Do your parents know what you do for a living? I remember trying to explain to my dad that I worked as a copywriter in an ad agency. I showed him an ad I’d proudly written for a new home builder. It had run in the SF Chronicle and featured a picture of new waterfront condos for sale.
“See?” I beamed. “I wrote this.”
“This?” he asked.
“Yeah, all this,” I said, pointing to the headline: Cool Summer Savings — New Condos Starting at $599K.
“Oh,” he said.
After a pause he said cautiously, “Somebody paid you to write that?”
It probably wasn’t the best example.
Similarly, my friend PJ’s dad doesn’t know what she does either. She owns a wedding and event planning business, designing beautiful weddings, handling event logistics and managing her own marketing and sales. Yet, her dad thinks she manages setting tables at events! (Oh dads, you’re the best.)
At least we’re not alone — according to a LinkedIn survey, a third of parents don’t know what their kids do. Last November, LinkedIn started Bring In Your Parents Day, an event where workplaces encourage their employees to invite their parents to visit. LinkedIn says the idea behind helping parents understand what their kids do is that parents can relate more to their kids and offer better advice. Which, in turn, makes for happier, well-rounded employees.
It sounds hokey, but I’d be down for it. After all, now that my job involves more than just copywriting, it’s even harder to explain what I do. When my parents ask, I say, “I put coupons online,” which is pretty much not at all what I do. Ha!
What do you think? Would you bring your parents in if your workplace hosted Bring Your Parents to Work Day?
(Top photo of my sister Sophie working on a treadmill desk; bottom photo of my parents and Petrie)