How To Talk With Your Millennial Kids About Work

November 1, 2016
in Kids

By Marilyn Kennedy Melia, Next Avenue Contributor Here’s a suggestion for boomer and Gen X parents struggling to get their Millennial kids to engage in conversation with them: Ask them about their work. The trick is, however, knowing how to do it — and how not to. As the mother of two grown sons, I can attest that asking, “How’s work going?” is the surest way to ignite an intimate talk when they call or when you call them. The topic of work is safer than, say, romantic relationships. And there’s a good chance your kids would like to hear your advice about work challenges they’re facing. Parents Are Work Role Models Research shows that many recent grads see their parents as work role models. In a Bentley University survey of 1,000 college-degreed Millennials in 2012, only 2% said they’d found a mentor at work, but 25% viewed their mother as a career inspiration and 16 looked to their father. Credit: Shutterstock Bentley management professor Susan Adams says: “When I ask students who they view as an inspiring business person, they often cite their parents or a parent as examples. Years ago, they tended to mention someone famous.” At work, explains Adams, young people may seek out a mentor, “but your full essence is kind of shielded in a business setting. They turn to a parent because that person knows them well and they trust in their support.” Talking to Dad About Work Issues Phillip Gazca, 29, is now regional director at Xperience Real Estate – Keller Williams in Bryan/College Station, Texas. As he moved up in his real estate career, he recalls, “I started having a much greater appreciation for what my dad did. My father was a nurse, and eventually built a home-health...

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