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‘Consider the life you want’: Scholar says family goals should influence college choices
Erika Bachiochi

Women and men should think ahead to what they want from life, expert says

“Romantic life,” should influence college and career choices, according to a scholar and writer on family and work issues.

Erika Bachiochi, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said she asks women about their family goals when they ask her for advice on “going to grad school, or medical school, or law school.”

“It’s important to consider the life you want for yourself in your marriage and with your children as you’re considering the kinds of occupations or even course of study or profession you want to take on,” she (pictured) said during a phone interview with The College Fix.

She would give men the same advice.

Bachiochi directs the Wollstonecraft Project at the Abigail Adams Institute, an educational center that provides programming to Harvard University, though it is not directly affiliated.

She made similar arguments in a recent article in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, arguing for the integration of work and home life.

Bachiochi told The Fix that college students and other young people need to consider their future family lives before deciding on possible careers.

“Some professions are much more flexible than others,” she said. “Some professions require a lot of monetary outlay, which means that there’s a lot of debt that could be coming into the household. And some professions just have a deep vocational element that is important to discern.”

All professions have different hours, time commitments, and flexibility, and this is crucial in choosing a career that will be adaptable to the family.

“Cultivating the virtues is essential for both men and women in remunerative work and the work of the home, so doing what we can to take every opportunity to grow in virtue,” she said. Professors, too, can teach students how to integrate work and home life by involving their children in campus life.

“I would love to see college professors bringing their kids on campus more often and even to classes to show that life in the workplace and family life can coexist and be integrated.,” she said.

Baylor University Professor Sara Perry, who researches employee well-being, agrees with Bachiochi’s assessment that there is a need for work-family life integration.

Professor Perry told The Fix via email that research has shown that people “are more satisfied with their work-family balance” when “they realize the two domains will conflict and then they find ways to integrate those domains.”

Gen Z good at asking for what they want in the workplace

“One of the things that peers of mine have noticed about Gen Z is their capacity to speak pretty forthrightly about the needs that they have as full human beings,” Bachiochi said.

She hopes this will equip Gen Z employees with the skills to communicate their familial needs to employers.

“It’s having the capacity of courage to speak for what you believe, but also recognizing that the wisdom of your elders is important and hard work has to be put in,” she commented.

Bachiochi shared advice given to her when she was entering the workforce: “Early on, I was given the advice to think vocationally rather than in terms of a career, and I think that’s been really helpful for me.”

“The circumstances we find ourselves in and our own gifts and challenges impact how we can discern vocationally what we ought to be doing at this part of our life.”

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IMAGE: Ethics and Public Policy Center

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About the Author
Elise DeGeeter is a student at the University of Dallas where she is studying theology with a minor in political philosophy. She serves as vice president of Mission Youth and is a contributing writer for the student-led journal, Crusader Standard. She is also the press coordinator for Pro-Life Global.