5 DOs For Work and Life That I Learned From My Recruiter Dad

June 12, 2019 Kate Newsome Kate Newsome

My dad, the recruiter.  Many of you reading this probably know exactly what that means and what he does. I’ve always known that he likes talking with people (a lot) and asks questions constantly, but here I am at 19 years old, only now starting to really comprehend what he actually does all day.   

My dad is BIG on lessons. For as long as I can remember, I swear it seems like I’ve gotten a new one every day, and if I had written them down I could have published a book by now.  Although I missed that opportunity, many of those lessons have stuck with me over the years; whether it’s about family, friends, sports, school, or, now, work. I often notice him using the same examples but in different contexts; making them universal lessons and valuable in many situations.   

With that in mind, and in celebration of the upcoming Father’s Day weekend, here’s a list of 5 Do’s I learned from my recruiter dad that can apply to both work and life (with 5 "don’ts" to follow separately):

Do #1:  Always operate in a manner in which you never have to apologize

I’ve heard this one a LOT, and for years I would think, “Never having to apologize? Sounds pretty amazing to me!”, but I’ve come to realize that this isn’t about not being willing to say you’re sorry.   Of course, everyone makes mistakes - that’s life. This, instead, is a goal we should all strive for. The point of this lesson is to always do the right thing in every situation; even when it’s the hard choice.  By doing so, you can sleep well at night without having to worry or apologize for something you know was wrong.

DO #2: Run at your problems - not away from them   

This is also something my dad says all the time, and something that can apply to all aspects of work and life.  If you have a problem, acknowledge it, and then tackle it head on. Most problems won’t go away on their own, and putting it to the side is just prolonging the inevitable.   Plus, the longer the problem stays, the more it can grow and the worse it can get...and you’ll worry constantly until you solve it (and he also says that “worrying” is a worthless emotion since it doesn’t solve anything).  So, when problems arise, run straight at them and take action!

DO #3: Prepare for the worst, and you won’t be surprised when it happens

This is so true, and these are words I try to live by (although that’s easier said than done).   I’m not sure this lesson would come up in most households, but it has been shared with me and my three brothers many, many times in a variety of ways.  We’ve been taught to prepare for unexpected things to happen in school, in sports, and now, in the workplace. Instead of complaining, he’s taught us to accept that things won’t always go your way, so prepare ahead of time and have a plan of action for when it happens.  Disappointment is inevitable, so why not get ahead of it and have your next move prepared. Nobody has ever been looked down upon for being too prepared.

DO #4: Operate in the light

This one pretty much speaks for itself, and should be a no-brainer, but my dad says that this isn’t always a given in the recruiting industry.  His message to us for as long as I can remember has been crystal clear: Don’t do shady stuff, and don’t cut corners. While this one sounds similar to never having to apologize, it’s more about being open, consistent, and honest in all you do in life and in business.   

DO #5:  Deliver bad news early

Bad news early is good news. Oh, if I only had a dollar for every time my dad said this! When I was younger, I never really understood this one, but it couldn’t be more accurate (and it applies to any and all situations).  Bad news early means there is still time…and time is everything. Time to potentially fix the bad and turn it into good. Time to give someone a heads up sooner rather than later. Communicating bad news early means tackling the problem head on, doing what you need to do, and them moving on.  I could go on and on with this one, but it’s simple: Never keep quiet with bad news; it will only get worse!

Be open. Be honest. Take ownership.  And be prepared. If you can do these things and apply them to all aspects of life, the workplace included, success should follow. You will never regret telling the truth and being upfront about your problems and asking for help. All of these things are necessary in life so why learn the hard way when you can start applying these things to your life today!

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