Long gone is the time of the three ace professions in our parents’ eyes; Doctor, Engineer, and Astronaut. These professions are surely reputed and worthy of a lifetime effort but new opportunities have risen after the dawn of the digital world. So, let alone be proud, it might be an alienated name for your parents if you tell them that you’re an SEO expert today. The fault is not on our parents’ side.
They were already grown and working when the internet came in the 90s which gave birth to newer fields of work. But, they were already settled by then. Surely today’s parents are more internet savvy than we are. But, their focus is more on what it does than how it does it all; basically the mechanics. Hence, the modern layout of work dynamics may also be of least concern for them back then. But, now you are part of one of those jobs that millennials aspire, yet your parents can’t recognize. What can you do now? Let me help you by sharing how I did it.
The first thing that anyone does when asked ,“What do you do?” is by simply sharing the job title. If the person asking did it just for the sake of it, he won’t ask further. But, that is not the case with your parents, and certainly not with mine. They will ask more about it. One, because they are keen to know, and two because it is associated with someone quite important to them – You.
So I introduced my profession slowly and patiently. Starting with explaining my field of work, I shifted to talking about the company that I work in. That helped me set the ground for further discussions. It is important to describe what you do and how you do it. This most probably won’t end their intrigue. But, the way you introduce it will give them confidence in knowing more about it without getting you frustrated.
Explain With Examples
The job title that you have may be a millennial one. But, the purpose it serves will always be connected to a job type that belonged to your parents’ timeline too. I started my career as a content writer, which my parents knew quite well. But, as I grew in my career and became a Marketing Specialist, I saw a senseless response in my parents.
They thought I shifted my career from writing to marketing. The reason is because their elder glossaries saw both of them as different fields of work. But, when I sat down and explained to them about the purpose I serve as a writer in the marketing field, it made an amusing sense to them. I showed some advertisements I had worked on, and even got feedback from them. That is the power of explanation led by examples.
Use Your Jargons
As humans, when we find something new about a topic, we tend to start giving more importance to it. This behavior is really helpful in making your parents not just understand but also relate with what you do in life. After all, if they get to know what you do, but just don’t think it is worth it, that kind of hurts too.
Remember that your dad would easily say Roger That, and Aye Aye Captain to a soldier and navy seal. That is because they know their jargon. So, use the power of the jargons you use in your field while having casual conversations with them at home. And, if they do get confused, explain what it means. Jokes are usually the best phrases to introduce new jargons in. Try them, because why not.
Keep Them In The Loop
When from being a writer I grew into a marketing specialist, I noticed that somehow I had left a gap in communicating my transition to my parents. I am pretty sure if I explained things to them as I was evolving, the explanations would have been more accurately understood. So, one of the easiest things to do is to keep them in the loop of what is happening in your professional life.
It Matters To Them, A Lot
Did you notice how your parents tell others about you and your work? The way I see them explaining my job leaves others astounded, as if it is one of the most precious ones. It is not because it actually is. It’s only because of the confidence my parents have over the ones who are listening on the other end. The next time you see them talking, try noticing this one aspect, and you’ll know what to do next.