When I bring my girls into the office, they see my “work friends” as they call them. They come and play, laugh, ask questions and explore. They write all over my white board. They leave cute notes for people that aren’t at their desks. They have fun.
Why is this so important? It’s more than the obvious answer of them wanting to have a positive image of where you work every day. That is very important. But there are more reasons.
Here are some that you might not have considered:
- It’s good for your kids to see that how you interact with others at work. Do you make them laugh? Do they look up to you? What type of influence do you have? Let your kids see you as the leader you are. They will come to admire that about you, and you will be modeling that behavior for them (again, we’re back to the role modeling mentioned so often in my blog posts)
- It’s good for your kids to understand what it is you do. Kids like to be proud of their parents. They want to brag about them. To a kid, any career a parent has is cool if they understand the impact it has. Share your company’s story, mission and values with your kids, and talk about how you fit into it.
- It gives them a glimpse into the grown-up world. When you talk to them about participating on a team (such as your family team), about doing their share to help the team (such as their chores) and about expectations and consequences, you’re painting an picture of how the world works for them. That image is reinforced at school. Why not reinforce it with your job as well?
- It gives them a chance to meet other people and learn about different careers. When you tour the office and introduce your kids to your co-workers, let your co-workers explain what it is they do. Let your kids ask questions. Let your co-workers talk about what education they needed for the role they have, what types of cool projects they get on, etc. Not only will your kids learn more about different opportunities that they could explore, but you might learn a little bit more about your co-workers.
Your career is an important part of who you are—it contributes to your personal growth, sense of accomplishment, and life achievements. It complements your role as a spouse, son/daughter, sibling, and of course, parent. Let your kids have a window to that important part of you—and let your co-workers see you in your role as a parent.