• RSS Feed

The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

November 7, 2013 / Molly Moseley

Do your parents really know what you do for a job?

She works in IT. He has a job in marketing. She is a sales manager. When your parents are asked what you do for a living, are these the kind of vague answers they give? While they may know what your job is in general, it’s unlikely that they really comprehend what you do each day. This generational lack of understanding is becoming the norm.

In the age of social media, mobile devices and ever-changing technology, job responsibilities can be vastly different for a particular position even within a few years’ period. Parents of adult children may not comprehend some jobs and the responsibilities – some of which didn’t even exist just a decade ago.

In fact, according to a LinkedIn survey, approximately one-third (35 percent) of parents do not fully understand what their children do for a living. Does this sound like your parents?

Now at this point you might be nodding your head yes, but wondering why it really matters if your parents understand your job. Well, your parents – whether retired or not – have great career advice to give. After years of experience, they are bound to have a few nuggets of wisdom, right? Furthermore, it’s all about building your network. Once your parents comprehend what you really do all day, the light bulb may turn on as they realize they know others who are in a similar industry or have similar responsibilities. Boom – you just drastically expanded your professional circle.

And of course, what better way is there to bond with mom and pop than invite them into your world? Not the world of giggling kids or holiday celebrations, but your professional world where you are making dedicated contribution to an organization.

Born from these ideas comes Bring Your Parents to Work Day. You read it right – a real day where workers are encouraged to bring their parents to work for part of all of the work day. LinkedIn has even officially designated the day to be today, Nov. 7, in which companies from around the world are inviting workers’ parents in to learn more about what their children do each and every day.

You may remember a time or two visiting your parents at work, being fascinated by the environment and the people they work with. You may have even participated in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day – which just celebrated 20 years last April. Whether in an official capacity or just a casual afternoon at the office, you likely learned a lot and found a new appreciation for what your parents did. Likewise, this new day provides the same opportunity for your parents now that you’re a career go-getter.

So next time you talk with your parents, ask them what you do for a job. You might be surprised at the answer. Then invite them to visit you at work – even if it’s a long lunch and walk around the office to meet your colleagues. You might be surprised at the new-found respect they have for your career and professional goals.