What I learned at Take Our Kids to Work Day (Guest commentary)

Spending a day at Canadian HR Reporter

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. and facing the commute head-on while trying to get onto the highway ramp isn’t how I like to start my morning. But when it’s Take Our Kids to Work Day, do what the grown-ups do.

Traffic was my first experience for Take Our Kids to Work Day. As I looked around me on the highway, I could see other sleepy-faced Grade 9 students in their cars with their “hosts.” When I arrived at Thomson Carswell, publishers of Canadian HR Reporter, in northeast Toronto — after an hour in the car — I shook off my fatigue and eagerly jumped into the working environment, excited to see what the workplace could offer me.

The first activity of the day was a fun one — an icebreaker. It was a chance to meet the rest of the kids, get to know their names and who their parents are. We all got stickers put on our backs, even the parents, and we were to go around and introduce ourselves to each other. After the introduction, you were to ask a yes or no question about who the character was on your back. It was a great way to meet new friends and get to know each other.

After that we watched a couple of slideshows about how Thomson Carswell was born and what the employees do here. I never knew that so many people were behind the publication of law books and business manuscripts.

After the introduction meeting, I was launched into the beginning of my day’s work. When I stepped into my dad’s office, I was told that for the remainder of the day I would be working on an article about safety on Take Our Kids to Work Day, which would be posted on www.hrreporter.com, Canadian HR Reporter’s website. And then I was invited to write an article about my experience that would be printed in the newspaper — which is what you are reading now.

When my lunch break with the rest of the students ended, we had a “job interview,” to practice how to correctly complete an application form. After filling it out, we were given helpful tips such as: write in pen; don’t leave anything blank; be truthful; give more than means of communication such as an e-mail address and phone number; and sign and date the application.

We were also taught how to behave in a job interview. Tips included: be on time or even 10 or 15 minutes early; dress appropriately; don’t chew gum; stay relaxed so as to make a good impression; say thank-you after the interview; and exit quietly.

With all of this information, I am sure that I will be able to properly fill out a job application form and successfully attend a job interview. This will certainly help in my future careers.

I must say that it has been a great experience working at Canadian HR Reporter. All of the employees have been so friendly and encouraging and all the rest of the Grade 9 kids were fun to meet. After touring the office building and writing articles, I say that this is one of the best places to be for Take Our Kids to Work Day.

After a satisfying day at work I can now look forward to the long commute home and completing my homework that I received yesterday.

Tara Hobel is a Grade 9 student who spent the day with Thomson Carswell, the publishers of Canadian HR Reporter.

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