The annual trek to the office for many kids has come and gone. Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day occurs every year on the fourth Thursday in April. I used to bring my daughter, Nicole, to the office I worked at many moons ago and we still reminisce about it. This year I brought my stepdaughter, Aimee.
I’m fortunate to work at a company that not only allows children to come in on special occasions but also encourages us to bring them in at other times too. So I often see little sunny faces lighting up the office environment every now and then.
This day, however, is special. We want the kids to learn about what we do, give them options to think about, introduce them to others in different departments to see what they do. Some of the kids know what their parents do (or at least have a general idea). The younger ones don’t really know or care, but they’re more than happy to come to the office to play foosball, checkers or tic tac toe! And the babies just get passed around for cuddles.
For older children, it’s a good time to discuss career options and exactly what goes into them. It’s a good time to ask them what they think you actually do at work all day and see how realistic their answers are.
It’s also a good time to ask your kid what she or he wants to do when they grow up. If your child doesn’t like grammar, he or she may not want to aspire to be a copywriter. Similarly, your math whiz may thrive in accounting but what he or she really wants to do for a living is be a sports figure. Now is the time to talk about dreams and goals and how to achieve them.
The reality of what goes into the day-to-day of mom’s or dad’s work life is often an eye-opener. I bought Aimee a miniature clipboard so she could write a to-do list and check off items as the day progressed. She saw that there’s a lot of research and interviewing I do to prepare for writing a blog post, brochure or white paper. She also saw firsthand how much I love what I do for a living.
I was about Aimee’s age when I made the decision to be a writer and set in place a plan to attend a university and get a degree. I was the first in our family to accomplish that. Before the whole bring your kids to work day became a national trend, I went to work with my parents occasionally. And while I didn’t go into my parent’s line of work, I did see their work ethic, which made a lasting impression.
If your company doesn’t allow you to bring your kids to work for whatever reason, there are other options you can use to educate them such as talking about your job and what it is you do, researching and discussing what is involved in other professions or even having their aunt, uncle, cousin or your friend take them to their job. (Plan for next year!)
You can also check out your local, state or federal government to see if they have a program such as the one in Florida at the State Capitol that brings in various agencies, universities and other organizations as well as offers interactive displays and activities.
Kids have the world as their oyster, and the more they’re exposed to different environments and ideas, the more opportunities they’ll have. From artist to attorney and everything in between, there are a plethora of careers to explore.
Currently, there is a huge push to get kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers, and at DCR, of course, many of our jobs are in those sectors. In addition to the fascinating career choices here, there’s also tons of fun to be had in the Innovation/Game area such as foosball!
Here’s a little snippet of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day – DCR style for your enjoyment:
Did you take your daughter or son to work with you? What were some of the funny things she or he said?
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