“This is my little boy when he was three years old on the Ocean City, N.J., boardwalk. It was about 100 degrees that day and his curly hair just went ‘boing’!” Donna Trach said as she motioned emphatically at a button with a baby photo taped onto her nametag.
Her son, Daniel Trach, 28, blushed a bit but found it (for the most part) endearing. His mom was among 450 parents who attended LinkedIn’s third annual “Bring In Your Parents Day” on Thursday.
We’ve all heard of Bring Your Kids to Work Day. But parents?
According to a survey commissioned by LinkedIn, which polled 20,000 adults in 18 countries, 55% of parents admit to not being very familiar with what their child does for a living. With titles like Enterprise Account Executive and Customer Success Consultant, it’s no wonder they’re confused.
So LinkedIn set out to remedy this problem. In 2013, the company encouraged its 9,200 full-time employees across the world to “Bring In Your Parents” (#BIYP).
This year, Yahoo Finance decided to check out the festivities at LinkedIn’s New York City office in the Empire State Building.
Of the five parents (including one uncle) we spoke to, their children all said “they nailed it” when they were asked to describe what they do.
Time to show off
Mario Nicolas flew in from San Antonio, Texas, to spend the day with his niece, Lisa Francoeur-Mesa, 34, an enterprise account executive, or as Nicolas puts it -- “wheeling and dealing with Fortune 1000 companies to try to get them to use LinkedIn as a headhunting agency.”
“I want to see the other side of her life...She spends a third to half of her time here so I’d like to get a full picture,” he said. Francoeur-Mesa noted that the day gives her uncle a chance to see how she’s been able to “harness his insights and use them to get to where [she] is now.”
Parents were eager to witness their children hard at work: “It makes me very proud to see what [Shira] has achieved, to see that she’s part of a culture that has such energetic, intelligent people,” said Carol Selkovits.
Of course, if parents were going to get a peek at how the nuts and bolts of their jobs -- which consists of lots of screen time and meetings -- they also got a chance to enjoy the typical perks of working at a big Silicon Valley company. Those include free snacks, a billiard room, ergonomic desks, a yoga room, and a speakeasy bar. Staff also organized panels and small group discussions for parents to participate in.
What impressed them most? Bernie Selkovits, father of Shira Selkovits, who is a senior relationship manager (she helps clients leverage LinkedIn for recruiting) said it was “the lunch situation...I’ve never had a free lunch.” LinkedIn employees get catered lunch everyday, and parents and employees noshed on hot beef and chicken enchiladas with unlimited salad and drinks.
Beyond the perks, employees said the day was a positive bonding experience that gave their parents a clearer picture of what their work was about.
“It can improve your relationship with your parents…the things they ask you on a day-to-day basis become much more detailed and pointed to what you do all the time,” said Shira Selkovits, 37.
“I’ve seen pictures of [Liz] in front of big rooms speaking to people and that amazes me because this is my shy child,” said Ginny Kania. Though Liz Kania chats with her mother daily, now she has a lot more to talk about because of their shared experience at work.
“We do a lot at LinkedIn that’s new and groundbreaking and [my mom’s] really excited. We’ve been working on her profile recently. It’s just a really cool way to plug your parents in and give back based on what we know now,” said Dan Trach.