I lost my dad, Robert, to cancer over 20 years ago. His bold, thoughtful and reassuring nature has stood me in good stead throughout my life. He was someone who lead by example, believing that fulfilment comes from loving what you do, his own career change being testimony to this.
Life Lessons: Andy McAleese
The Lessons He Taught Me...
1. Follow your path and take a risk
Although I've often played it safe within my career, my dad taught me the importance of being happy and fulfilled in your work. He started as an Insurance Salesman but made a career change to become a Nursery Nurse. It was a risk for him to make at the time and, back then, it was an unusual choice of vocation for a man – he was the only male out of 120 students on his training course. However, his career in childcare and child development brought him so much joy and job satisfaction.
I learned an important lesson from him about being open when you are deciding what you want to do and to take a chance to try something new.
2. Do what you love - it's not always about money
As my dad’s career in childcare progressed, he was offered a promotion to become an Area Manager. This would have resulted in more money for our family but it was a managerial role that would take him away from the work he loved.
Whenever I compare myself unfavourably to others, I think of my dad and the decisions he made to ensure that he continued doing what he loved – this has really helped me to feel content with my life
3. Ask yourself questions and imagine scenarios
Whenever I had a problem or needed advice, my dad would encourage me to think of solutions myself, rather than tell me what to do. I often found it frustrating because I actually wanted to be told what to do and to receive reassurance. However, his approach always helped me to make decisions and find answers.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate my dad immensely and how he has shaped me. His onset of Alzheimer’s has forced me to look more closely at his merits and guidance, as the Dad I once knew slowly fades from view. I’ve come to realise that I’ve learned a great deal from my dad by watching and observing, not just from the ‘’pearls of wisdom’’ he has shared with me.
My Dad Andy is a business coach so he’s pretty great at giving measured advice and helping people to work through obstacles, teach them how to be better leaders or advise them how to make their businesses run more efficiently. As a college student, I now look back at some of the things Dad instilled in me as a child and I can definitely see how he translated his key wisdom into lessons to live life by.