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Professional Applications of “Fatherly” Advice

Posted on: June 16, 2017

Category: Career Advice

by Greg Whitesell, Marketing Manager

From Mike Brady to Ward Cleaver to Howard Cunningham, TV dads have doled out valuable life lessons in 30-minute increments for generations.  While those lessons were undoubtedly meaningful, it goes without saying that the most valuable (and most memorable) fatherly advice is most often delivered by real-life dads, father figures and mentors.  To celebrate Father’s Day, we asked our employees to share some of the best advice handed down to them – and, given our line of work, how they applied this advice to their career.  Here’s a few of the responses:

Tracy, Director of Organizational Development

My dad’s general lessons in life have certainly helped me with my career.  He was very on top of everything and extremely organized so I think I learned those skills from him and have taken them through all my life.  He taught me to deal with things head on and not to procrastinate, instead to “just get it done and taken care of.”

Joe, Founder/Managing Director

When you’re working for someone, always anticipate what they will need next.  Stay one step ahead of them – be prepared, and they will always need your help.

Madison, Technical Recruiting Manager

My dad always said “no one can ever take hard work away from you, or your degree. Those will always be yours.”  This instilled in me that giving it my all was the best thing I could do not just in my career, but in my life in general.

Barry, Founder/Managing Director

My father taught me two valuable lessons that have served me well my entire life (and are very applicable in the business world).  “Do what you say you are going to do” and “if you can be 10 minutes late you can be 10 minutes early.” 

Melissa, Founder/Managing Director

“Don’t quit a job until you have a job.“  Sure, my dad was old school, but his advice is still relevant.  Potential employers tend to have higher opinions of working candidates than non-working.  So, it is advantageous to do consulting or contract work while seeking a new role.  Hiring managers will think you are more industrious and “in demand”, which could lead to more and higher offers!

Cassie, Technology Talent Sourcer

My dad always told me when “one door closes another one opens –  if there isn’t a door build one.”  This has helped my career significantly, especially when I felt lost right after graduating college.  I earned a degree in Psychology but decided not to pursue getting my Master’s so here I had this degree but was unsure how to use it.  I worked a few retail jobs and ultimately decided this wasn’t the right “door” for me, so I closed it and searched for others.  I reached out to family and friends about new opportunities and figured out what I liked and wanted to do.  Ultimately, this exploration and networking led me to Sherpa – where I now work directly with people and make a difference in their careers.  When you realize you aren’t happy or fulfilled with what you are doing in your professional life, find an open door or build a new one!

Brooke, Senior Recruiting Manager

My father instilled in me to “always strive for your PB (personal best).”  While you can’t always control what others are doing, you can set attainable goals for yourself to achieve.  I was taught that I can be just as successful if I focus on reaching my personal best, which may not always be the same as the person next to or competing against me.    

Chris, Senior Technical Recruiting Manager

The best piece of advice my professional mentor gave me was “To do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.”  He was an older gentleman who was an attorney, and I cut grass for his firm and several other law firms on Morehead back in the early 80’s and was learning about real responsibility and accountability.  Being known as “dependable and having integrity,” he said, would “take me a long way in this life.”  I’ve tried to keep those principles front of mind in all I do.

Scott, Recruiting Manager

“Find something that you love and just do it.”  My dad taught me that there is nothing worse than going through life not enjoying what you do for a significant portion of the day, and that “once you find what you’re passionate about keep the flame by staying hungry and always seek to improve upon your skills.”

Greg, Marketing Director

The best advice my dad ever gave me that I’ve applied in my professional life is to “think outside of the box.”  My dad has always “piddled” with everything, curious to learn how things work and how they could be used in new or different ways.  As a marketing professional, I find this inquisitive nature to be crucial to finding new ways to tell a story, reach new audiences or acquire new skills.   

So how about you?  What wisdom did your father or father figure pass down to you that’s helped you along your career path?

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