This chapter explores the process of growing up through the domain of work in an Indonesian provincial town. It focuses on university-educated youth in the provincial city of Pontianak. The chapter begins by asking how non-Chinese youth justify their PNS aspirations, and aims to understand how limited chances, unfair competition and ethnic prejudice shape their dreams and anxieties in their quest for upward mobility. It finds that family is particularly important to them. Work aspirations are less about identity construction than about securing a livelihood that enables young people to fulfill family obligations. To help solve the three puzzles, the chapter describes how Pontianak's labour market has historically been shaped by ethnic relations. It highlights the experience of educated young people's transition to work in a provincial town in a developing country. Work aspirations in the process of education-to-work transitions are framed by structural opportunities rather than by individual choice. Keywords: education-to-work transitions; ethnic relations; Indonesian provincial town; PNS aspirations; Pontianak; Pontianak's labour market; university-educated youth

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