Fire Chiefs, Ballet Dancers and Roofing Workers


By Karen Cates.

Children’s book encourages kids to consider a career in roofing.

Fire chiefs and ballet dancers are officially on notice. Children, ages three to twelve, are talking about doing much more when asked what they want to be when they grow up. According to one national survey, girls and boys as young as three-years old are expanding their options to include doctor, engineer, pro-athlete and even chef. A close look at the data reveals that the careers they are most exposed to (think how often kids see their doctors given rigorous vaccine schedules) are the ones they say they want to pursue. Of course, very young children also want to be kitty cats and dinosaurs when they grow up, so we need to manage our expectations here.

Even so, this is why I wrote Is This A Roof? and Be Safe, Rafe!. These two books intend to make roofing careers accessible to young children as pursuits that are interesting, satisfying and worthy of their attention. In Is This A Roof?, big brother Tucker takes his little sister, Talia, to look at different roofs around their neighborhood. He is knowledgeable and kind as he explains basic low- and steep-slope roof technologies.   In Be Safe, Rafe!, Grandpa Foxx owns a roofing company and his daughter, Isobel is the safety director —  she is also Rafe’s mom. Together they show Rafe how to be safe by following industry rules for safety and fall protection.

These roofing books are for children ages three- to nine-years old, and as fun reading, they are designed to encourage kids’ career curiosity about the roofing industry. Grammar school children may not be ready to choose a career, but they are already creating a map of possibilities for when the time comes. Whether you are a roofing professional, or simply want your child to have a broad swath of professions to choose from, engaging stories about roofing can expand their options.

In the next blog, I’ll discuss the importance of making what you do as a roofing professional more vivid to your children.

Karen Cates has consulted to the roofing industry for over 20 years. An executive coach, leadership consultant, and adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management, she advises professionals in a wide variety of businesses and settings. Karen is also a founding faculty member of NRCA’s Future Executive Institute where she teaches future roofing industry executives.

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