A popular TV ad sponsored by an insurance provider depicts aging adults becoming their parents. Research published by Ioana Lupu found that our upbringing has enduring influence on our work and career decisions — and that what we subconsciously learn from our parents plays an important role in how we think about and manage work-life balance.
Source: Harvard Business Review, October 30, 2017.
According to Lupu’s research, most individuals fall into one of four categories:
- They willingly adopt their parents’ model of work-life balance
- They unintentionally adopt their parents’ model
- They willingly reject their parents’ model
- They unintentionally reject their parents’ model
Interestingly, although the majority of individuals belong to one of these four categories, there are a limited number who straddle more than one category.
INSIGHTS: The research suggests that the attitudes formed during upbringing can shape people’s choices and can reproduce the status quo. It also suggests that rational decisions play only one part in work-family choices and that unconscious and embodied dispositions play a role as well.