I’ll admit that I was not interested when my office offered a Bring Your Child To Work Day. I’ve been on the other end (organizational side) of this day in the past, and recall trying to set up events for the little ones to occupy the day.
But this time it was different. The local team put in some parameters: children had to be 6th, 7th, or 8th graders; they attend actual meetings with you; and there is designated time apart from you to do community work.
Yet, I was still uncertain, because I kept thinking, “I’ve got so much work to do. How do I make the time?” Then it hit me. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both me and my daughter.
I know that seems dramatic, but let me explain. Both my kids always ask about “work” and I’ve never shared a glimpse. Now I had a great opportunity to show my rising 6th-grader what it’s like to go to work for one day. That means we got to talk about work – what to wear, having a professional presence, shaking hands, coming up with new ways to answer the same question (like what’s your favorite thing to do), making small talk, contributing during meetings – and, of course, do work.
Both my daughter and I got tremendous value from that day. It gave me an opportunity to show my daughter how proud I am of her and the people I work with. And in the end, it gave her the confidence that she knows more about work than she realizes. For example, during a meeting she discussed what she wants to know about her new school, and we translated that into what employees want to know about a new job. Her insights reinforced that sometimes adults can overcomplicate things.
And as for my son who was upset because he wasn’t old enough to participate, he came in briefly later that day and took part in a carnival where we raised money for United Way. His perfect throw to send my colleague into the dunk tank may not have been the optimal work memory, but it too brought us closer together.
|Category:||Caring for Communities|
|Tags:||Bring Your Child To Work Day, education, employees, family, UPSers|