I was delighted to be invited on to Dan Reed’s Podcast, The Career Dad show recently after our common mission seemed to have arrived from a similar position. The Dads In Business project was created to help other Dads (and myself!) understand more about being the best Dad possible whilst also being the best at work.
I found Dan’s mission had a lot of common ground and was thrilled to find this the case from across the UK. I was invited on to the podcast where we spoke all things marketing, business, what is means to be a Dad and how to better manage the responsibilities of Dad and also the Dads In Business project!
The synergies we have and the conversation we had was brilliant. I asked Dan to send over some more about the formation of Career Dad and how it came to be. There are so many similarities and I’d encourage you all to read and share this story but more importantly, give the podcast a good listen!
Career Dad x Dads in Business
The idea of Career Dad had started to burn into my mind towards the end of paternity leave with my second child. I was struggling.
The problem was I was missing work. I understand how alien of a concept that must be for some (heck, most) of you reading this, but it’s true. For as long as I can remember I have wanted a rewarding, successful career. I’m driven to “make it”. However, this isn’t at the expense of family. I want to be a present father and husband. These two priorities can often be in conflict with one another, which just didn’t seem right to me.
So as I sat in my home office chair, rocking back and forth with a baby in my arms, I started thinking back over the past three weeks. By daughter had been an unplanned home birth. To cut a long story short, my wife woke me up at 5am saying “she thought” she might be in labour. 5.50am our daughter was born.
Despite arriving around her due date, this was a complete shock for me. I was meant to be meeting my MD in the office that morning (I lead a digital marketing team within financial services). I was also meant to present some project milestones in the afternoon. It all stopped. Everyone was incredibly happy, congratulatory and supportive… in the way they thought best. But no-one would talk to me about work.
“Enjoy the time off” or “Get your priorities straight” were the answers I received when I tried to talk about work on paternity leave. But in my mind, I had. I don’t know if you’ve had babies or remember the baby stage, but those first few weeks there’s not a great deal us dads can do. For the baby, I hasten to add. Supporting our partners, absolutely. In my mind, though, I was mentally ready and wanted to discuss work, and physically was able to look after my wife and kids.
I decided I couldn’t be the only person who felt like this, so I created a video for LinkedIn and asked my network if the idea of building a community around dads who were career-focussed, but also wanted to be present dads, resonated. Funnily enough, it did.
A few weeks later www.careerdad.co.uk was born. Next came a podcast, The Career Dad Show, and then the opportunities to work with organisations and individuals to help them support dads in the workplace. I’m truly honoured to be part of what I call the “secret club of dads”. I want to help as many dads as possible to realise that they’re doing ok, and no-one has the answers.
It’s quite tough sometimes. As mentioned earlier in the piece: I have a full time job that’s not very 9-5. I have a wife and two kids. I also have hobbies. And then, on top of it, I started Career Dad.
I’m conscious that what I’ve created to help dads put time back into their families could be taking me away from mine. But I can’t stop. It’s like fuel for me. It gives me energy. And I plan to live up to the Career Dad mission statement every day: To positively impact as many dad’s lives as possible.