Career, Uncertainty and Working Life: ‘Being Classified as Temporary’

  • Lucas Walsh
  • Anne KearyEmail author


This chapter explores in further detail post-education and training pathways across generations. Key historical trends are outlined, with the fluid nature of working life for women coming into focus. A fine-grained examination occurs of gendered aspects of transitions to work, caring for families and post-school life. The older generation’s lives were impacted upon by key social changes such as the advent of contraception. For Catholic women, this was a contentious issue due to the church’s outlawing of it. Yet, women in this study were experiencing greater choice even if, at times, it was against Catholic Church rulings. Notions of choice and flexibility are reflected in the attitudes of the third generation with a more strategic approach taken to career and family. This was notwithstanding the influence for some of, and continuity with, older members of their families’ pathways. Some women of the third generation were clearly focused on undertaking post-study for specific careers. The way in which gender was shaping career aspirations and transitions of this youngest generation was more pronounced. The way in which gender was shaping the career aspirations of this younger generation was more pronounced.



The authors thank Joanne Gleeson for her research assistance in developing the historical overview of this discussion.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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