Learning About the Job

On April 26, thousands of your future job candidates learned about career opportunities by participating in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. While it is a once-a-year event, the program can serve as a model for encouraging young people to explore careers.

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The Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation features a wealth of information at its website. The Foundation encourages companies to make the connection between the workplace and everyday life, by initially explaining what your company does and how it affects people and then allowing children to participate in activities where they actually “work” as opposed to just watch.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is geared for participants 8 to 18 years of age, although the Foundation notes that individual employers set their own guidelines.

On the Job

If you’re at a loss as to how children might spend the day at your company, the Foundation offers workshop ideas. These include the following suggestions for a corporate environment:

  • Accounting. Have the accounting department create worksheets on how to manage a budget and the importance of money management. For a project, girls and boys can create accounts with “vendors” they think would be good for the company to have relationships with.
  • Advertising/Marketing. Have an advertising employee or the creative director conduct a workshop that allows the girls and boys to learn about the advertising and marketing industry. Explain how it affects the company and then have girls and boys create their own ads or marketing materials. Bring samples of what your company has done in the past to give them ideas.
  • Human Resources. Have an HR professional or the entire HR team conduct a workshop where they interview the participants and vice versa.
  • Payroll. Have a member of the payroll department demonstrate how employees get paid. Explain how time off is factored in (sick/personal/vacation), federal and state deductions, and savings plan deductions. Handouts can include sample time sheets and paychecks.
  • Public Relations. Have the public relations team work with the students to write an op-ed, a pitch letter, press release, or media advisory.
  • Publications. Have the students create a one-page newsletter, or an idea for a brochure. Briefly explain what the publishing industry is all about and why there is a publishing department in the company.
  • Online/website. Show the girls and boys the company website and explain how it benefits your organization. For example, is it used primarily as a communications tool or is it a vital part of your sales strategy?

The Foundation website also includes suggests for other workplaces; among these are construction site, restaurant, and university environments.

Encouraging Involvement

Why participate in Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day or other job shadowing/student work events?
Showcasing your company as a place to work resonates with parents as well as their children, and could have immediate payback in terms of job candidates. But more important, you are giving future members of the workforce a chance to learn how education translates to employment and how interests can lead to careers. By opening the door to your workplace, you are opening the door to new possibilities for program participants—and, in the not-too-distant future, maybe new employees for your company.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.