Most parents stop giving work advice once their kids get their first jobs. But 66 percent of adult children wish they wouldn’t! That’s just one tidbit uncovered during a CNBC segment featuring business journalist and author Suzy Welch, who talked about the concept of “Bring Your Parents to Work Day.”
Fear is an immediate reaction for some at the thought of actually having your parents tag along to workplace, or even telling your parents what your job actually entails. Welch said that was a natural reaction, as parents can tend to be over-protective and may encourage their kids to avoid any risks. They could also end up asking things like, “Are you sure you have this job [under control]?”
Another fear is the worry parents will launch into embarrassing stories of childhood. Perhaps they’d bring up how you grew up wanting to be an iceberg mover, fortune cookie writer or dog food taster (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
Welch pointed out that, fears aside, parents can be valuable resources with loads of lifelong experience. They’ve been there, done that. They’ve made their own mistakes and reached their own pinnacles of success. Parents can serve as yet another mentor on your own career journey.
While Welch isn’t exactly sure what her own son does in his gaming industry position, she does prescribe to the concept of “lighthouse parenting.” The opposite of helicopter parents that ceaselessly hover around their kids, lighthouse parents give their children a safe beacon on the shoreline, so to speak, with the freedom to navigate the world on their own.
Her input into her son’s job often consists of questions designed to bring career-enhancing thoughts and ideas to the forefront of his mind. She may ask things like:
- Are you still learning?
- Are you taking enough risks?
- What does over-delivering look like in your industry?
A Father’s Best Advice Ever
A prime example of valuable parental advice came from CNBC correspondent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera during the segment. When she was going on a business trip early in her career, her dad said to never lie on an expense report – no matter what. Even if it’s just a $10 business lunch and you lost the receipt, he told her don’t make it up. Don’t fake it. It’s the biggest reason people get fired.
While that advice may sound like common sense to many, it may not be so obvious to a 20-something new at his or her job. And even if it is, Welch noted, there’s no harm in repeating beneficial tips again and again.
So the next time you’re inclined to talk about the weather or your parents’ health, think about asking for thoughts or input on your career. Welch reported 45 percent of parents have an opinion but tend to withhold it, thinking their kids don’t want to hear it.
But why not? Even if your parents don’t offer guidance on a specific topic, you’ll be able to hear yourself think out loud. And you’ll also have a chance to gather input from the two people known for continuously having your best interests at heart.
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