ATTITUDES OF CHINESE|IMMIGRANTS IN THE U.S.
Attitudes about personal interest and career choices are influenced by a person’s culture and age. “I want to be a pilot.” “I want to a lawyer.” Younger generations always decide their interest and what they want to do as their career based on their own benefit. Observing from the past in the U.S., very limited opportunity is offered to the Chinese immigrants. They might consider if they can do it, instead of if they want to do it or not. Regardless of what education level they possessed most of the Chinese immigrant work as a waiter, waitress or some low paid jobs. However, the Chinese immigrants’ position in U.S. community is changing these years. Chinese immigrants are being appreciable in the U.S. community. As the changes, there were so many conflicts between younger and older generation who are Chinese immigrants after viewing on career choices and personal interest. I am interested in this topic and I have interviewed two people of different generation who both earned a bachelor degree in the U.S. Except generation differences, they have got similar background. I am going to learn more about how different generations view personal interest and career choices.
Vincent Kwan, an accountant in California, is a Chinese immigrant who moved to the U.S. with his family since 1971. Sandy Wong, currently a college student in Santa Monica College, immigrated to U.S. with her family since 1995. And her future goal is to be a politician in U.S. I have learned a lot about Chinese immigrants’ views career choices and personal interest. As the position of Chinese and the generation changed, they have different views with these two issues. They were all talkative and willing to share their personal feeling with me.
First, Vincent and Sandy have similar views with personal interest. Nowadays, technology and equity is promoted in the world, especially in U.S. Him and Sandy agree that the status of Chinese become greater in America. Vincent grew up in a typical Chinese family, he wish to be a pilot when he was small. However he has banned this idea. The main reasons are because he didn’t have any chances to approach planes and his parents didn’t give him any support on this issue. “The most important factor of deciding career is the salary. It is because it will help you to achieve a satisfactory life.” Vincent said. He agrees that using personal interest to decide career is important, but salary is crucial. The second reason which made him feel personal interest in not as important as income is because he is an immigrant. As an immigrant in the U.S., he claimed that finding a job is hard, but putting personal interest into consideration is even harder. However, Sandy has a similar view on this issue. She thinks that the most important thing of choosing career is to decide if it is interesting or not. She believes that she can be whatever she wants to be in America, a society which maintains equal opportunities. She works by herself, although her parents did not give her much support on receiving higher education and being a politician. Moreover, Sandy will choose working condition as another important criterion of choosing career, which Vincent didn’t concern about it at all.
On the other hand, they have different views on career choices. Vincent thinks that parents have the rights to decide their child’s career. The reason is because parents have more experiences on getting career and they know what their child need and what their child good at and weak in. Being an accountant was a choice, which Vincent’s father made for him, and he admitted that he was unsatisfied with this career before, however he changed his mind day-to-day. When he was a teenager, he intended to break up the rules, which his parents gave him about personal interest on career, however he knew that in traditional Chinese view, it would be treated as a bad behavior. At that time, parents, society’s opportunities, acceptant pushed him so much. That’s why he has given up using his personal interest (being a pilot) as the main factor of choosing a career. In addition, Sandy is extremely different from Him, although they are all Chinese immigrants. She thinks that the generation has changed and it is very important for a person to know that what they want on their life. Parents and their child are individual. Career and personal interest are personal; it should be decided by the person, not their parents. They should not give up any of chances of getting the career they like also. She thinks that Chinese immigrant are playing an important role in U.S., for instance, the governor of Washington State, Gary Locke, a Chinese-American, Chinese immigrant are being accepted in U.S.. Despite of all the obstructions, she thinks people should try hard to achieve that they want to do. She strongly emphasized that she will not give up choosing her own career by her own interest.
By finishing these two interviews, I have achieved my purpose of learn two different generations view personal interest and career choices. Vincent has not regretted that he didn’t work as a pilot because he thinks his parents helped him to make a right decision. He said “Interest is temporary, it will change eventually.’ He enjoys working as an accountant and getting satisfactory salary. But he wishes he could try to be a pilot one day, which makes his dream come true. And Sandy is going to be a politician in the future, although she knew the chance is not great enough. Finally, I knew that the people who have different economical, educational, societal and familial background, they have different views on getting career and personal interest.