When I was growing up, I was one of the only kids in my class whose mom worked. She had her own business and, in a lot of ways, she was a mentor to me — she loved her job, she worked hard at it, and she managed to raise my sister and me through it all.
Like my mother, I love working too. I’ve been a financial writer for some time now and it pleases me to know that my mother is proud of me. However, when it comes to actually talking to my mom about how work is going, I see her eyes glaze over. From her perspective, my working life is a flurry of deadlines, meetings and…well, I don’t think she’s all that clear exactly what my work days are all about.
She’s not alone. According to a Linkedin survey more than a third of parents don’t understand what their children do at work and, what’s interesting is that more than half of parents want to find out. As a result, the folks at Linkedin are calling for a “Bring Your Parents to Work Day” on November 7th. It’s not a bad idea: we’ve been asked to bring our kids to work for years, so why not help our parents see what we do all day?
Maybe I should invite my mom along on my typical work day, though I’m not sure that would be the best idea at client meetings – for one thing, she has way too much information on my childhood and adolescence that she’s not shy about sharing. On the other hand, it might be nice if she actually understood what my work entails. You’d be surprised how many jobs are misunderstood by parents. Here’s a list compiled by Linkedin of the top most misunderstood jobs by Canadian parents (erm…who doesn’t understand what a fashion designer does?):
1. Sub editor (74 per cent)
2. Data scientist (72 per cent)
3. Actuary (66 per cent)
4. Social media manager (65 per cent)
5. PR manager (60 per cent)
6. Sociologist (58 per cent)
7. Radio producer (55 per cent)
8. Fashion designer (49 per cent
9. Engineer (46 per cent)
10. Sports team manager (45 per cent)
Would you bring your parents to work with you on November 7? Share your thoughts below.
Money expert Caroline Cakebread has been writing for Chatelaine.com since 2006. She is a recovering academic and the mother of two small kids. She lives in Toronto where she writes and reads about all things financial. Follow Caroline at Twitter.com/ccakebread.