Why listening to your parents could be good for business - Business Works
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Why listening to your parents could be good for business

by Ariel Eckstein, Managing Director, LinkedIn EMEA Turning to your parents for business and career advice might not seem like an obvious move, but their words of wisdom could pay dividends, says Ariel Eckstein, Managing Director of LinkedIn EMEA.

LinkedIn research has found that one in three parents don't know what their child does at work and more than a third are failing to pass on their professional knowledge to their offspring. This is despite the fact that almost half (43%) of professionals believe that their parents would have useful advice to share.

As a country, we have a long way to go before we're adequately tapping in to the skills of the older generation. We've got the lowest levels of employment in the over-50s, despite having one of the most highly-skilled workforces in the world.

LinkedIn's Bring In Your Parents Day 2014, which takes place on 6 November, will see businesses across the UK inviting their employees' parents to the office in a bid to encourage the increased sharing of skills across generations.

By and large, those parents we surveyed who refrained from sharing their professional expertise were held back by not understanding their children's jobs or assuming their advice would be irrelevant in today's working world.

bridge that knowledge gap and share skills

Bring In Your Parents Day is a great opportunity to bridge that knowledge gap and share skills more widely, inspiring people to stay in the jobs market longer and increasing the business knowledge of all generations. A huge 15,000 professionals took part last year and we hope that even more will get involved in November.

In the meantime, here are the professional skills that the parents we surveyed thought it would be most useful to pass on:

Problem solving

a great talking point in an interview

Nearly half of those surveyed felt that problem solving skills could help their child succeed at work. They may be unpleasant, but being able to show how you have overcome a difficult situation demonstrates your professional adaptability. It can also be a great talking point in an interview or to include in your LinkedIn profile.


Organisation can be a difficult skill to master, but it has a significant impact on our professional performance. 42% of parents think that their children could benefit from improved organisational skills, so test out different strategies and stick with what works for you.

Time management

The parents we spoke to stressed the importance of time management. Considering simple changes like calling a colleague, rather than e-mailing, can both build professional relationships and help get the job done quicker. In the long-run, they could help you be more efficient and even improve your work-life balance.


A significant number of the parents surveyed believe that 'integrity' is a vital attribute for our career development. Honesty is the best policy when interacting with colleagues or employers; from a chat in the office to updating your LinkedIn profile, you'll be respected for keeping it real.


achieve your career aspirations ... your tenacity and perseverance

More than third of parents want to share the strength to 'never give up' with their professional children. It's important not to forget this familiar mantra; the most important tool you have to achieve your career aspirations is your tenacity and perseverance.

Boost your motivation by finding people doing your dream job on LinkedIn and seeing how the got there. This could help you to map out your own career path and give you concrete goals for which to aim.

Navigating your career in the today's professional world can be complicated. Don't forget that your best source of professional guidance could be close to home.

LinkedIn Bring your Parents to work If you would like to sign up and take part in Bring In Your Parents Day 2014, please visit www.biyp.linkedin.com and join in the conversations on Twitter with #LinkedIn #BIYP

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