Turn the Table
A conversation about meaningful work
Do your children know what you do for a living? Could they explain your career clearly to someone? Your children are trying to figure out who they are, and one of the ways they develop their identity is in knowing who you are and why you do what you do. This conversation starter will turn the table around and allow them to ask you some questions as a way for them to discover more about you. Be courageous – hand your phone over to your children (or whatever device you use to bring up these articles) and answer the questions as honestly as you want them to be.
How was work today?
You have read the rest of this blog by the time your child asks you this question so you are prepared. You may start with the adolescent tone, “fine” or “I dunno” just get them to smile. Then be real – was it a bit stressful? Did you experience a milestone or breakthrough? Examine your day and share something significant that happened. Answer the way you would like them to answer your question, “How was school?”
What is meaningful about your work?
Every job has meaning and it should be beyond receiving a paycheck. Unless you are employed only for a season to help with family finances, you chose your line of work for a meaningful purpose. By sharing this purpose with your children you are helping them make meaningful decisions about their future.
What do you like about your job?
As a parent, you want your children to find meaningful work they enjoy to provide a living for their future family. If your children only hear you complain about your job they will not be super excited about entering the workplace. Take this opportunity to point out the great things about your career, maybe even why you chose it, and what makes it meaningful to you. You spend a considerable amount of time away from your family and at work; hopefully you feel fulfilled and important in your field of employment.
Meaningful work results in feelings of accomplishment and a sense of purpose. Having a conversation about meaningful work with your family will also allow you to instill your family values into the next generation. You are impacting your children’s future and setting them up for success by sharing the reason you chose your line of work. Good job (pun intended)!