If You Hate Your Job, How Do You Explain This to Your Child?

Do You Want Your Child To Follow In Your Footsteps?

Every year in the US this idea that you should take your child to work for a day to show them what you do for a living is promoted. Many people don’t do it because they work under conditions that are unsafe for children to be around, but if you work in an office its often a good opportunity to educate the child on how ordinary people really earn a living. Do we really want out children seeing first hand what we do for a living? Many of us have jobs we hate, or bosses we hate, and we have to lie to the kid at this point and act like everything at work is wonderful and we’re oh so happy to be there.

This all plays into the idea that we are told its important to include our family in everything. Even including your children in your work is considered beneficial, because it supposedly encourages the child to see what the real world of working adults is like. If you’re someone who does something you really love, this is a great idea. If you’re an artist and you take your child to your art studio to see how you create things, it can be a wonderful experience.

But what if you are someone like Dwight Schrute from the TV show The Office? You spend your days in the mind numbing task of selling paper products on the phone, and secretly ignore your duties so you can play Sim City when no one is looking. Half of the people in your office think you are insane, and the other half spend their work days pulling pranks on you. Is this really the kind of good example that is going to help your child grow up to be a well adjusted, productive member of society?

Vice Presidential candidate for the 2012 election, Paul Ryan, tells us that we have too many “takers” in this society and its at a dangerous level. We need to generate more "makers" apparently, or the economy is headed for a future cliff of our own making. Yet many people truly hate their jobs. They are mind numbingly boring, or they pay poorly, but because of circumstances beyond our control, they are the best we can do at the moment.

Exposing kids to this situation runs contrary to what we are told to teach them at home. That is, that they can do anything and be anything they want, as long as they believe and work hard. Yet mom and dad are busy making plastic dashboard parts in the factory, or selling office paper products. Who dreamed about doing that for a living when they were a child? Take your child to work day can really be a bad idea. Better to let them live in the imaginary world where they think they can become an astronaut, or a vice president, for a little while longer.