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By Patrick Reedy

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Example text

That meant that if I was going to have a career I was putting it on hold, I think I had a blip. Janet’s abandonment of work and career to dedicate herself to her marriage did not last long, her career ambitions proved stronger than her upbringing, and she soon decided to return to full-time work when she was asked to undertake what she saw as being her first managerial role. However, another event interrupted her upward progress, she had another child, again presented as something happening to her, in fact described as a ‘fall’.

Towards the end of her story, Janet reflected on where she is now and whether it was what she wanted to be doing, she was ambivalent about the idea of completely dedicating herself to her job and future career and she tries on an alternative identity of a teacher as providing a possible escape from demands that are becoming burdensome and from a sense of having lost part of herself that valued service to others as an important aspect of her work. Janet also reflects on her age, that she was now moving into a stage of life when she wanted to slow down and look at alternatives to managerial work.

The Engineer Richard was the oldest of my story-tellers, in his mid-fifties when I last interviewed him. He held the most senior position of all my interviewees and was the only one to own and run his own business. My first interview with Richard took place at his engineering works in February 2002. He proudly showed me around the various workshops explaining what each of them was for. He also explained that his plans to sell out his share of the business to his partner had run into serious difficulty.

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