Happy “Take your Child to Work” Day

RetailWire panelists had a chance today to discuss the annual “Take Your Child to Work” Day event, and to reflect on how exposure to their own parents’ work lives helped shape them professionally. Here’s my recollection:

My dad (and my grandfather before him) owned a specialty department store, so I had many exposures to the family business while growing up. (And my retail roots go back five generations.) Superficially, the chance to work all over the store as a teenager and college student caused a spark that led to my own retail career. Nothing was more gratifying at that early age than “making a sale” while dealing with customers face-to-face in the men’s department…something of a lost art today.

But the biggest life lesson was to observe a great role model (my dad) in a professional setting outside of the bounds of daily family life. The mutual respect between his employees and him made a lifelong impact. I hope everybody who has had a similar opportunity with their mother or father (including today’s “tagalongs”) has the same kind of experience.

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