I don’t know about you, but when I hit my early thirties I realised, possibly with a little reluctance, that my parents often knew best. It wasn’t universal; there were still things they got horrendously wrong but, by and large, much of the advice they’d given me when younger had proved to be correct.
As if to prove the point that parents do sometimes get it right, a new survey published by online professional network LinkedIn has revealed that parents stop giving career advice way too soon. In the UK, 19% of people in the workforce said that career advice had ceased when they got their first job, despite 37% of those questioned claiming they’d been given too little career advice from their parents (over 20,000 people were surveyed internationally by Opinium, just over 2,000 from the UK).
The findings have been released on the run up to the third LinkedIn Bring In Your Parents Day (BIYP), which takes place on Thursday, 5 November. As you have probably figured out, BIYP is an annual event during which you are encouraged to take mum or dad into your workplace so they can learn about your job.
Last year I had the pleasure of being invited into LinkedIn’s UK headquarters for a briefing about BIYP and you can read about it here (you may also wish to read this guest post on the subject from my mother). Over 25,000 companies took part in 2014 and this year companies including tech giant Samsung and mobile phone specialist Doro have signed up.
The survey also found that 41% of parents often find themselves with an opinion to offer but refrain from giving it. This is because;
• over half, 58%, believe children have to make their own decisions as an adult
• many, 35%, felt their advice might be out of date.
To further prove the need for BIYP day, 26% admitted they aren’t familiar with what their child does for a living. Not too surprisingly, only 23% of children feel their parents understand what they do.
LinkedIn worked with Dr Alexandra Beauregard from the London School of Economics on the study. Dr Beauregard has researched the influence of families in the workplace. Commenting on the findings, she said; “Parents know they are one of the most important factors in shaping their child’s upbringing; however this input usually drops off once they enter the full-time workforce. A big reason for this is parents feel like they know less about what their child is doing. BIYP is a great way for parents to understand what their child does and all the useful advice they still have to give.”
LinkedIn has even coined a new phrase; Lighthouse Parenting. It suggests a parent who inspires their children and is a “beacon of encouragement” but isn’t too overbearing and, equally, doesn’t take too much of a step back.
I’ll be quite frank, I generally try to avoid using such phrases. Even so, I have often wondered what kind of careers advice I’ll give when I’m older and the aims of the lighthouse parent sound laudable.
Darain Faraz of LinkedIn UK said: Parents can be a valuable part of their child’s career and an important source of advice and guidance. Our research shows that almost half of parents have an opinion on their child’s work situation but often hold back because they don’t fully understand what they do for a living.
“Bring In Your Parents Day is a great way for professionals across the UK to help their parents fully understand what they do, and encourage them to continue sharing expertise and support with them throughout their career.”
You can find out more about Bring In your Parents Day by following this link. You can also join the conversation on twitter by following @LinkedInUK and the hastag #BIYP.
What do you think about BIYP day? Will you take part or encourage your employer to sign up? Do you think your parents truly understand what you do for a living? Please leave a comment below.