I remember as a child being fascinated by where my Dad worked. It was this building full of computers and people dressed all fancy and my Dad spent hours and hours there every single day. What did they do? What was going on behind those locked doors? He’d take me in every so often if he needed to stop by on a weekend and I can still being impressed by everything, and by his staff calling him “Mr. Taylor”.
My kids don’t get to enjoy that sort of experience with my work because I actually tend to work either at home or in any of a dozen favorite coffee shops. So “take your kid to work day” ends up looking a whole lot like “let’s go to Starbucks!” which is too bad, because I think a little bit of mystique is a good thing. Children wanting to work, have a career and succeed is just good parenting.
I used to have an office. Heck, I used to work for corporations back in the day, but that was before my minions gained self-awareness. Not much point in “take a newborn to work day” is there?
And yet I’m determined to get them more involved with things, though what I’d really like to do is take them to trade shows, but that’s really difficult to pull off when they involve travel because I can’t then leave them solo in a hotel room while I go back and network, attend parties, grab a drink with a rep, etc.
So an interim solution was to bring my 11yo K- along to a meeting I had last week at the Louisville Public Library. It was a sort of hybrid meeting because four of us were physically in the room and two more joined us via a Google Hangout, one from Denver and another from the East Coast. K- tucked into the corner and while she spent much of her time playing on her iPod Touch, she was definitely listening to what was going on.
Work has goals in mind, but it’s not terrifying or intimidating. We can even joke and enjoy ourselves in meetings, even — like this particular meeting — when there’s some tension between the parties involved.
Rather by good luck, the meeting also had a good mix of male and female attendees, because one of those other tricky things to demonstrate when you don’t work in an office is the benefit of gender balance, ethnic balance, etc, in the workplace.
Not there yet. But our meeting at the library was a start, and afterwards K- told me that she enjoyed herself and liked meeting all the people I work with. So I’ll chalk that up as a win…