My mom has worked at the same building for over 10 years. Today was the first time I’d ever stopped to see her at work. In fact, it was the first time I’d ever been able to visit my mom at work. As someone who works in health care, it isn’t easy to just pop in and say hello or get the workplace tour. Not having seen where she worked made the idea that she actually worked difficult to grasp. My dad, on the other hand, frequently brought both my brother and I in to visit his office, and so I had a clear understanding of where my dad went to work every day. I knew what his desk looked like, what his computer looked like, and what kind of candies were always lying about in small bowls.
Being able to conceptualize the idea of working as a young adult is sometimes hard to grasp. Transitioning from school to work, at this point, seems like an incredible leap. I’m ready for the transition, but at the same time I’m a little hesitant when I consider how much I’m going to have to learn and adjust. Maybe one way of helping children start to visualize the transition between school and work is to let them see adults at work. If your job isn’t conducive to a tour or a day spent shadowing, ask friends and family members if they can step up. By seeing familiar adults in a workplace setting, kids might be able to get a better idea of how they fit into the working world. Summer provides a great opportunity for a day spent shadowing an adult at work, as missing school doesn’t have to be factored in to the scheduling.