Childhood Influences Steph Beito-Ziemer. Then and Now Past: One career, many jobs Present: Seven to...

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Childhood Influences Steph Beito-Ziemer

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  • Childhood InfluencesSteph Beito-Ziemer

  • Then and NowPast: One career, many jobsPresent: Seven to eight careers

  • Experts Perspective We know relatively little about how children learn about and prepare for work. it is imperative to gain a better understanding of the childhood career development process to better prepare children for their future.(Schultheiss & Stead, 2004)

  • What I Wanted to Know

    Is there a relationship between childhood influences and business communicators career choice?

  • Approach I UsedPrepared paper-based survey; 22 questionsMailed survey, cover letter; offered incentiveAdministered via U.S. mail to:- 425 International Association of Business Communicators, MN Chapter, members- 225 Minnesota Health Strategy and Communication Network members

  • ResultsReceived high response: 417 (64%)More than 97% currently work in business communications78% female, 22% male

  • LeadershipNow: Prepared for leadership roles in work assignments?Childhood: Which activities helped develop leadership skills?More than 68% of those prepared for leadership roles now indicate childhood volunteer activities helped develop their leadership skills.

  • TeamworkNow: Teamwork is critical for success?Childhood: Which activities helped develop teamwork skills?More than 93% of those who believe teamwork is critical indicate childhood team sports helped develop their teamwork skills.

  • Communication SkillsNow: Communication skills are essential?Childhood: Which activities helped develop communication skills?More than 81% of those who believe communication skills are essential now indicate childhood volunteer activities helped develop their communication skills.

  • ConfidenceNow: Confident in ability to perform tasks?Childhood: Which activities helped develop confidence?More than 87% of those who are confident now indicate childhood individual sports helped develop their confidence.

  • Self-EsteemNow: Have high self-esteem contributing to quality work?Childhood: Which activities helped develop self-esteem?More than 80% of those who now have high self-esteem indicate childhood individual sports helped develop their self-esteem.

  • Other ResultsParents career choice has little impact- 78% didnt consider entering parents career as a child- Of those that did consider, just 4% actually did so as an adultTeachers have the most influence during childhood regarding career decisions.

  • Other ResultsThe school subject, English, is important - 40% indicate English was favorite elementary school subject- 80% indicate English is most closely related to their current career- 41% indicated both of the above

  • What Does It Mean?

    Is there a relationship between childhood influences and business communicators career choice?


  • RecommendationsUniversitiesProfessional Membership OrganizationsElementary School TeachersIndividuals

  • Questions?

    Intro Will use my own personal story to set this upPast, give examplePresent, give exampleIts an interesting shift; curious about what role childhood may or may not play in thisso what do the experts think (next slide).QuoteI agreewe know relatively littleReinforced my curiosity to learn more.Little information is available about the link between childhood influences and careersand I could find even less about the connection for those working in business communications, which helped me define my research question. (Read question.)Operational definitions:Childhood Birth 12 years oldInfluencesHuman (family, friend, teacher, coach)Extracurricular (sports, clubs, church, volunteerism)Educational (public, private, home)Communications professionalAn individual earning income by working in public relations, business communications or marketing.So, how did I approach this research (next slide)

    Survey, 22 questions (briefly explain categories of questions/info I was looking for)Survey, cover letter, incentive425 IABC225 MHSCNResponse rate: 417 (64%)

    Leadership (I asked this about leadershipthe results indicatevolunteer activities)Teamwork (I asked this about teamworkthe results indicateteam sports)

    Communication skills (I asked this about communicationthe results indicatevolunteer activities)Confidence (I asked this about confidencethe results indicateindividual sports)

    Self-esteem (I asked this about self-esteemthe results indicateindividual sports)

    These results (leadership, teamwork, communication skills, confidence, self-esteem) support the idea that certain activities during childhood help develop certain character traits, many of which are needed/ranked highly by those in business communications.

    Parents career (I expected to find...and was surprised to learn)School subject (I expected to findand was also surprised that)Teachers influence (From my own personal experience, I expectedand was surprised that teachers)Putting the results together to answer the research question (next slide)For this study, scope and sample size, the answer is yes.These findings are of potential use to several audiencesUniversities (collaboration opportunities with certain schools or programs, helpful in recruitment)Professional Membership Organizations (mentoring/job shadowing programs)Elementary School Teachers (help encourage students interest and foster development)Individuals (learn why they entered business communications)