The concept of bringing kids and pets to the workplace has been part of pop culture for decades with the thought it brings a bit of a symbiotic experience. Even if bringing kids into the workplace can sometimes be risky once they become rowdy, the fulfillment of teaching kids what the reality of the work world looks like is one that still goes on. And if pets may not learn much about your work environment, everyone bringing their pets to work in a controlled environment can alleviate the tedium of the same old thing every day.
That may have been part of the idea behind “Bring In Your Parents Day” started by LinkedIn last year. It was a blazingly original idea and one that made us realize our parents may never really know what exactly we’re doing for a living. With many jobs and careers entailing different procedures that are too complicated to explain, you’ll be surprised how many kids of parents never bother to explain what they do. All some parents know is the basic category of career their children work in, though usually can’t describe anything else to curious people.
This might seem frustrating when you want your parents to understand exactly what you do so they can explain it right to people you know. I’ve gone through the same issue working as a freelance writer on the net for the last seven years. Sometimes my career was described as “working on the computer”, which probably envisioned fifty different careers to those listening. Others might assume I was an IT guy when they hear the word “computer.”
For some reason, the word “writer” never seemed to get into the conversation, despite being understandable that the word “computer” would be part of my official job title. Eventually, my own parents understood what I was doing enough where I didn’t have to worry about how it was described. One reason is because I work from home so I didn’t have to take them to a workplace to describe exactly what I do.
But would you follow Linked-In’s new trend and bring your parents to your workplace for a day? While there’s been some criticism over the idea, you might find it beneficial under certain circumstances.
Demonstrating What You Do So It’s Understandable
The immediate benefit of having your parents at your job site is to demonstrate firsthand what you do so you don’t have to describe it without visuals. Some job tasks are just impossible to describe if they’re overly technical. While they still might not understand completely, visuals can help them describe your daily job routines to other people who want to know.
Your only concern might be what the media describes as helicopter parenting where the parents can too involved in giving you advice about your work life. CNN did a piece on this as a warning to those who might have overly demanding parents. Then again, a “Bring In Your Parents Day” may have to involve some stipulations beforehand as a promise your parents won’t meddle in anything other than just observing.
Much like bringing your kids, there has to be some planning so it isn’t spur of the moment when the wrong things could be said. Most of all, it can give a learning experience to your parents who likely lived through a vastly different work culture than what exists now. Older parents will remember a time when an office just had a typewriter and analog phone rather than a computer, which is already considered to be eons ago. Despite seeming so long ago, it really wasn’t all that long ago when you realize computers weren’t even used in workplaces extensively until well into the 1980s.
Now you can teach them about things like the “Bring Your Own Device” policy and just how wireless office technology is now. More so, you can show them that far more education and specialized skill is needed to get the type of job you may have. No more will you have your parents speculating you’re just sitting behind a desk shuffling papers all day.
The same goes if you work in the entertainment industry and showing the sometimes challenging lifestyle of an actor on a TV or film set. This goes beyond celebrities only bringing their parents to award shows where the realities of the business aren’t usually reflected.