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Gen Ys bring mum and dad to work

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Gen Y employees are known to have their quirks, but their latest one has got to be the most interesting one by far.

Members of this generation are getting their parents more involved in their careers, even going as far as allowing – or wanting – them to sit in on interviews and job offer negotiations.

A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found 13% of global college graduates wanted their parents to receive a copy of their cover letters, while 8% wanted their parents to receive a copy of their performance review.

A separate report by Adecco last year found a third of 500 American Gen Y job seekers involve their parents in their job hunt, 13% leveraged on their parents’ network to improve their job search, and 3% have had a parent sit in on a job interview.

Earlier this year, the Malaysian Employers Federation revealed nearly a third of 200 companies said candidates have turned up at job interviews with their parents, and expect the number to increase over time.

Last week, we ran a survey by LinkedIn which found a significant number of Singaporean parents were unclear on what exactly their children did as a living.

An article on the Wall Street Journal, which explores this new trend of parents’ heavy involvement in their children’s careers, suggested that it is a result of the close relationship between Gen Ys and their parents.

The figures are also no surprise, considering Asian values promote strong family ties.

However, as a Gen Y, although I understand the importance of involving parents in the very important process of deciding on a career, I have to draw the line at inviting my folks to job interviews or performance reviews.

I can’t help but think about how it must look to a potential employer to have his or her mum sitting in on a salary negotiation. Does it not make that person appear incapable of handling their own meetings? And if he or she can’t manage a meeting about his own salary, will he be able to hold his own in a boardroom meeting?

To Gen Ys reading this article, I only have one thing to say: If you are in the habit of bringing mum or dad to interviews, or are considering doing so, please stop.

There is nothing wrong with consulting parents on an offer, or getting their advice on a career switch, but at the end of the day, you need to prove your own worth.

For those early in their careers, taking the leap from the classroom to boardroom can be a scary one. It’s perfectly normal to turn to our parents to sooth those jitters, but where’s the fun in that?

Embrace the fact that you are young, inexperienced and eager to learn. Again, there is absolutely no harm in making mistakes, in raising your hand and asking for help, and in taking time to identify your own weakness and strengths.

Also read: Teaching Gen Y how to behave at work

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