left Blue Sky Main Site


Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Blue Sky Resumes is a small team of professional writers and job search experts. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. This is our blog.

Free Course

How to Write a Killer Resume

Read More

5 Things I Learned from My Dad about Business and Work

15 years ago today, my dad died. He smoked for years and barely made it to 60 before lung cancer took his life.

We miss him terribly. He was one of those people who leave a huge hole when they go. On the day of his funeral, they needed a spillover room in the chapel to fit everyone in. Strangers came up to me, with tears in their eyes, to tell me how much my dad meant to them. And you know the interesting thing? Most of them were his customers. My dad was a salesman and his customers came to his funeral. I thought that was amazing.

Today I’ve been thinking about the things he taught me that I still carry with me every day.

1. Help People Out

My dad would help anyone. He was handy with tools and could fix anything. And if a friend or neighbor needed a hand, my dad would be there in a flash, even if it wasn’t convenient for him.

I can’t use tools and I can’t even fix a leaking tap, but because of my dad, I try to offer a helping hand in the ways I know how, giving away my resume writing secrets in free courses and articles, or offering job search advice on other websites. Had he not been my dad, maybe I would have kept all that knowledge to myself.

2. Do it Right

My dad always said ‘if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.’ He built the most amazing things and his attention to detail was phenomenal. When I was a kid, he made me a doll’s house that was a replica of our real house and every detail was perfect. I loved that house!

Now I agonize over every word in a resume and rewrite every article several times and I don’t even think consciously of him when I do it. His words are just ingrained into who I am.

3. Make it Fun

When I think of my dad, I think of laughter. He made everything fun. I remember going to see the movie ‘What About Bob’ with him. He laughed so hard that he got the entire cinema laughing. Now, I think that film is one of the funniest ever made, but it probably isn’t. It needed my dad to make it fun.

4. Be Brave

My dad was enormously brave at the end. He must have been terrified, but he didn’t complain or make a fuss. And he accepted his diagnosis with typical humor. Back then, mad cow disease was a concern in England and no one was eating beef. On the way back from the hospital after learning he had only a short time to live, he and mum stopped for lunch. Dad glanced at the menu and said quietly ‘well, I guess I can risk the beef sandwich.’

He was always brave like that – always willing to try new things. He started his own business in middle-age and would have done well had not a long miner’s strike wiped out the local economy. My dad threw himself into things and then figured it out as he went along.

5. Don’t Let the Rain Stop You Wearing Your Shorts

My dad didn’t let things get in the way. Whenever we’d go on holiday, he’d change straight into his shorts even when it was cold or pouring with rain. He was on holiday and he was going to wear his shorts, dammit!

Dad used to say there’s no problem that doesn’t have a solution if you just think hard enough.’ When building furniture or fixing things around the house, or getting an old car working, he’d always find an answer.

Of course, there was one problem that didn’t have a solution, no matter how hard we wished otherwise. And that was the hardest lesson I ever learned from my dad.

I love you dad. And I miss you.

Read more about Career Success.

Free Course

How to Write a Killer Resume

Read More
Blue Sky Resumes

About the Author

Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

Find Your Dream Job with our FREE e-course

Avoid the basic mistakes that stop most job seekers getting hired. We’ll teach you simple tips and tricks to jumpstart your search.

Learn More

13 comments on “5 Things I Learned from My Dad about Business and Work”

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your dad. The gifts our friends and family members give us certainly have the capacity to impact on us far beyond the time we have together. I feel the same way about what I learned from my mom. I know I would not be the person I am without her influence and love. Thanks for stopping to share.

  2. Your Dad indeed was a fantastic man. He was my favourite uncle and I always remember him making my laugh as a child with his tricks and japes.
    I am not suprised to hear of the huge numbers at his funeral.

    I think he was my Mum’s favourite Bruv.

    I remember fondly the camping holidays of our childhood at Low Row, we were very lucky kids to have fun oving parents xxx

  3. Neil says:

    One thing I always remember was Mum telling me what Dad said to her the day the doctor told him he only had a year left. In Britain at that time there was a huge food scare caused by eating beef. The scare was dubbed “Mad Cows Disease” and was caused by eating contaminated beef. The medical people said it could take between 20 and 30 years to develop.

    Anyway on the way back from the doctors after being told he had lung cancer and had a year left mum and dad stopped off in a bar for a meal.

    When mum asked him what he’d ordered he said

    “I thought I’d risk the beef!”

    Even his own mortality couldn’t take the humour out of Dad

  4. Tasneem R says:

    I’m touched by the story of your dad . He was a true gentleman . Believe me I’ve actually memorized the 5 lessons of your dad in my head . I will try and implement them in my life . Also would like to tell that you’re a lucky man to have had such a dad ! He is no more but his soul is still watching and loving you .

    Ok here’s a fun test for you..
    How am I with my Parents? – How well do you vibe with your parents?

  5. Jeanne Male says:

    A lovely tribute by the chip off the old block. No doubt he was very proud of you too, Louise.

  6. Lou Bonica says:

    I can totally relate. My dad was also a smoker who died too young (58) from a heart attack brought on by emphysema. I never remember him being able to walk up stairs and towards the end he couldn’t walk more than a few yards without getting winded. He was an electrician and he too would help people out. I remember him rewiring many houses of friends. Do it right? He used to tell me don’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. And while he didn’t build a dollhouse till this day my oldest sister still talks about the traffic light he made for her to bring to show and tell in grade school. Amazing parallels. Thanks for the memories.

  7. Julie says:

    What a wonderful legacy he left you. Thanks for sharing it with us. I’m sorry for your loss.

  8. Thanks everyone for the kind comments – and Jane, you’re so right. We were very lucky. I loved those holidays!

  9. Sandy says:

    Hi Louise,
    That is a beautiful tribute to your dad; I’m so glad I stopped by your blog today to read it.
    My mom always said the very same thing, “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
    I lost my mom 13 years ago tomorrow, and I still miss her so very much.
    All I had to do was watch her as she lived her life to learn what it means to be kind, to work hard, to love others and to be a good person. She taught me a lot of values about working and everything else in life. How blessed we are to have had such amazing parents.
    Thank you so much for sharing these 5 important lessons with us!

  10. This is such an awesome post … no doubt your Dad is so proud of who you are/have become … thanks for sharing …

  11. A wonderful post about your father, Louise. Thank you very much for sharing and reminding us about what is really important in life – our positive impact on the people that we meet everyday.

Leave a Reply

Like what you see? Sign up to get our very best stuff sent by email

We hate spam so we'll never do it and we'll never share your email address with anyone.

Article Topics

Blue Sky Resumes

is a small team of professional writers and job search experts based in the US and the UK. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. We love what we do.


Like what you see? Sign up to get our very best stuff sent by email

We hate spam so we'll never do it and we'll never share your email address with anyone.