Father's Day is this coming weekend so I wanted this blog post to be about my dad. I owe him a lot, I wouldn't be the person I am today without his influence.
In this post I have put together a list of 10 things that my dad has taught me. There are many other things but I would have to write a novel for that...
I hope you enjoy this list!
10 Things I Learned From My Dad
In no particular order:
- Reputation is Everything: The world really is a small place, you need to be aware of what you are saying and doing at all times as you never know when things could come back to haunt you. I find this advice particularly true when you work in a small industry, everyone knows everyone.
- Anything Can Be Fixed: My dad is a master handyman, he can fix just about everything. Instead of throwing things away, fix them.
- Fix Them Right: Adding onto the note above, it was never enough to simply fix something, you had to do it right. My dad didn't just fix the item so that it was working, he made it so that you couldn't tell it had ever been fixed and it worked better than it had in years. This could mean spending hours matching stains or multiple stops to the store to purchase exactly the right sized parts. He taught me you need to take pride in your work.
- Solve your Own Problems: It is important to be able to stand on your own two feet and be able to handle what life throws at you. Ask for help when needed but don't be a damsel in distress, make your own destiny.
- Never Look Down on Others: My dad was always a big believer in respecting everyone that you meet as you never know when they can help you. I remember my dad saying that at your work place the three people you want to take the time to say hi to are the receptionist, janitors and IT people. When things go badly, these are the people that will be coming to your aid, make sure you are nice to them.
- It is Important to Do What You Love: My dad lead by example and I truly believe that he enjoyed the work that he did and that is one of the reasons he was as successful as he was. You spend so much time at work, you may as well enjoy it!
- Stay Out of Debt: I credit my dad (and mom) for my financial education. I was taught how to save early and as a child developed good financial skills that have served me well in adulthood. One of the lessons my dad really stressed was how important it was to stay out of debt. As much as it can suck to wait until you have the money for something, it is much better to pay cash and avoid interest payments. The bank should pay you, never the other way around.
- Develop Skills that Others Don't Have: Make yourself unique, don't do what everyone else is doing. My dad spent a lot of his career working on his management skills as well as his technical skills. Later in his career these skills came in handy as he found himself a bit of an anomaly, an engineer with management skills and experience.
- Always Use Your Vacation Days: My dad taught me to work hard but also to take care of myself. He was the one who has always encouraged me to use up the vacation days I am given, not to get paid out or carry them to the next year. It is important to take time away from work and to relax.
- Nothing is Beneath You: this was something that I learned from my dad when I entered the work force. He taught me that you have to start at the bottom doing the un-glamorous jobs that no one else wants. Nothing should ever be beneath you and you should always be willing to pitch in. Even when he was in management, you could find him unloading the dishwasher or pitching in where needed.
What did you think of my list? In the comments please let me know what lessons you learned from your dad.