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Career Genogram

Britton Anderson
CNS 220
October 28, 2015
Creating this career genogram allowed me to not only discover
occupations and educational experiences of my extended family for
the first time, but also aided me in finding connections and values that
I could relate to myself during my career exploration. It was also very
interesting to see the progression of educational level and occupations
over time, as three out of four of my grandparents did not receive a
college diploma, and most of them worked blue-collar jobs, outside of
my paternal grandmother who worked as a very low paying nurse. At
this time, additional education was unnecessary and could even be
seen as a hindrance for those who could not afford to be out of work to
attend schooling. But once we move on to the next generation, each
one of my family members completed college and took on more
professional occupations. My father became a CEO, my mother worked
in marketing, my uncle completed divinity school at Yale, but my
maternal uncle followed in my grandfathers footsteps in the furniture
industry. And the pattern continues with my brother and I, as we have
both either completed college or are currently enrolled. Through this
familial summary, it is evident that there is a distinct pattern involving
educational level and careers.

It also became clear that there were a number of important


events that helped shaped the careers of my family members. My
maternal grandfather was one year away from graduating from
Louisiana State University when he enlisted in the military during World
War II. This was not planned and it significantly changed the course of
his future careers. He did not finish school when he returned home
from the war. This experience revealed to me that there could be
unforeseen circumstances that alter my own path, and I need to be
able to use such things to my advantage. Adaptation and resilience in
the face of adversity is a mightily important skill as an adult in the
work place, as these traits allow obstacles to be learning points, not
hindrances. As an example, my father ran for congress in his
hometown state of Illinois at the age of 30 and lost. He said this was
the best possible thing that could have happened to him. He thought it
was time for a fresh start and decided to move to Washington DC.
Under the guidance of Congressman John Anderson (no relation), my
father began to move into association work, a field he had never
considered before. He thrived in this new environment as a strategic
survivor and worked his way to the top, becoming the CEO of multiple
associations over the past 30 years. I found that using failure as a
mechanism to build upon is a recurring theme in my family tree and a
trait that would be most beneficial to me. These should be used as
growing points in my life. I should not be afraid to fail.

Additionally, the values that seem to be reflected are


achievement and a strong sense of family and togetherness.
Achievement is illustrated through my Yale divinity school uncle, as
well as my mother and father who applied their degrees and excelled
in their respective fields. However, family plays an equally important
role in my career genogram. Although my maternal grandmother and
mother were gaining success in their career fields, they decided that it
would be even more valuable to stay at home and raise a family fulltime. This made me realize that there is more to being a successful
businessman or investment banker when finding meaning in an
occupation. The significant message I would take away from these
values is that it is not about tangible rewards and salary, rather it is
about intrinsic motivations.
In my future family tree, I predict that education will continue to
become an increasingly necessary prerequisite to successful careers.
Therefore, I believe that my brother and I will likely engage in
additional schooling beyond that of a Bachelors degree, as will future
generations. I also believe that we will see more white-collar jobs
being taken as a result of this additional schooling and opportunities
that are afforded as a result of the success of past generations.
When creating my genogram, I had no past thought of putting
my high school basketball coach, Rico Reed, on something that was
mostly supposed to be for family members. But once I added him, it

became entirely evident that he belonged there, as he has had the


most impact on me, outside of my parents, as a developing young
adult. This has made me consider the educational or coaching field as
a potential option that I did not see before. It motivates me knowing
that I could have the same significant impact on young adults that my
coach has had on me.