Menu
Mr. Butch and Sayaka Kanda are First iPhone 6 Customers in Japan

Mr. Butch and Sayaka Kanda are First iPhone 6 Customers in Japan

The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Premieres Monday as Double Pack

The Big Bang Theory Season 8 Premieres Monday as Double Pack

Alibaba BABA Shares Priced at $68

Alibaba BABA Shares Priced at $68

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Miley Cyrus New Butt Gets in Trouble with Law

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

Larry Ellison Steps Down as CEO of Oracle

7 Ways Your Father Affected Your Career

Dec 23 2013, 10:16am CST | by , in News

7 Ways Your Father Affected Your Career
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

My father passed away last May at 92, and his passing has spurred me to think even more deeply about our relationship and his impact on me. As one of two daughters and the youngest, I know that my relationship with him, and his expectations of me (along with his views of his own life and career) have shaped me tremendously.

A 30-year General Electric manager and scientist with 7 patents under his belt, my dad believed many things that influenced my career path, including the idea that the best career is one with a corporate giant that can provide security and stability. I internalized those beliefs without knowing it. But after my 18 unhappy years in corporate life, I finally carved out my own independent path.  While that flew in the face of what my father believed was a safe bet, I’m very grateful that he expressed pride and happiness over my successes on this path.

In wanting to understand more about a father’s impact on a daughter career trajectory and success, I recently spoke with Behavioral Management specialist James Bond, Founder of the Father-Daughter Project™ and author of the groundbreaking relationship book, The Secret Life of Fathers, based on intimate interviews he conducted with 101 fathers of daughters.

James shared his perspectives and insights on the impact of fathers on their daughters’ careers and explained that if you are a woman whose father was present during your childhood, your father’s influence on the career decisions you’ve made throughout your life may surprise you.

Based on James’s research and findings, below are seven areas where a father’s influence on a woman’s career can be significant.

1. Who You Associate With

Is it possible your father’s early involvement with you may have affected who your friends are, by shifting your hormonal development?

Surprisingly, yes. Studies have shown that girls with uninvolved dads tend to go through puberty at least five months earlier than other girls. This leads to a premature interest in boys, often robbing a woman of critical early socialization with peers.

For many women, this early distraction translates into health, esteem and career development challenges that carry forward throughout their lives.

2. Speaking Your Opinion

Are you confident expressing your opinion, particularly when it’s different from those of your boss or peers? That may depend on whether your father encouraged you to express yourself growing up.

A landmark study of college women found that when a father encouraged his daughter to express her opinions growing up, she would generally become more confident at expressing her opinions in school and throughout her life, even when they diverge from the norm.

3. The Career You Choose

Do you see yourself in executive management or as part of the secretarial pool?

Many women tend to pursue lower-paying waitressing, in-home health care and administrative jobs even when qualified for higher-paying executive and technical positions.

Product engineer Debbie Sterling was frustrated because so few women pursue careers in engineering. She believes the expectations set during early childhood are much to blame. Her founding of toy-maker GoldieBlox is her attempt to get more girls excited about careers in engineering.

How has your father’s early expectation of the types of careers a woman should pursue affected you?/>/>

4. Your Ambition and Competitiveness

It has been said (by Sheryl Sandberg and many others) that women lack the ambition and competitiveness that men have. If there’s any truth to it, are their fathers at least partially responsible as key influencers?

The answer is complicated, because women tend to handle risk differently than men.

In a landmark lawsuit against retailer Sears, the EEOC claimed that Sears had discriminated against women by offering a compensation structure that women would be unlikely to accept. The EEOC charges were based on statistics – that women were not represented in this higher-pay commission compensation structure as frequently as men. Sears, on the other hand, claimed that the paucity of women in these higher-paying commission jobs was not due to discrimination but rather to women’s choice and preference for less risky jobs.

Although the EEOC ultimately lost, the issue of women being less interested in the seemingly riskier commission-based pay was never challenged.

When Sheryl Sandberg was offered the job of Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, her husband was floored that, like many women, she was willing to take their initial pay offer without making a counter-offer. She ultimately made a higher counter-offer on the advice of her husband, which was readily accepted by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder.

In each case, it may appear that women are more risk-averse than men and therefore, less competitive and “ambitious.”

But tell that to three-time Olympic beach volleyball champions Kerry Walsh and her partner Misty May-Treanor, or tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams.

These women are fierce competitors, easily as competitive as the most successful males.

Still, even these top-tier athletes attest to their father’s influence being a factor in their competitive success.

Was your father competitive or passive, and how much has that inflated or deflated your ambition towards your career?

5. How You Interact With Men

Are you confident and comfortable interacting with men?

If you grew up with older brothers, or with an interactive father, the answer is more likely to be, yes.

Without an involved father, the challenge of interacting with men, particularly in the workplace, can be challenging at best (and debilitating at worst) for some women.

For one thing, most men have greater difficulty conveying sensitive emotions.  Women who’ve grown up interacting with fathers with limited communication could have a cultural advantage in the workplace, understanding how to navigate these defensive quirks more effectively./>/>

How has your childhood interaction with your father prepared you for interacting with men in the workplace?

6. How You Are Mentored by Men

Is it easier for a father to mentor a daughter than a son? Generally, yes.

Donald Trump’s heir apparent is daughter Ivanka. News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch’s heir apparent is daughter Elisabeth . Despite public feuding a few years ago, Viacom’s Sumner Redstone’s heir apparent is still his daughter Sheri. Every one of these business titans has sons capable of being in the line of succession. Yet the frontrunner is clearly the daughter.

The reason? In many cases the testosterone that triggers competitiveness between fathers and sons is absent in the father-daughter relationship, making nurturing by dad a much easier and more natural situation.

Was your father open to brainstorming with you or providing periodic advice to help you navigate through your challenges? If not, this may affect your comfort in reaching out and being mentored, particularly by men.

7. Your Leadership Style

Are you comfortable enough in your own skin to find and use the leadership style that is uniquely ideal for you?

There’s no mistaking the fact that for each of us, our early model of leadership came from our experience at home.

How your father interacted, particularly with you, and also with your mother and other authority figures in your family life set an example for how leadership works or doesn’t.

How has your father made it easy or difficult for you to be a leader?

* * * *

Taking Control of Your Career and Destiny

Happily, your destiny is not completely anchored to your father (or mother or anyone else for that matter), despite these seven impact areas.
If your father helped you build a sense of inner confidence, you already have powerful tools planted deep within you. But even if he didn’t, all is not lost, not by a long shot./>

Like so many women who have boldly stepped up to their highest career visions and potential, addressing your own beliefs and mindsets and revising those that no longer support your growth is the first step to getting on the path to making the professional contribution you dream of.

With or without a father’s positive influence, you can build a successful, rewarding career you love. Through understanding and addressing these seven impact areas and engaging in the development tools and resources available (including public speaking training, finding sponsors and mentors at work, volunteerism, leadership development, providing mentoring to others, etc.), women can step up to their fullest potential, contribute and lead powerfully, and achieve their highest professional goals.

(For more information, visit The Father-Daughter Project™ at www.TheFatherDaughterProject.com and James Bond’s book The Secret Life of Fathers).

(For more about women’s career growth, communications skill and leadership development, visit Ellia Communications, The Amazing Career Project, Kathy’s monthly Career Success Training, and her book Breakdown Breakthrough).

Source: Forbes

You Might Also Like

Updates

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Kendall Jenner spotted in Italy with Mystery Man
Kendall Jenner spotted in Italy with Mystery Man
Kendall Jenner was last spotted in Italy with an unidentified man.
 
 
Scotland Votes No to Scottish Independence. Official Results
Scotland Votes No to Scottish Independence. Official Results
Scotland stays in the UK. The vote results are now official.
 
 
Teemu Selanne Rips Bruce Boudreau in New Biography
Teemu Selanne Rips Bruce Boudreau in New Biography
Former Anaheim Ducks right wing Teemu Selanne took a shot at his ex-coach, Bruce Boudreau, in his new biography "Teemu."
 
 
Mr. Butch and Sayaka Kanda are First iPhone 6 Customers in Japan
Mr. Butch and Sayaka Kanda are First iPhone 6 Customers in Japan
The iPhone 6 is here. Australia and Japan already got the iPhone 6. Europe is getting them right now.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.