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Spreading Wings

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014

The first 20 student comments on “Spreading Wings” win a $5 Yiftee gift to a local business. Use your gift to try out that new flavor of ice cream or spend it on two slices of your favorite pizza. Entries must be received by midnight, Sunday, March 2nd, 2014. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by e-mail in the right hand column) for updates.

**DISCLAIMER: All characters and scenarios in this post are fictional.**

Lucy is a second semester senior at a small private university near San Francisco. Coming into college, Lucy had to choose between two similar universities on opposite sides of the country, one in California and the other in New York. Lucy’s decision came down to location and she ended up selecting the California university because of its proximity to her home and family.

Now, Lucy is preparing for her post-graduate life. She has applied to countless jobs in public relations, as her father has always told her that getting a job is a numbers game. Several positions have been on the East Coast, but the majority have been in California. Lucy knows her mother would like her to stay close to home. Lucy has a younger brother still in high school whom she could mentor, and an older sister who lives at home and commutes to her job in the city.

Lucy’s dream job is to work for a global public relations agency in a big city like New York or Chicago. She isn’t really interested in doing public relations for the technology industry. California agencies largely work in technology, so if she stayed close to home she would likely have to work tech for part of her career.

That being said, family is the most important aspect of Lucy’s life. She was raised in a home where family is No. 1, and there were no compromises when it came to the family’s well-being. Everyone in her family looks out for one another. She would absolutely love to stay near them if she has the opportunity after college.

After a long and hard job search, Lucy manages to get an internship at one of the largest global public relations agencies in Chicago. She also gets several good agency jobs in San Francisco, including one at a global public relations firm working in technology. Lucy is struggling with her decision. She knows that she doesn’t really want to work in technology, but she does want to stay close to home if possible. Both agency jobs pay around the same, and she would be able to grow in each company with hard work. She also could jump location eventually should she desire to experience working in a different city.

Should Lucy choose to stay close to home or move away to a more desirable career opportunity? Which option will bring Lucy more happiness? What is more important, individual career goals or family responsibility and loyalty? Does Lucy have an ethical responsibility to consider family when preparing for her future career? Why or why not?

Useful Resources:

A Framework for Ethical Decision-Making

How to Deal With Moving Away From Your Family

Photo by Amanda Tipton available under a Creative Commons license.


Comments Comments

Justin D. Fitzsimmons said on Feb 26, 2014
Your family loves you, and they undoubtably want the best thing for you. And for Lucy, this means leaving behind her family to follow her dreams of working in a global public relations company in Chicago. She already knows that she doesn't want to work in technology public relations--imagine how much more she will realize this if she accepts the job in San Francisco! This reminds me of a quote from Paolo Coelho in "The Alchemist": ?You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say.? If she accepts the job in SF, she will be personally unhappy--something that her family does not want. She may come to even resent her family, blaming them for her unhappiness. Only by following her dream will she find fulfillment and happiness. Does Lucy have an ethical responsibility to consider her family when preparing for her future career? She does, but consideration of her family would make her realize that they want her to follow her dreams. Her family will still love her and there are many practical ways to keep in contact; there is only one way to follow her dreams. - Like
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Tags: application, character, college, college students, decisions, ethics, family, independence, intern, job market, job search, relationships, responsibility, senior, The Big Q, Unselfish