Editorial Note: Today is the 20th annual Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day! Previously, we asked Joe Strechay to reflect on this opportunity for parents, guardians, and mentors to introduce our children who are blind or visually impaired to the world of work.
Today we are delighted to welcome CareerConnect® mentor Paul Kurtz as a guest blogger. Paul, a computer systems manager and analyst who is blind, took his son to work so he could experience office life for a day. The experience helped his son figure out what he did and didn’t want in his own career.
How are you talking to your children about what they want to be when they grow up? Will you be taking your daughter or son to work today? We would love to hear about your current or past experiences in the comments, and we always welcome guest bloggers. If you are interested in writing for the FamilyConnect blog, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When my son was in high school he loved computers and decided that he would work in this field someday. So one day I took him to work for a career education experience since I was working as a Computer Systems Manager and Analyst. After a day in the office with me he’d decided computers might not be in his future because he realized he didn’t want to work in a cubicle for 20 or 30 years.
That work day experience was good for him and kept him from going into a field he would not have been happy with. After earning a degree in advertising from the University of Florida, it turns out that he does do some computer work, but as part of a bigger career in home renovations. That day in the office with me helped him to see he would be happier working with his hands than sitting in a cubicle. Not only does he renovate homes, he enjoys being a handy man, tree cutter, and more. He’ll cut your tree, install your computer, wire up your routers and switches, and build shelves for you to put your gear on. He’s very good at what he does and is able to stay busy.
He has built some wonderful braille book shelves for my music books and built shelves around our front fireplace that look like they were there from the beginning. And yet, in the same breath, he’s one of the very best at working with computers. He’s good with blind people and understands the software even though he thinks it should do more.
By going to work with me that day, my son found what he did not want to do, which helped in the process of learning what he did want to do with himself. I try not to brag on him too much, but it’s hard not to when he is this good at his job. He’s put his 34+ years to good use!