I’d like you to make a new career choice as part of being a good father.
Now before you click away to somewhere else, understand that I’m not telling you to switch occupations or even leave your company. The career decision I’m asking you to make is actually a new career choosing. Let me explain.
For most of you, the first time you decided what career to pursue, you were a single man. There was no one to consult, no one else to worry about.
Ah, but now you have a wife and kids. In the past, you used your interests, talents, and opportunities as an end in themselves. You’d wonder, “What can I do for this job?”
Now, your career is only the means to an end. The question is, “What can this job do for my family and me?” It’s the same work, but there’s a big difference.
So how do you go about making this new career choice?
You start by figuring out your financial needs. Count your kids: 2, 3, 4, 5. What will it take to feed them each pay check? What’s your monthly mortgage payment? How about clothes? Vacations? Figure in extras like Girl Scouts, little league, guitar lessons.
Then do some planning. Make some goals. Will your wife go back to work when the kids get older? What about college? Savings? Eventually, you’ll have a bottom line figure.
This may sound like a simple financial exercise that anyone could do-and it is. But I’m talking about a new perspective, a whole new reason for going to work each day.
When you know what your family needs, you can make choices accordingly. There’s a great freedom that comes when you can say, “Hey, wait a second, I don’t need to make a mint. I just need to meet my family’s needs.”
If you’re up for a promotion that involves a lot of overtime, you can pass it by since you know your family’s financial needs are already met. Now you can focus on their emotional needs. Work no longer competes with home. The people you care about most take priority.
You evaluate your job success not by the size of your salary, but by your ability to meet the needs of your family. And you can feel proud that you’ve reached your goal.
Monday morning you may go back to the same job you’ve had for years. But now, you’ve chosen to work for the sake of your children. That can make all the difference in the world.