Learn the difference between right and wrong. Respect your elders. Say “please and “thank you.” Work hard and be honest. Don’t give up and always try your best. Play nicely with others and learn how to share.
These are all lessons we teach our children so they will be prepared to be contributing members of society and generally good adults. Another opportunity to prepare your kids that is often overlooked is how to enter and successfully navigate through their career.
In todays job market it is a tough place full of competition and opportunities. There is an array of methods to obtaining employment. These basic skills are important to their success: writing an effective resume, dressing appropriately and handling themselves in an interview setting. Teaching children how to conduct themselves in a professional manner in the workplace can be crucial to keeping the great job they just landed. Even more specific ideas like what college major to pick, what school to go to and how to get a good internship are great ways to help your children get ahead of their competition.
Let’s be honest, at some point your kids will likely start tuning you out, but if you can plant these seeds for success, you will be helping them more than they will know.
Young adults or recently graduated often lack the common business sense on how to conduct themselves. Once they have entered the professional world they can no longer use the “reply all” button, friend their boss on Facebook, use their email address of firstname.lastname@example.org or post last weekend’s party pictures on the web. Teach your kids to observe the social cues in their new work environment to determine accepted norms related to attire, communication and fraternization policies. These often “unspoken rules” are keys to creating successful professional perceptions in the workplace. One lesson my dad taught me was to “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” It is important to be seen as someone who is driven and motivated and your appearance contributes to this perception.
In the end, all we can do as parents is arm our children with as much information, insight and wisdom as possible. Once they have “grown up,” it will be time to learn many lessons on their own. We hope that we have taught them the difference between right and wrong, to respect their elders and to say “please” and “thank you.” We hope that they work hard and are honest. We hope they don’t give up and always try their best. At least we can know that we have given them the opportunity to get off on the right foot in their professional lives.