Messages we give our children about work

by Barrie Hopson on November 26, 2009 · 0 comments

in Flexible working,New ways of working,portfolio careers

When we did our book launch last week there was a very interesting question relating to the generational differences regarding concepts of work and career patterns. The more I thought about this the more I was reminded not so much of generational differences but family differences. We have all heard of families who have had no role models of people having paid jobs for a generation or more. In spite of that some kids do pick up other messages whether from school, the media or peer groups so that they do rise out of this. But I was fascinated to read the following  from Erika Lucas(featured in our new stories section today) in our LinkedIn group on portfolio careers.

“I think it’s interesting to see what ‘messages’ about work this increasingly common approach conveys to the younger generation. My oldest son is now 15 and has never seen an example of a ‘conventional’ working pattern where you go off to work booted and suited in the morning, answer to someone else and switch off at the end of the day!. He has seen ‘work’ taking place anytime from 5am in the morning to 12 o’clock at night (thankfully, rarely) – has had it inconveniently interfering with his social arrangements – but has also benefitted from the flexibility it brings to the family (yes, I can bring your PE kit up to school so you don’t get detention!). I’m not sure what his expectations of working life will be ………………”

I made a reference to Erica’s point in answering the question alongside the realisation that had also been true for my 2 grown up children and also for Katie’s 2 young children today. When I was growing up work, a job or a career always meant leaving the house early morning and not coming back until early evening. No wonder I was never attracted to it. Lets hear the views of others on this topic.

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