Workplace Antics – Drought Relief

drought relief

Today at work we played dress-ups. No Seriously, this isn’t a bad joke, or some bad creepy game, we actually did.

While it wasn’t the kind of dress-ups you might have expected, it did have a serious note attached to it.

DROUGHT RELIEF

Warning, Shameless plug incoming.

The business I work for has gotten behind the country and is supporting the Relief cause to aid with the ongoing Drought our country is experiencing.

Our Workplace decided to go one further with this and raise some additional donations from within our team and our local community.

This is where the dress-ups came into it, since the cause was for drought relief for our farmers, the team decided to dress up in ‘country’ style.

drought relief

While there was a lot more of us, not everyone is happy to be on camera.

Warning, another shameless plug incoming.

The team may be camera shy, but they did raise over $600 between them, and are pretty good at convincing our customers to do the same.

OK, so it wasn’t really dress-ups, in fact I’d say a lot of my colleagues probably just raided their own wardrobes.

Featured – Dads in the Limelight

dog bath

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Chris from Dad of Divas . He had found my ramblings through one of the social media platforms Down Under Dad uses (shameless plug incoming) like Twitter @DownUnderDadbg , Facebook Down Under Dad Blog , or Instagram @downunderdadblog. While it often doesn’t feel like it, its always nice to know someone is reading my work.

family roadtrip

He asked if I was interested in being Featured on his reoccurring Segment – Dads in the Limelight. In which each time he features a new Dad he has discovered and asks him a series of questions as a way to get to know him for his readers.

Of course my first thoughts were selfish like “What a great opportunity for some exposure”. You should know by now I like to be honest. Just check out Shopping for Kids Toys – With Kids and you will get a fair idea.

sick toddler

The more I thought about it, the more I liked what he was doing and read about other featured Dads. Its refreshing as a Dad to see how others have answered the questions, What Drives them? What do they see as challenges? and What advice they would give to others?

Anyway if you want to know more about what I’m talking about you can check out the post here Dads in the Limelight – Down Under Dad

If you have time I really encourage you to check out some more of Chris’s work over at Dad of Divas and I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to be featured.

 

Parenting Vs Leadership or Dads and Leaders

leadership

Leadership in the workplace is a lot like parenting. In the workplace you have a certain level of accountability and its your responsibility to utilise your team to get the job done. At home your children are your accountability and its your responsibility to raise them from the day they are born until they mature into adults.

When you examine both roles with more detail you can see they both require a similar skill set. To succeed in both parenting and being a leader in the workplace, you need; to have good knowledge in the field in question, the ability to admit when you have made a mistake, be able to show initiative and act without someone guiding you, have the compassion to be everyone’s go to person, and be a universal motivator no matter the situation.

Still stuck as to how they are similar?

followership

Knowledge

To be a strong leader in the workplace you need to have a strong knowledge of the work being completed. While an excellent leader could successfully lead in any field, they would still need good working knowledge of that area. Knowledge can be learned and information can be taught, but leadership  doesn’t come that easy.

Same as parenting. While you aren’t expected to know everything as a parent. A working knowledge of the basics is always a bonus before baby comes along. One third of your knowledge will come from experience (whether your own or someone else), another third will come from what you can learn yourself whether from a book or video etc. The final third which if we are honest is what most of us can relate to will come from doing the wrong thing. Not intentionally, but there are some things you only do once before realising maybe they aren’t a good idea.

Admit mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Its a fact of life. I could find a statistic to put in here but i don’t think its necessary. As a leader you are going to make mistakes. A good leader will openly admit they made the mistake. A great leader will learn from them. Its important not to dwell on the mistake but to keep moving forward and fix the fallout (if any) from that mistake.

Parents often make mistakes. They may not be obvious. Something simple like keeping the kids up too late and they get overtired, or forgetting to pack everything a toddler needs for an outing. Its OK to make mistakes, in fact in the early stages of parenthood when you aren’t getting much sleep, it’s almost a guarantee. What you need to do is not beat yourself up about it but move on from it.

Initiative

For a leader this one is obvious, how can you expect to lead a team if you constantly are looking to someone else for guidance. You need to be able to show initiative and think outside the box, go beyond what is expected. What makes you an even better leader is if you can get your team to do the same, the more they can act without your supervision the better. Leadership is what happens when your not there.

Showing initiative as a parent is similar. You won’t always have someone to hold your hand and show you the way. You need to be able to think on your own and make your own decisions. When life throws you a curve ball and something happens that you don’t expect, you need to be able to react to that situation accordingly.

 

leadership

Go to person

As a leader in the workplace people will look to you when they are unsure. If they are confused about their role or simply don’t know what to do next, they will come to you. Its important as a leader you are not only comfortable with this, but can then support the person in question and give them the answer they need.

As a parent your kids are going to constantly be at you with questions. Why are we going out? Why can’t we go out now? Why do I have to get dressed? Why Why Why? – sound familiar? The trick is to be able to answer these questions in a way that will either (A) not lead to anymore questions on the topic, or (B) lead to some questions to already have a series of answers for. Don’t get stuck in a never ending loop of Why!

Universal Motivator

This isn’t just about being able to motivate everyone, its also about staying motivated through tough times.

As a leader in the workplace, a key part of your role is keeping your team motivated and on task. Every office goes through difficult times where budgets are tight and team morale drops. A good leader will stop these disruptions from having an impact on production, or at least reduce that impact.

As a parent this skill is used a little differently. It becomes more about staying positive through tough times. Like days on end without little to no sleep because your toddler is refusing to sleep. If you can stay positive as a leader in the workplace, try using that skill to stay positive as a parent.

parenting

So why the comparison?

Being a working parent isn’t easy. Yes you may get a break from one by leaving to go to the other, but there is also a certain level of guilt you will feel by being away from your family, even if it means you are supporting your family. A leadership role in the workplace can put extra stress on you, as can parenting.

So how do you manage to do both? That question has already been answered above. You have the ability, you just need to stay positive and believe you can do it, its all in your mindset.

Being Successful while putting your family first.

Being successful in the workplace isn’t just getting a promotion or a payrise (although thats always nice). Its about job satisfaction as well.

As a Dad, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy relationship with your family while being successful in the workplace as well. It really comes down to your short and long term goals.

I am currently in a new role in my workplace and trying to succeed in it. While also raising a toddler. What does that mean? It means there are going to be days I need to take off to look after a sick child. There are going to be days I need to leave work right on the dot because I need to pick him up from daycare. There are going to be days where I am a zombie because I was up all night. A good boss will understand this, but you need to be honest with them, also try to see it from their side every once in awhile and on your good days go over and above and this will outweigh the other days.

My longterm goal is based around raising my family, part of that is ensuring financial stability for their future. Short term goals include progressing into a role that is sustainable and helps ensure that financial stability. Along with maintaining healthy relationships with my family. While my goals have both a personal and professional side to them. I always try to put the personal above the professional. If I can achieve these goals I will feel like I am successful in the workplace. But again this is going to look different for everyone.

How will you know when you have achieved job satisfaction? When you jump out of bed in the morning ready and rearing for work. Just kidding, for those of us who aren’t traditionally morning people that will never happen, and for those of us who are parents, We will never be excited about going to work if we haven’t slept. I believe when you have achieved job satisfaction you will stop thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. What if you worked somewhere else? What if you hadn’t taken on that responsibilty? What if you didn’t work? You won’t be asking these questions because you won’t be worried about work and your spare time will be spent thinking about your family.

So set your goals and work towards them, but make sure you take your family along for the journey.

Rough Day at Work

Everyone has a bad day at work ftom time to time. For some its a rare occurence and easy to brush off, maybe you find yourself having more bad days then good days (more on that later), and sometimes it just feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

At the end of the day you need to remember why you are there. For Dads that’s easy to answer, to support your family. If we didn’t need to do that then we could stay home and spend more time with our families.

If you are finding you really dislike your job. Then my advice would be to find a new one. Its not good for your mental health which means its not good for your family. Ill expand on this in another post as i think it deserves more detail.

I try to stick to one train of thought when having a bad day, tomorrow will be a new day. Ultimately when you have tried your best and still come up short there isn’t a lot you can do about it, and a good boss will understand that. Try to leave your stress at work at the end of the day and go home and enjoy your time with your family. Tomorrow will be a new day.

I work in a leadership role and I see both types of people. Those who don’t care about what they are doing and it shows, and those who are trying their hardest and still struggling. The latter are the ones who succeed in the long run. They are also the happier and healthier people in the workplace.

So try to enjoy your time at work, do the best you can every day, and remember, tomorrow is a new day. . .

dad and ol

Work Life Balance

Many workplaces preach the importance of a work life balance, but how many put it into practice? Where does that fine line get drawn? What positives of one side can you give up to benefit the other?

These are the questions I am currently asking myself after being offered a role that provides a stepping stone in my current career path. From a Work perspective its a great opportunity, however the hours will mean restructuring how we do things at home. In the long run my family life will be better with the benefits of my job, but ill need to push through the harder times first.

Don’t worry I’m not after relationship advice or asking you to make the decision for me. I am simply putting my thought process out there for you to read. I know this situation isn’t unique to me, in fact I’d guess most people have been or will be in this position at some point in their careers. Hopefully this provides some comfort for you when you are faced with this decision.

Being a Dad can be tough and making these decisions isn’t easy. My only advice is if your a Dad then your family should come first. Weigh up the benefits of both choices, talk to your family about it, make an informed decision. Then run with it.