AMiable Solution #320: Kids in the Workplace
Updated: May 21, 2019
Yesterday, millions of people—nearly 40 million, if you go by last year’s numbers—gathered their briefcases and their children for a day in the office in honor of “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
Originally created in 1993 to introduce girls to the workplace and later expanded in 2003 to include boys, this annual event provides parents with an opportunity to teach their kids about their chosen careers and to get their kids thinking about their own talents and aspirations.
According to the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation, the importance of this event goes even further: “Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future, and allowing them to begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success.”
Even if you didn’t bring a child to your work environment, or if your office doesn’t participate in a program for the day, you can still help educate students about the kind of work your organization does and the opportunities your industry provides. And you don’t have to wait until the fourth Thursday of April to do it.
Why does this matter? Two years ago, Monster.com reported a personnel shortage in ten major job categories, with health care, social assistance, and manufacturing jobs leading the charge. Exposing students to these career fields—and to yours—early gives hope for a strong future in all areas of employment.
What can you and your office do to educate and encourage students into your field of choice?
Elementary-aged kids. Get your company involved in local events or charities and invite not only your employees to get involved, but also their families. Helping kids understand the mission and heart of an organization, and helping them see that jobs are about more than just making money could help them identify their passions and develop more realistic pictures of work life.
Teenagers and college-aged kids. Offer an internship or mentoring program, or coordinate with local schools to create specific projects and challenges with students. Even if it brings students into your environment for just a few days, exposing them to the realities of your industry or profession can help them make important life choices.
What will you do for today’s youth and tomorrow’s industries? ?