perceive that there is a lot of difficulty in building a professional objective, of perceiving what one desires, for those who are in transition, as for those who are in their first choice. Often because there is no guidance in this sense.

Trends and influences:

I perceive a trend among young people to prefer working online and at home (Home Office).

None of the cases that I have attended, regardless if it is the first decision or career transition, the choice is very market-centric. They do not bring influence from another person.
The labour and financial market are the determining factors for the professional choice of the young person.

Parental influence:

The role of the guardian is to present the existing possibilities in the labour market, presenting the diversity of existing professions so that the young person can identify their affinities with the professions, based on their taste and knowledge, which has been built throughout the young person’s experience and not with the intention of forcing something. Perhaps in the past, parents did have this influence on the career decision of their children. The influence depends a lot on the relationship of this family, as it has a lot to do with how this family relates, because the family can have a very imposing and authoritarian relationship, but it can also have a very suggestive relationship of influence, seeking maximum neutrality.

Socio-cultural differences:

Social and cultural issues influence decision making as the adolescent is getting to know things. According to the perspective of psychology, we are socially, historically and culturally constructed. It will influence even what he has knowledge of. While the young person has no other reference or knowledge, he deals with what he has.

It depends a lot on access to information. In terms of culture, we have to think about territory, “where did this young person come from? So, the social and cultural background of the young person can determine his or her trajectory and can limit or expand possibilities.

Gender bias:

Socially, there is gender bias regarding professions.
I have heard women saying “this is not a profession for women”. Although this is in the process of changing. Women are choosing less the area of engineering, where it has to do with the social issue and gender prejudice, which is being built in them as well. Women themselves feel the difficulty in accepting “that they can”, “but I also like to do that”.

I have heard reports such as “I chose such a profession, because I didn’t know I could have chosen this one, as it is so masculine”.

Statements of utmost importance – top statements/ information

“The social and cultural background of the young person can determine their trajectory, and can limit or expand possibilities.”