Monday, July 19, 2010

Are You A Daddy's Girl?

I am! But not just in the 'cry until I get what I want' kind of way. (Just kidding Dad-I know you're reading this at work!) This article from the NY Times talks about how much of an influence father's have on their daughter's careers. Studies were conducted to compare number of sons who follow in their father's line of business to the number of daughters.

The article states that more daughters are following in their father's career footsteps now than they were a decade ago. Perhaps it is due to increasing communication between dad's and their little girls and the passing down of career skills, values, and lessons father's have learned in the business.

I also think the increase in 'keeping it in the family' business is due to the fact that more women are becoming more confident in their abilities and are more career-driven than ever before. And who better to go to for advice than the most influential man in every girl's life.

My dad has worked in the media business in NYC since he was 18. When my sister graduated with her business degree from a "practically ivy league" university as she so humbly refers to it she immediately went to work in the city, in the same company, where my father was working at the time. Was he the reason she got the job? It sure didn't help. She has moved up in the business and continues to even though he has changed companies. I do have to admit I do get a little jealous when they talk about the latest media scandals and who fired who and what client just sued for $5,000,000,000. (Can you tell I don't work with adults?)

I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive father. I tried Communications when I was in college, figured I would land a job before graduation (I did have an offer from the radio industry I interned for, not to boast!) then I decided to go back to school to get my teaching certificate. Something my dad had no experience, advice, or connections to. He did, however, tell me to go for it, which was probably the best advice I've ever gotten. He said he wanted me to wake up in the morning and enjoy going to work and if a classroom, instead of a corporate office, was where I wanted to spend my working days then I should do it. "Why no?" he'd always say when I began to doubt if I was doing the right thing with my life. He said there is no right and wrong when it comes to job experience, that's the whole point!

My mother was a teacher, a high school typing teacher mind you, but she only worked for a few years before she met my dad, got married, got pregnant, and never had to work again (can you sense my jealousy?!) She definitely can relate to me when I complain about my feet hurting and my head pounding and losing my voice calling kids on the playground. But times have changed. She never had to deal with disrespectful toddlers (you think I'm kidding?) and their accusatory parents ("My child had a nightmare last night, what did you do to him?" - true story) so it's hard when I want advice or sympathy or some helpful hints on how to move up on the teaching ladder and don't have a family member to relate to, but I do have a hard working father who, although he doesn't have to change diapers at the office, he definitely deals with some people who act like children throughout the day!

So although I'm not in the same industry as my father, I was definitely inspired by his working attitude and his values when it comes to complications, confrontations, and other issues in the work place. So what about you other girls? Are you inspired by your father? Maybe you work for the family business, hoping to take it over some day? Or maybe you do something completely unrelated to anyone in the family! Share your experience with us!


Kris said...

cute story. i'm a daddy's girl too!

angeline said...

Great story! I'm definitely a daddy's girl, and at one point in college I wanted to change my career to civil engineering (what my dad does) but he discouraged it because he was under a lot of stress for quite a few years at his job. To be fair, he discouraged my brother from the same thing.

Funny enough, after I finished my master's degree in journalism, I ended up working for a local city, right next door to the city my dad worked for. We knew a lot of people in common, and he runs into my college classmates (now urban planners) all the time through work. Even though I didn't follow his exact route, we ended up in nearly the same place (albeit different departments). Our favorite part was carpooling until I married and moved. It was our father-daughter time daily, even though I was 23 years old.

citygal said...

I'm more like my dad than my sister, but am the first teacher in my faimly. Actually, I'm the first college graduate too :)

Amy said...

My dad works in a different industry altogether but I think I have inherited his work ethic, for sure.

Corporate Chickee said...

Great story! My sister and I both joke that we have had life-long career counseling from our Dad. He was in the food-service sales industry for YEARS while we were growing up. For the last 10 years or so, he's been in the staffing sales industry. A perfect fit for him.

While neither my sister or I followed in his career footsteps... we both adopted his work ethic, communication styles, and ability to negotiate and persuade!

We just recently were joking about how when we were interviewing to be summer lifeguards, or work at the local deli, we probably had better interview-coaching at home than most CEO's get before their big interviews! (We're talking practice interview role-play, dry runs, practice interview questions over the dinner table... and on and on.)

We loved it then and we still love it now!

Kelsey said...

I'm following dad more than mom because my mom is a teacher and makes nada!

Teaching Working Girl said...

Those are great stories, thanks for sharing angeline and corporate chickee!! I'm (and my dad as he sits here with me talking about this) glad you have those relationships and memories about your dads and how influential they were on your careers and work ethic!

Alex said...

Nice post! My sister is a Daddy's girl. Her love of cars was influenced by my Dad. Recently, she helps Dad in our car painting business and she was assigned in choosing the best auto coatings in the market for our car paint supplies. She's also adept in using coating gun, mind you. Thanks for posting an incredible post!