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Advice from Dad: Father’s Day Survey

Jeff Anderson
By Jeff AndersonJune 13, 2013

Our Father’s Day survey asked readers to share helpful or memorable career advice advice from their fathers. The survey, which mirrors last month’s Mother’s Day Survey, also asked questions about their fathers’ parenting styles and the influence of their father’s on their lives.

This post highlights some of the most interesting results. To start, this word cloud, which is made of words appearing in responses to the survey’s open-ended question, illustrates some of the recurring themes in readers responses:

Father's Day Word Cloud

Career Advice from Dad

Here’s just is just sampling of the career advice that respondents said they learned from their father:

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  • Always be honest and have integrity in any job you do. Never treat anyone different from how you would like them to treat you.
  • Work hard, follow the rules, and have faith. Those are the things that make you successful in life.
  • If you want people to take you seriously, keep your chin up, your voice steady, and your fingernails clean.
  • If the company matches, sign up for a 401K.
  • Always be on time, work hard, follow directions, show leadership when asked, and maintain your creativity.
  • Don’t waste a moment at work. Learn everything you can at each job as that knowledge and skill will help you land the next bigger opportunity.
  • Number 1: You cannot sell something you don’t believe in. Number 2: You must, under all circumstances, keep your shoes shined.
  • Hire good people and then get out of their way.
  • You should never stop learning no matter how successful you think you are.

Respondents tell us that they definitely heeded this wisdom. More than 90% of readers say they listen to their dad’s advice.


Dads are Generalists

Readers responses about the kind of advice that was most critical to them was mixed and not limited to traditional fatherly domains, such as career and money. But a significant number of respondents said their father’s advice about dating or raising a family was more helpful than their father’s career and money advice.

The Lifelong Influence of Dads

When readers were asked during what phase of life their fathers were most important, responses were fairly evenly distributed, suggesting that a father’s influence tends remains strong from early childhood into adulthood.

Not Necessarily Disciplinarians

One result of the survey that might turn a few heads is the  finding that respondents said their mothers were stricter than their fathers.

You can read more about our survey results here.

How has your father influenced you? What was your father’s best advice? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson

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