Two Values to Teach My Son About Work

Tuesday June 18, 2019 // Morning

We’re days away from the birth of my son. My wife and I are now both working from home. My office is too far from home and the hospital for me to feel comfortable being there. And since I can work from home, why not? More on this in a moment…

A value I want to impress upon my son is to work hard and strive to put a strong effort in anything he does, especially at work. It’s easy to phone it in day after day in a lot of jobs. However, I believe that if you give it a good go in your 9-5 (or whatever task/hustle/hobby) that you will:

  1. Feel much better about going to work
  2. See much better results at work and
  3. Others will see much better results with your work and you’ll be rewarded.

The rewards might not come right away. Or even with that company. But cosmic work karma usually sorts itself out. If you work hard, you’ll benefit from it in more than just a paycheck.

In conjunction with this value, I’d also like to teach him that it’s okay that work is not your #1 priority. Heck, it shouldn’t even be your #2 or #3. Family, friends and health should come above work. Always.

Too often I see my coworkers, friends, family and acquaintances being work martyrs. They miss their kid’s baseball games, happy hours with friends, dinners with their spouses, and weekend mornings laying around doing nothing. Just because they “need to work.” Trust me, I’ve been guilty of this before and probably will be in the future. But I strive to minimize this as much as I can.

One of the biggest and easiest ways to keep this work/life balance in check is to use your sick and vacation time. Every December I hear coworkers talking about the multiple weeks of vacation they are going to lose out on because they felt like they couldn’t take time off during the year.

Family, friends and health should come above work. Always.

What?? Even if you don’t travel, can you not find a time(s) to take off a few days? Just because?

If a friend is having a rough time, take off work early to go see them. If there’s a race you want to run and you’ll have to miss a Friday in the office to travel there, do it. If you just want to spend a day hanging out with your dog instead of sitting in your cube, make it happen. If you can work from home while waiting for your first child to be born, do it regardless of any implied professional consequences.

Work does not come before family, friends and health.

– Josh // Dad

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