Aaron Jackson, Guest Writer
The definition of careerism or a careerist is “the characteristics associated with one who advances his career even at the expense of his pride and dignity.” Simply looking at this definition, many of us instantly assume ‘it has nothing to do with my career’.
As children we are brought up by our parents or carers, usually with a mixture of two learning methodologies, the first of which is a reward based learning system, where a child is rewarded for doing good and, importantly, doing as they are told. The second is the opposite side of the same coin, a punishment based system, punished for disobeying and for doing bad. In general, parents try to give children the best morals and ethics that they are able to comprehend for themselves.
However, that same parent then tells the child to do as they are told at school. The child goes to school and learns a very systematic, rigid and standardised education without much flexibility, creativity,play, freedom, and importantly, without parental guidance. Parents tend to assume that the government’s education programmes have our children’s futures and interests at heart. Usually the teachers also believe this.
When we reach age 11/12 in the USA people are moved from Elementary school to Middle School, until 14/15 when people are moved to High School. Typically in the UK children go to Secondary School from 10/11/12 until 15/16. Why change schools, and why between 10 and 12?
Some school uniforms also represent “smart” worker clothing.
Puberty, during this time of questioning, rebelling against our parents as authority figures to find our own path, we are given alternative answers by our new schools. A lot of these school changes are careerist ideologies, once we reach these ages we are taught that we need to get the grades to get a job because having a job is successful; the better the grades, the better the career and pay, right?
In the USA this is pushed even farther as children must pass tests to even get to the next grade/school year, a very early way of learning a careerist promotion based system and also something that appears to be non-optional. Those who do not follow these rules are ridiculed as they are held back, just as people in society are ridiculed for having a low-paying job or no job at all.
The poor or jobless are considered by many of the rich, the media and the government to be worthless people of society who do not deserve, because they haven’t worked enough.. Even when these people volunteer to do charitable work, they are perceived as some kind of hippie scum.
It’s important to note that government taxes and bank’s debt interest are two other ways of getting something without working for it.
All along our parents tried to teach us good morals and ethics; what is good and what is bad. Schooling takes over and teaches us that more obeying and work is good, and anything else is bad. By the time we leave school, we have learned that working is good, and money is a replacement of our parents’ reward based system.
There’s no longer a reward based system for doing good, now there is only a reward based system of working for currency by obeying. Numbers printed on paper or a computer screen. This is now where our morals are firmly based in society.
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