Working at ‘corporate’ vs. working with children.

Last week, as I was sitting on the floor with a three year old debating whether Shrek or Cars was a better movie, I couldn’t help compare my life now with how I lived just a few years ago.  Three years ago, I was VP of Human Resources of a nationwide photography company.  Back then, I had almost no contact with the studios or our customers.  My work was with fellow professionals at the corporate office.  We had departments.  We had chains of command.  There were politics and unwritten rules.  I endured endless meetings.  There was sometimes backbiting and gossip.  We all had agendas…some hidden.  While I like adults in general, I think I prefer working with children.  Let me explain:

Adults remember your faults…children remember that you promised them fruit snacks.

Adults sometimes have ulterior motives…children act exactly how they feel.

Adults hold grudges…children forgive immediately.

Adults play political games…children just play games.

Adults can spit expletives…children spit up.

Adults care about position…children care about toys.

Adults are suspicious…children believe whatever you say and actually think I’m magic.

Adults talk behind your back…children don’t even know what that is.

Adults are sometimes hard to motivate…children will do anything for a treat.

Adults bend the truth…children are, often, too truthful (we hear some pretty good stories parents).

Adults carry baggage…children live in the moment.

Adults judge you…children read you.

Adults can be distracted and discouraged…children are focused and relentless.

Adults sometimes bring out the worst in you…children always bring out the best.

I probably sound cynical about working in the corporate world and maybe I am.  But the contrast from then and now is pretty huge.  As our company grows, I will never put myself in a corporate office again.

I speak for everyone on the staff when I say I love these kids we work with.  Parents often comment about our patience in our sessions.  I’m actually not sure we’re particularly patient.  But we do see children as they are and we respect them.  They are the very best kind of humans.  People also ask us how we stay so cheerful and energetic all day.  Well…how could we not?