Updated: Jun 13
One of the values I tried to instill into my children as they were growing up was the importance of developing a strong work ethic. While there are certainly a number of qualities that are just as important, I felt this one would serve them particularly well.
In my son’s case he had an interest in golf so we found a caddie program at a nearby golf club that he was able to join. He caddied from his mid-teens to early twenties, got great exercise, made good money and developed his golf game (since caddies were allowed to play on Mondays). His love of golf continues to this day. He even has the occasional opportunity to play “client golf” in his role as a financial advisor with a regional brokerage firm.
My daughter’s journey was a bit different. Once she was old enough to work, she secured a cashier position at one of the local farm markets in our area. While this sounded like an ideal job, the market opened at 7:00 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. This necessitated early wake up calls those mornings which severely cut into her social life the evenings before she went to work.
For most of her “farm market” career those Zero Dark Thirty wake up calls were a constant challenge. Nevertheless, she went on to wait tables and work in retail while earning a degree in fashion design which resulted in her being hired by a national retailer. Today she is in business for herself as a marketing consultant for a varied group of retail clients.
Today when my children reflect on this part of the way they were raised, they both have expressed appreciation for the encouragement they received in developing a strong work ethic during their upbringing.
Last month the Pittsburgh Steelers appointed Omar Kahn, a first generation American who never played football growing up, as the team’s new General Manager.
With only 32 NFL teams, there are not many individuals in these roles so the competition for being hired into one of the few general manager positions in the league is fierce. While reading a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article that profiled Kahn, I was struck by the work ethic that had been instilled in him as a young man. There’s no question that Kahn’s resourcefulness and work ethic positioned him well to be selected for one of the most coveted jobs in football at the young age of forty-five.
I hope you enjoy the article.