Comments made by Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Caan that parents shouldn’t help their children find jobs but leave them to map out their own way, is true in theory but unrealistic in practice.
This is evidently clear by the fact that his own two daughters work for companies he owns or has some investment in.
Caan does not deny that he had some involvement in the process. He says he is no different to any other parent who wants to help their children succeed but told BBC News that his daughters went through the same thorough and rigorous recruitment process as other candidates.
They would had to have been real horror stories for their father to dump their CVs in the reject pile!
How did James Caan help his daughters succeed?
Let us examine the four ways in which James Caan is likely to have provided his children with help to find a job. Of course this is all speculative, but it is common sense speculation!
1. As a parent James Caan is likely to have provided career guidance
It is very likely his daughters would have been guided as to the best route to follow in order to get started in their chosen careers. Caan’s daughter Jemma spent four years working in other companies developing the experience she would need to eventually join a recruitment company her father has an investment in.
2. As a parent James Caan is likely to have provided CV help
Can we expect that his daughters would have asked Dad to look over their CV? Yes, of course, and if not Dad then one of his staff members. His daughter Hanah had a number of internships before submitting her CV and securing an internship at her father’s private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw. It isn’t unusual for a graduate to ask a parent to look over their CV but since Hanah would have been applying to a company owned by Dad it would make even more sense to turn to him for a last minute check before submitting her CV.
3. As a parent James Caan is likely to have provided interview advice
If you wanted to ask someone for interview tips then James Caan would be a good person to start with. He provides tips to entrepreneurs on start ups and growth; to people looking for jobs; and to business owners on the Dragon’s Den process, so it is highly likely he would have given a word or two to both daughters on how to win at an interview.
4. As a parent James Caan is likely to have taught his children life skills
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we believe that Caan would have taught his children lessons in resilience, hard work, persistence, responsibility and other vital skills needed to get along in life. Caan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “allowing children the opportunity to develop and find their own way through life is very good for society and very good for the kids” so we expect he would have practiced what he preached. It was certainly interesting to note that both Caan’s daughters ALSO spent time working in other places developing skills and experience as they prepared themselves for employment at one of his companies.
It would be hard for a parent not to offer some sort of help to their graduate son or daughter on how to get ahead in their career, but a graduate must also be provided with the space and opportunity to develop their own skills alongside any support they receive.
This is what makes for a good candidate.