Can You Take Your Kids to a Job Fair?

Your Employment Questions Answered: Can You Take Your Kids to a Job Fair?

Sometimes the best way to learn something new is by seeking advice from those who have been there. Asking questions is how we learn about new resources or can give us perspectives we might never have thought about before. When you ask a question, you can gain the knowledge you are looking for that will help you figure out what you need to know to move forward, whatever the subject might be. 

Trying to find a new job can be overwhelming. When you have kids, getting out to job fairs and interviewing can be challenging. As a military spouse, you may have more trouble having your spouse help you out and some of that could be last minute. There might be times when you do have to take your kids with you even when it isn’t ideal. The question is, is a job fair an okay place to take children? 

Question: Can I take my kids with me to a job fair?

I signed up for a Hiring Our Heroes job fair at my local duty station. I was planning to attend during my husband’s lunch break but it didn’t work out. I don’t have any childcare and no one to watch my kids. I was debating on if I should attend the job fair anyway. I would have my toddlers in a stroller. I know this isn’t ideal but the only other option is to skip it. I would hate to do that because I have been job searching for a while now and want to find something remote. 

Answer: Can I take my kids with me to a job fair?

This is a difficult choice to make. Many would say that if you genuinely can’t find anyone to watch your kids, you should skip the job fair. Job fairs are not a place for children. If you did bring them, you could encounter some difficulties. 

  • Will you be able to focus on the potential employer and have professional conversations with your kids there? 
  • What will you do if they need you while you are in the middle of a conversation?
  • With the goal of the event to make connections, you are giving potential employers a first impression. Will you be able to do that well with the kids?
  • Some companies would not look fondly at someone bringing their kids with them. It could mean that you don’t get a callback. 
  • While it might seem unfair, this world isn’t 100% child-friendly, and that can come up when looking for a job. 

On the other hand, you may be surprised and connect with companies that don’t have a problem with your kids. In today’s world, children are more a part of the workplace, especially in a remote setting.

If You Decide to Take Your Child to the Job Fair

If you did bring your children, you could still benefit and end up with a job offer. Keep in mind that:

  • A future employer could see you as hustling regardless of your circumstances, and make things work when they are not ideal. 
  • Going will give you an idea of what to expect at a fair like this.
  • You could still make connections and find places you want to work at.
  • You will learn about opportunities you could pursue later when you don’t have your children with you.

In the end, you will have to make the decision about bringing your children to the job fair based on the pros and cons. Here are some additional resources to help with the childcare issue, as well as what to expect at a job fair.

Go in with a professional mindset and good luck with your job search.