Saturday, 9 January 2016

CAREER GIRL: FIFTIES STYLE!

Imagine growing up in the 1950s... what kind of careers might you have dreamed of? Back in the 1950s, these were the dream jobs many teen girls aspired to, according to a well-known UK women's magazine...

NURSE: 
The NHS had not long come into being, and nursing was a very popular career. Children's dressing up sets with a nursing theme were very popular. Training was often given on the job, and trainee nurses might be expected to do anything from administering medicine and assisting in operations to washing patients or making beds. Nursing was a respected career and is still a hugely important job today, although it is not paid as well as it should be.

SHOP ASSISTANT:
Shop work was often seen to be a better option than working in a factory, and jobs in smart department stores were the most sought after posts of all. Those who had a skill for retail were valued highly, sometimes moving into management and often ruled over their departments with a rod of iron as well as commanding the envy and respect of their friends.


AIR STEWARDESS:
Teens who dreamed of travel and glamour back in the 1950s often aspired to a career as an air stewardess. Air travel was slowly becoming mainstream, but it was not until the late 60s and 70s that ordinary families began to take overseas holidays. Being an air stewardess was unusual and exciting back in a time when air travel was reserved for the wealthy.


FLORIST:
Artistic girls might be encouraged towards a career in floristry back in the 1950s... it was a job that required visual flair and also offered the chance to follow your own style and perhaps, eventually, even to be your own boss. This job also held an element of glamour... many girls in the 1950s worked in shops, offices or factories so there was something different and arty about this career.

TYPIST:
Working as a typist or secretary was seen as a real step up from factory work, so learning to type (with a fast speed of words-per-minute) and to read and write shorthand were real skills. A teenage typist would start out in the typing 'pool' - a room full of women typing up various information - and if they had potential, would move up to become a secretary or clerk. In the days before computers and internet, good typists were essential to almost every kind of business.

THE ARMED FORCES:
When the 1950s dawned, World War Two was still only five years in the past and National Service for men was still compulsory. Women were needed in the armed forces too, the army, the air force and the navy, and adventurous young women were attracted to this work. Although many were still doing traditional jobs within the forces, such as secretarial or nursing tasks, the chance was there to try other things too, and travel was a very real possibility.

HAIRDRESSER:
After the war, women were beginning to have the time, money and opportunity to pay more attention to their appearances and trips to the hairdresser were once more an option for some. A career in hairdressing was not only suited to artistic and sociable girls, but offered the chance of longer term work at a time when many women gave up their jobs once they married and had children. Hairdressing was a skill which could sometimes be done from home.

CATHY SAYS:
Although I wasn't around in the 1950s, the older women in my family worked in jobs like these - my mum worked in the wages office of a car factory, one auntie worked in a department store and another was a 'Wren' - a member of the Women's Royal Navy. It was very hard for girls to do jobs that were considered to be a man's work... if you wanted to be a truck driver, a vet or an engineer, you would have had a tough struggle ahead of you to achieve those dreams. In some ways, women had more freedom during the war, but a decade on they were expected to let go of that and step back into more traditional roles. Would YOU have liked to do any of these jobs? If not, what would you rather choose? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

14 comments:

  1. Ugh, all of these jobs sound incredibly boring! I'd probably be that cliched struggling writer living in Soho, dreaming of something bigger. Bottom line-I'm glad that I live now and not then!
    theramblingssofmoi.blogspot.com

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  2. I would've probably like to have been a typist because I'm a fast typer or a Nurse because I want to be one of those when I am older!!

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  3. This was really cool and it's fascinating how much change there has been in the last 66 years. There is now a more broader range of jobs for women now, which is fantastic.

    Howeve; regarding your posts I would like to see some more male type posts. I'm not hating I'm just saying that most of these posts are female orientated.... Xx

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    1. I guess perhaps this is because most of our contributors are female... but most topics are welcome and anyone is welcome to write a feature for DREAMCATCHER... go for it! Happy to see a more even kind of coverage! xxx

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  4. Awesome! I would want to be a hairdresser! Do you have any more books in the works? Xx

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    1. A new CC book, The Broken Heart Club, will be out in APRIL! xxx

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  5. None of these jobs are beneath me. All of which I would be proud of doing. I worked in retail and ended up authoring educational material for apprentices. Very satisfying.

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    1. Agree... they're great jobs, and many of them were essential at that time. Crazy to think typists have been replaced by computers and data input! xxx

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  6. I like the fact that there is a wider range of jobs now- but I don't think that any of these are "beneath me". I would be happy to do them! I would love to be a florist, hairdresser, or shop assistant. Also Cathy I am getting Life Is Sweet for my birthday and I am so excited!!! x

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    1. No, none of these jobs are in any way 'lesser' than today's jobs. They were important and exciting jobs then and would still be cool now! Hope you enjoy LIFE IS SWEET... and Happy Birthday in advance! xxx

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  7. There is no difference. I would not have minded working with any of these jobs. I am planning to get a job this year anyway, I am thinking of working in a small store, not much different compared to the shops in that time.
    The jobs these days are seen so much more 'advanced' and 'higher', but really they are all the same. The job I would most prefer would have to be Typist or Florist.

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    1. I think the difference is not that these jobs were not good, but in the jobs that women were not allowed to hold back then, and also in the big difference in what a man and a woman would be paid for doing the same job; and the expectation that a woman would give up her job once she had children. xxx

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  8. I like the idea of nurse and florist the best πŸΌπŸ·πŸ™ˆ

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  9. I would have liked to have been a shop assistant-especially in a stationery shop. I love stationery and I think it would have been fun to sell all different types of old-fashioned things like fountain pens, blotting paper and carbon copy paper!

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