Monday, April 11, 2011


Femme Fatale (Gouache on Wood) by Octavine IllustrationMy daughter Anna diligently writes a great blog called  the Classy Career Girl  which leads me to make a comparison between the classy career girl of today and the vintage career girl of the 60s and 70s. 
  • In the 60s and early 70s women almost always majored in education, nursing or sociology -  today they have majors all over the spectrum and there are NO LIMITS to what they can accomplish. 
  • Employment ads in all the national newspapers were then divided between female and male job openings.   Today the job search takes full advantage of current technology with no indication of gender.
  • Managers had secretaries and, of course, my first job (even though I was a college graduate) was secretary to a Personnel Manager (now known as Human Resources).  Fortunately, I worked for a rather progressive female who I respected and learned a lot from.  
  • I'm not exactly sure what the college graduates are getting for starting salaries these days, but I know it exceeds my $118.00 per week. I managed to live in Manhattan, New York on that salary in 1969.     
  • While living in New York in 1969, I shopped at Alexander's and Orhbach's for discounted clothing - today I think it would be Marshalls and Ross.  I loved to walk through Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales and look at all of the fancy apparel, accessories and cosmetics.  Saks and Bloomingdales were then unique to just a few cities, so shopping in NYC was a very big deal. 
  • In those days you needed to be at least age 26 with a good income in order to qualify for a credit card.  Needless to say we frequented banks and deposited our checks and we were forced to live within our means.  I think we all did.  You could only spend what you had - it was all pretty simple.  Frankly, it still is that simple-- (if we forget about keeping up with the Jones's).
  • No Starbucks - just the best New York  coffee anywhere - we would stand in the "to go" line at the delicatessen to purchase it on our way to work.  Even the coffee carts had good coffee.   Maybe I should also mention the warm buttered corn muffins.  
  • I  walked everywhere with comfortable shoes - I still do.   How can these career girls wear the high heels day in and day out?  
            Illustration from Octavine Illustration.