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Fatherly Advice: Career lessons we learned from fathers and father-figures alike

Telstra News Advice

Posted on September 1, 2017

5 min read

Father’s Day is only three days away and is a time for us to celebrate fathers and father-figures alike for the contribution they’ve made to our lives. Before we take them out to brunch or kick a ball around, we thought we’d ask some of our people what they’d learned from their fathers that they’ve applied to their careers.

Here’s what they had to say:

Take the time to appreciate the journey

Sarah’s father taught her to live in the moment and take the time to enjoy the journey, advice that’s applied to her role as a Project Manager at Telstra.

“My Dad is a self-made businessman that came from extremely humble beginnings.”

“As I grew up I watched him sacrifice a lot to be successful, and in the end one of the most valuable lessons he shared with me was the importance of finding balance between ambition and gratitude.”

“You obviously need ambition to drive success, but just as importantly, you need to take time to stop and be grateful for where you are and what you have. Quite often successful people are so focused on the goal that they don’t take the time to appreciate the journey, and my Dad told me that you must take time to appreciate the journey because before you know it, that journey has been your life.”

 

Fathers-Day-Telstra
Baby Sarah (right) with her older sister Penny, and father Matthew as he reads them a story.

Find your courage, it’s ok to take risks

Lee Westlake, Reporting and Billing Specialist, said his dad taught him about the rewards to be gained from taking risks.

“My Dad moved us from the small suburb of Dagenham, East London, to the big city of Wellington New Zealand when I was about seven. He worked in the elevator engineering business, and literally had the opportunity to take his career to the next level. He took a risk in the hope that it would give us a better quality of life and open up more opportunities for us.

Four years ago, my now wife, and I moved from Wellington to Melbourne to do the same thing.

When I think back about it he showed me that it’s ok to take risks. He knew he could be successful and backed himself to make that happen. He showed me how to find my courage, and that even if making a change is scary, that doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to.”

Success takes hard work, but it’s worth it

Working as a Foxtel from Telstra Product Specialist, Zach Page said his dad taught him about the values of hard work while still finding the time for the things that mattered most.

“Growing up, I’d know that at 4:00 am each morning I’d hear the soothing sound of Dad’s truck chugging down the drive (friends sleeping over would dispute the ‘soothing’ part). Working long days and arriving home after me each night, he’d still find the time to head down to the park to kick a ball around, or head to the golf course for a late night swing. A harder working man I am yet to find, nor a man with so much energy.

He demonstrated to me the type of work ethic required to succeed in business, but also instilled in me the value of family and balance. I hold these values dear and put them into practice each and every day – striving to achieve excellence in all aspects of my life. I am proud to work for a company which aligns to these values, and am so thankful for my dad for showing me what success looks like and what’s required to achieve it.”

From L to R: Luke, father Phil, Isabelle, Kelly and Zach celebrate a night out.

Aim high to hit the bullseye

Head of Global People Services, Ex Magno’s father taught her the importance of trying to improve everything you do and to always aim higher.

“My father is a firm believer of the Archer’s Paradox – Aim high to hit the bullseye,” she said.

“He believes in excellence and drives to exceed standards. As a young man, he dreamt big and achieved what most people thought was impossible. He is the reason why I look at each role we’re looking to fill at Telstra with excitement and imagine the many opportunities for me to grow.”

Ex has even passed her dad’s advice onto her team.

He taught me to commit to do better every day. As a leader, I share this philosophy with my team, looking at continuously improving processes to avoid the challenges our employees’ experience. When I look at the future of Telstra, I consider what value I can contribute to our transformation versus what limits us.”

Ex and her father smile for the camera.

Want to use this advice to take your future in a new direction? Explore our Careers website and connect to a future created by you.