Life After Study and Training: ‘Building Something’
This chapter examines the testimonies of women concerning life after study and training and explores the continuities and disruptions to work and family. The experiences of the women were in a large part consistent with wider national trends. Non-linear transitions into lifelong careers were not unusual. Family caring duties and ill-health were some reasons for disruptions to careers. Precarity and fluidity in relation to workforce participation was a feature of employment across the generations but, in particular, featured prominently in the testimonies of the third generation. Life journeys after study and training were diverse across all generations, yet the influence of family on shaping post-school decisions was evident for some women. Happiness in work and life was of importance to all women. Post-family life was experienced in a myriad of ways with retirement for some opening up new opportunities and activities. There are some indications that for the third generation, certain markers of transition such as leaving home, purchasing property and securing full-time stable work were happening later in life. Still, across all the generations post-school pathways are uneven.
The authors are grateful to Joanne Gleeson for her research assistance in developing the historical overview of this discussion.
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