The Evolution of American Jobs

by Maddie Hulcy

1955

Common Available Jobs

  • telephone operator
  • banker
  • post office employee
  • accountant
  • teacher
  • nurse
  • office jobs
  • waiter/waitress

Prerequisites

  • college degree
  • interpersonal skills
  • experience in the field
  • being a white man

Interview

I interviewed my grandpa for this section as well. His father was a store manager for the local grocery store.


Q: What were employers looking for in terms of character?

A: It was pretty similar to what they wanted in my day, honesty, integrity.


Q: What were employers looking for in terms of personality?

A: He worked in the grocery business, so it was important to be helpful, friendly, respectful.


Q: How important to you is work life balance? Do you think it’s easier or harder today than it was when you entered the workforce?

A: For him, his job was a priority. However, he always came home to be with family for dinner.


Q: What have your experiences in the professional world taught you?

A: Not exactly sure. I never asked him.

1985

Common Jobs

  • banker
  • accountant
  • teacher
  • researcher
  • entrepreneur
  • astronaut
  • Blockbuster employee

Prerequisites

  • college degree
  • interpersonal skills
  • experience in the field

Interview

I interviewed my grandpa, Mike Archer. He graduated from college in 1965 with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Kansas State University. He worked for a food wholesale company, and became president of a division. He is now 71 and has 3 kids and 2 grandchildren.


Q: What were employers looking for in terms of character?

A: They wanted integrity and honest, valued very highly, that should have been exhibited by the way you approached your colleagues, and filled out your resumes.


Q: What were employers looking for in terms of personality?

A: We had customers, so most of the communication was by telephone and a little face to face, so they were looking for an outgoing personality, good listener, someone who asks questions, understands problem and problem solving skills


Q: How important to you is work life balance? Do you think it’s easier or harder today than it was when you entered the workforce?

A: I’d say that it is more difficult today, my reason being we didn't have computers, cell phones, or iPads to distract us when we weren't at work, none of the family was distracted, so it may be more challenging for working parents today than it was 50 years ago.


Q: What have your experiences in the professional world taught you?

A: One of the things they taught me was to be responsible for people, hiring the right ones, training them properly, and letting them do their jobs. Don’t interfere. At one point I thought I had to make all the decisions, but it took a lot of stress off my shoulders when I just let them go a trusted that I had trained them properly.

2015

Common Jobs

  • banker
  • any job to do with the internet, computer programming, social media, website management because it wasn't really used until the 1990s
  • computer developer
  • teacher
  • researcher
  • entrepreneur
  • male nurse
  • TV personality
  • reality TV
  • youtuber
  • engineer

Prerequisites

  • technological experience/skills
  • social media skills
  • college degree
  • interpersonal skills
  • open-mindedness
  • experience in field

Interview

I interviewed my mom, Andrea Hulcy. She has a BBA in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a MPA in Professional Accounting. Now 49, she works as the CFO of a small startup compnay, ID90 Travel.


Q: What are employers looking for in terms of character?

A: It depends on the job. Employers are looking for people with high moral character that they can trust. Social media now plays a huge role in the recruiting process because employers have the ability to “cyber-stalk” potential candidates to make sure they’re an appropriate cultural fit for their company.


Q: What are employers looking for in terms of personality?

A: You can have many different personalities that can still work together in the same corporate culture. Personality comes more into play in roles that require strong interpersonal skills as a part of their jobs, like sales or account management.


Q: How important to you is work life balance? Do you think it’s easier or harder today than it was when you entered the workforce?

A: At this point in my life, it’s very important. I’m married with two teenagers and family comes first. I'm fortunate to work for a startup company that has a corporate culture focused on deliverable and the value you bring to the company rather than the hours that you work every day with leadership that supports flexible work hours and family first.


Q: What have your experiences in the professional world taught you?

A: If it all possible, try to pursue a career path that aligns with your interests and what you have a passion for. And if you can’t do that early in your career, don’t be afraid to pursue it later.

Then and Now

Movies

Communication

Bibliography

Bettmann/Corbis, Drive-in-movie-theaters.com, Parade Magazine. Drive In Movie Theater. 1955. N.p.


Young, Leigh. 1950s Phone Call. 1950s. N.p.


Hulcy, Andrea. "Jobs in 2015." Personal interview. 7 Sept. 2015.


Archer, Mike. "Jobs in 1985." Telephone interview. 7 Sept. 2015.


Archer, Mike. "Jobs in 1955." Telephone interview. 7 Sept. 2015