Five Important Lessons I Learned From Working With My Dad



By Mary Ann Faremouth,

 

When I think about the first step in the Faremouth Method, “Do A Self-Inventory,” I realize that a great deal of who I am today is due to the important life lessons I learned while working for my Dad. As a career and placement coach, with Father’s Day right around the corner, I have been recalling those memories and those life lessons he taught me about how to succeed in the work world.

My Dad was an interesting character. He moved to the states from the small island of Malta when he was 12 years old. He didn’t have much formal education, but he truly was one of the smartest men I’ve ever met. He had high regard for formal education, however. He always told me stories of how he was so proud of his cousin, Joe, who attended Oxford University.

After working in an assembly plant for Chrysler Corporation for many years, my Dad followed in the footsteps of other family members and opened a restaurant in a small suburb of Detroit, Melvindale. He opened the restaurant when I was 5 years old, and that opening holds such a sweet memory for me. I remember all the preparation involved in the event and his sign, surrounded by lights, was a picture of me holding a hamburger!

His restaurant was located very close to many of the automotive assembly plants, and his menu and service really catered to the folks who worked there. He opened at 4 am. for breakfast to be able to serve the workers who started their shifts at 5 or 5:30 am. I started working for my dad waiting tables when I was in high school and because of the good work ethic he taught me I was able pay cash for my first car which was an almost new Ford Mustang. My Dad isn’t with me in physical form any longer, but I know his spirit and love always surrounds me.

Here are five of the most important lessons I learned from working for my Dad, see if any of these might resonate with you and give you inspiration and hope as YOU move forward into the New Work World!

1. Work Hard
I can best sum up what my dad taught me in this quote by Thomas Edison: “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.” Pre or Post-Covid, working hard and going above and beyond in your job will always serve you well. When an employer asks a job seeker “What are you most proud of in your career” and they describe how they went the extra mile to meet a deadline or came in early or stayed late or did more than the job really required, etc. that makes all the difference. I always hear positive feedback when those employers call me to discuss how the interview went with the candidates I sent them.

2. You Can Achieve Anything You Set Your Mind To If you Have A Plan and Help Others Along the Way

My Dad was a big believer in Planning. I remember working for him when a big parade was going to be held in the city of Melvindale. He sat with me and made a list of all the extra food, supplies, etc., he would need for the event. He also fed all of the people involved in setting up the Parade at no charge. He told me that treating all the dignitaries of the city, including the police department, was a bit of an expense for him but it would come back to him in a big way.

What are you doing in your own career to plan for your future? What can you do while in the job seeking mode that can help someone else? Could you volunteer at a job fair to help get them set up? Could you join a non-profit organization like Toastmasters and improve your presentation skills and maybe mentor a club mentor who would benefit for your expertise in a specific area? Whatever generosity you offer will come back to you a thousandfold!

3. Make Smart Investments

My Dad was always big about investments. But it wasn’t only about the stock market. He taught me about investments of time, efforts, relationships, etc.,
What are you investing in that will yield results? If you have had four (4 )interviews in an Industry that is not responding to you at this time, where else might your efforts garner results? Do you need to seek out the counsel of a career consultant to help you transfer your skills into a new area or field that will produce more positive results? Who do you know who might be connected to people that could open doors for you in a new venture? Invest in your future by going out of your comfort zone to secure the results you need.

4. Think Your Decision Through

I clearly remember coming home for Xmas one year and needing to go back to school to make sure I could attend an important class for my graduation. The weather was horrible and we had many inches of snow that made driving quite hazardous. I will never forget my Dad saying to me “It won’t matter, Mary Ann, if you are the smartest gal in the graveyard.” What are you doing right now that will gain you the correct results? Whether it be personal or professional, how can you think through your decisions very carefully so that you achieve the right balance between risk and opportunity?

5. Never Stop Learning

I remember my sweet Dad after he retired sitting at the kitchen table and getting up early in the morning to comb through the newspaper. Whether it was at his home in Allen Park, MI or his place in Florida he always told me : “Mary Ann, you need to know what the hell is going on in the world. Never rest on your laurels. Always continue to learn. Don’t be afraid of failure and keep working hard and learning all you can about what you do.”
In what ways are you willing to be a lifelong learner? How have you advanced the new skills or knowledge that might make you even more valuable to an employer?

This Father’s Day think of what lessons you might have learned from your Dad or a Dad-like figure who made a positive impact on your life. I apply the lessons I learned from my Dad in every aspect of my career. As we all navigate this New Work World we need all the great advice we can get to achieve positive and solid results. Life is one big journey. Take the positive lessons you may have gained and stay excited about moving forward! I miss my Dad lots but I know his powerful lessons will always be a constant in my life and I’m grateful for the wonderful lessons he taught me.

 

Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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