September 27, 2021

Reminder: Parents Meddling in Your Careers Will Not Help You

For all intents and purposes, it is summer. In the circle of life (or Hell, if you prefer) of an accounting firm that means two significant things are going on: 1) performance reviews and 2) summer internships.

One disturbing trend that we've covered in the past is that of heli-parents who intervene into salary negotiations/interviews/performance interviews, etc. on behalf of their child who is posing as an adult wishing to participate in a professional environment. And a post from New York Mag's Science of Us just reminded me of the fact that someone went out of their way to tell us, "a story, possibly an urban legend, that someone A1’s parent called the partner to dispute their child’s first annual review."

Let me put this delicately to you: Do not, under any fucking circumstances, allow your parents to get involved in your professional lives. I don't care how much you consider them your "friends" or who your dad thinks he is, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to be gained from mom or dad stepping in to help you with your work problems.

The NYM article discusses a new book by Stanford's former dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising Julie Lythcott-Haims:

Lythcott-Haims starts her discussion, in fact, with a fellow named Phil Gardner, head of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute. He’d read enough media reports about parental over-involvement in post-university job hunting that he decided to do some research of his own, tossing questions into CERI’s annual survey about just how frequently companies saw their applicants’ moms and dads. Nearly a quarter of his sample, or 725 employers, “reported seeing parents ‘sometimes’ to ‘very often’ when hiring a college senior,” she writes. (And this was when the economy was still booming, in 2006 and 2007.) Among the things parents did: negotiate salaries; complain if their child wasn’t hired; arrange the interview; attend the interview itself.
 
Because of her former position at Stanford, Lythcott-Haims was able to get a lot of people on the horn for this portion of her book — or so it seems to me — and she thought to speak to a wider variety of potential employers than another writer might. In the world of business and finance, she chats with Hope Hardison, director of HR at Wells Fargo, who recalls getting an irate letter from a parent that challenged her kid’s performance review. 

The comments from our last post give the impression that this is rare within public accounting, with the exception of an occasional reception for parents of intern recruits (which is still insufferable). But with the enrollment of accounting programs growing, there's a chance that more meddling parents will crop up, but I hope I'm wrong.

On the other hand, if you're on the receiving end of some bitchy parent's email, you can always forward it to us.  

Millennials’ Parents Can’t Stop Meddling. How Big a Problem Is That? [NYM]  
Let's Talk About Those Pesky Millennial Helicopter Parents [GC]

 

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