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5 Work Lessons I Learned from My Dad

Kate O'Brien on June 17, 2016 04:20 PM

work lessons learned from dad

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, it’s hard not to reflect on the times spent with your dad. The good times (and bad times) you’ve shared, the qualities that make him uniquely your dad, and all the lessons he’s taught you.

Since this is a workplace blog, I thought I would share some of the knowledge my dad has passed on to me that has been relevant at work (and everywhere else). Prepare for some clichés.

  1. Never Give Up
    My childhood is full of memories of my dad in the garage working on one of our cars, or tinkering with one of our appliances with a flashlight in his hand. Just last week he fixed a leak when my mom had insisted he should call a plumber. And that’s because he doesn’t give up when he’s faced with a challenge. Whether it’s a (seemingly) impossible project or a disagreeable coworker, it’s important to keep working at it until you’ve given it your all.

    READ: 5 Things You Need to Know About Dads at Work 

  1. The Importance of Hard Work
    I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that works as hard as my dad does. Even when he’s not at work, he manages to find something to busy himself with until he inevitably falls asleep in front of the TV from exhaustion. I don’t condone working until your head hits the pillow, but it definitely feels good when you work hard at something and can see the results. Time off work is all the more rewarding when you know you’ve worked hard.

  1. Family Matters
    When I was a kid my dad switched to the night shift so he could be there to get me and my sister to school every day (he even did my hair every morning). This obviously wasn’t easy for him as he had to change his entire sleep schedule, but my mom was also employed so something had to give. Those moments getting ready for school every morning allow me to sympathize with other families who struggle to balance work and child care schedules. And it taught me to admire the companies that give employees the flexibility to work when and where they want.

    Learn More about Family Friendly Benefits

  1. Work Can Teach You as Much as School
    My dad never went to college, but his life experience rivals anything I’ve learned in a classroom. Like I said, he’s never faced a problem he couldn’t solve – even if he hasn’t been formally trained to do so. That’s why I chose a school that required experiential learning – so I could follow in his footsteps of learning-by-doing. I value everything I’ve learned in school, but work experience has provided a different type of learning that I could never find in the classroom.

  1. Just Breathe
    Whenever I’ve been stressed out my dad has been there to remind to slow down and take a breather. As much as I resent the advice in the moment, he’s right – it’s important to take some time for you during stressful periods. It might require resetting priorities or finding some help, but the time spent de-stressing is worth it, especially since stress can actually make you less productive.

    Find 30 Ways to De-stress Your Workplace