What career advice did your parents give you?
by Chris Seper Digital media entrepreneur and founder, CEO of MedCity Media (publisher of MedCityNews.com)
Our lives are peppered with mentors, bosses, colleagues and teachers who have helped us with our professions. But I bet you're like me and got your first career lesson from family.
I'll never forget mine. I think of it almost daily around the holidays.
For no other reason than that he wanted to, my father would regularly write up the results of my 11-year-old youth soccer matches and submit them to our hometown newspaper. Like all good community papers back in the '80s, the paper printed my dad's three-paragraph reports verbatim. My father later told me the only thing he made sure to do was by season's end reference every player on my team. He always included the names of a few kids from the opposing team, too.
But one day my team got trounced 15-0. I begged him to cover up the story. It would be embarrassing, I told him.
He smiled gently. "Son, you have to take the good with the bad." Then he went back to his typewriter.
That was one of many broader life lessons my parents taught me. But it was the first I found myself directly applying to my first career in journalism. I would reflect on that moment often when someone urged me to focus on the "positive" and not the "bad news" (this plea usually came from a public figure who just did something bad and didn't want it in the paper). But it wasn't the only lesson; the fact dad made sure teammate got their due also stuck with me (I've applied that more now as a CEO and entrepreneur).
There were other lessons from my youth soccer days. Some parents got jealous their children’s teams didn't get regular write-ups in the local press, too. But none of them wanted to put in the work. Instead, they told my father that if he was going to write up his sons' games he should do it for every team. My dad told them to take a hike.
At the end of the year, my teammates' parents bought my dad a Christmas ornament: a chalkboard that read thanks to "Scoop Seper."
Holidays are a time for family and good memories. I'd love to hear your family career lessons in the comments.
About the author:
Chris Seper is a digital media entrepreneur who started and leads MedCity Media, the publisher of MedCityNews.com. MedCity News is the destination portal for coverage of innovation and B2B insight in the life sciences and healthcare, gathering the best collection of C-level executives, entrepreneurs, investors and others stakeholders.
MedCity Media's business model builds better, deeper and more lucrative relationships with customers because it leverages its content and its audience better than digital or traditional peers.
Chris is a former journalist whose byline has appeared in The Plain Dealer, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor. He advises the likes of Spoke Software and is on the board of directors of The Civic Commons, a Knight Foundation-funded social enterprise that leverages technology for civic action.
He holds a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Eastern Illinois University.
Republished from LinkedIN under Creative Commons
[Photo courtesy of Flickr user creativedc]