Have you ever tried to explain your role as a content strategist to your parents? How about a search engine optimization specialist? Well, now is your chance to bring your parents to work and show them exactly what you do every day.
Turning the idea of bringing your kids to work on its head – an activity many of us can recall from our youth – LinkedIn has designated Nov. 7 as “Bring in Your Parents Day.” The global initiative, according to LinkedIn, offers parents the chance to better understand what their children do and how they do it, so that they can provide better support for their kids.
LinkedIn decided to start the event after realizing that parents of young professionals today did not quite understand their children’s chosen profession. According to their survey, 35 per cent of parents confessed to not being completely familiar with their child’s work, while 59 per cent of parents expressed interest in learning more. Half of the respondents surveyed said they could be of greater benefit to their children professionally if they understood their work better.
LinkedIn ran a trial of “Bring in Your Parents Day” in their Dublin office. The event allowed parents to check out their child’s workplace, mingle and meet with colleagues and bosses, and learn more about the company their kids work for.
LinkedIn has already enlisted companies such as Edelman Financial, Deutsche Bank and Logitech International to participate. LinkedIn isn’t the first to see value in this concept. Google held its second annual “Take Your Parents to Work Day” in May, welcoming more than 2,000 parents to its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Janet Paskin, the assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and editor of Businessweek.com, thinks the idea has merit. “There’s something thrilling about seeing an adult child thriving in the world of work, moving effectively among colleagues who will never know that he slept with a baby blanket until he was 17,” she wrote.
However, she also said the event had a hint of insensitivity about it. “It’s also a little offensive, oblivious to the fact that people over 50 have been among the hardest hit by the economic shifts of the past decade, priced out and aged out of the changing job market,” Ms. Paskin said.
While bringing your parents to work in North America might seem unusual, it’s not uncommon in other parts of the world, such as India and Latin America. “As the world gets more diverse, this is a way to link to other cultures where involving parents is a way to show them honour,” Purdue University management professor Ellen Ernst Kossek told USA Today.
Bruce Tulgan, a workplace consultant, agrees that bringing your parents to work is a sound strategy, since it can positively affect recruitment and retention.
“Employers think parents are more likely to see the value of the tangible and intangible benefits of the job,” Mr. Tulgan told USA Today.
So, if you’re not worried about your dad asking for a raise on your behalf, or your mom grilling your boss on your hours, you might consider taking them to work on Thursday. If you’re lucky, they’ll pack you a lunch.