Would you accompany your adult child to his or her job interview?
by Lisa Fogarty
Remember when you turned 18 and the delicious promise of a life unchained from the shackles of your parents was all you could think about? Or maybe your independent streak didn't strike until you graduated college and bought your first Ann Taylor business suit, which you wore once and only once on that job interview where you lied about your Excel skills?
Now imagine your mom or dad had accompanied you to your interview. And then, a year later, sat in at your professional review as you sheepishly tried to negotiate your salary up from pennies to quarters. Sound like the stuff of adolescent nightmares?
Not in this day and age of helicopter parenting.
Some big employers are actually trying to appeal to their working Millennials' strong parental bonds by inviting moms and dads to interviews and salary negotiations and even sending cute notes home when their young workers achieve their sales goals.
Yep, sort of like report cards.
Companies like Northwestern Mutual claim that involving parents has become a common best practice that boosts morale among workers in their early 20s up to their (get this) early 30s.
To make matters even more sad, the sending home of progress reports to mommy and daddy actually works. According to Northwestern Mutual, more interns are meeting their sales goals than ever before because of these practices.
Okay, so first of all: a 22-year-old is not a child and a 30-year-old is -- no room for debate here -- definitely not a child. The fact that so many Millennials have been coddled to the point where they can't venture out into the work world without looking back over their shoulder to see if mom is smiling is depressing.
If I were to receive a letter from my daughter's employer asking me to sit in on her interview, I would respectfully decline. Then I would hope like hell my daughter doesn't absorb from this message that she is not fully her own woman and is being thought of as incapable of making her own decisions and holding her own as a professional.
Young adults are going to make mistakes. And they should perspire slightly before walking into an office -- alone -- to negotiate their salary. But at the end of the day, when they realize they've held their own before their boss and are solely responsible for improving their careers, the confidence and strength they'll gain is well worth the anxiety and few minutes of discomfort they'll experience.
Would you accompany your child to his or her job interview?