Why Young People Should Take Their Parents to Work

A recent survey by LinkedIn revealed that American parents may be in the dark when it comes to knowing what their kids do for a living. 35% of parents confessed to not really understanding what their child does as a career. Moreover, 59% of parents want to know more about what their child does for work while 50% believe they could help their children on the career front if they could just understand what they do all day. 

Experts say that family involvement in children’s professional life is vital for their career advancement and personal development. Parents share a lot of wisdom and experience and can give valuable advice on negotiating salaries, dealing with difficult bosses and providing feedback on key career decisions.

Bring Your Parents to Work Day

LinkedIn strives to bring employees and their parents together in the workplace with the Bring Your Parents to Work Day initiative which was recently organised in 14 countries. Parents had the opportunity to see first-hand what their child does and how the work environment looks like. LinkedIn invited companies from all around the world to open their doors to give employee’s parents some knowledge into where they work.

Richard Hungerford, a Millennial CEO at BrightKit - a social media company based in Vancouver - was one of those bosses who immediately registered to run a Bring In Your Parents Day at his business. He says that "We often joked about our parents not knowing what we do so we felt like this was a perfect opportunity to explain what we do on a daily basis and show off our work."

Parents are often confused about emerging careers in new fields such as social media. Hector Hermandez, a senior business relationship manager at LinkedIn in New York used the event as a chance to show his parents the value of his job.  Hector says that "Since I graduated from college, I got into marketing, I got into tech, and my parents have never really understood what I do. My parents, they're professors, they know academia very well, but they don't have a single clue how you make money in Internet. They can come and see this is what I do. This is how I add value to society”.

Parents Are Valuable Advice-Givers

Although some parents may be ignorant of the value of their children’s job or the new trends in the job market, this doesn’t mean that they cannot help their children progress. Parents are often overlooked as an important part of someone’s professional network and often end up an untapped source for career advice. Research has shown that involving parents in the professional life of young people can lead to a more successful career. A study published in the Journal of Extension in 2006 reports that those with supportive and engaging parents had a better transition into the workplace. 

Madeline Levine, parenting expert and clinical psychologist, claims that the visits could bridge the gap between the “digital natives and us immigrants”. Conversely, LinkedIn executives highlight that parents can provide valuable advice about work and have a lot of wisdom to share with their children as long as they know exactly what their children do at work.

On the whole, parents should have a better understanding of what their children do at work so that they give them proper advice. LinkedIn’s initiative to organise an ‘Open Day’ for employee’s parents was an excellent opportunity for parents to get to know what their children do at work and unmask many of the unknown aspects of emerging professions that baby boomer parents were not aware of.

Finally, Check out the slideshow with 10 funny job-related memes. Do you identify with any of the statements mentioned?


1. Bloggers

Bloggers - No, we are not all hermits.

2. SEO

Search Engine Optimization - Yes, this does have meaning to it.

3. Data Analyst

Data Analyst - It seems vague but is a highly valued job role for many companies.

4. Government Doctors

Government Doctors - It’s much more than a big salary!

5. Journalists

Journalists - There is more to chasing the story than meets the eye.

6. Office Admin Assistant

Office Admin Assistant - We don’t just file documents all day... we have a computer for that.

7. Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer - It’s not all about keeping physically fit. Apparently.

8. Science Teacher

Science Teacher - They could have been rocket scientists but chose to give something back to the community by becoming a teacher...hmm

9. Social Media Manager

Social Media Manager - It’s not all Facebook you know!

10. Video Game Editor

Video Game Editor - A job where the job title is far more fun than the job.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!