Years ago I found myself affectionately putting suncream on the bald head of one of the partners of my ex's consulting firm.
That man reminded me so much of my father, that I went unconsciously into daughter mode.
Appropriate, I hear you say (ahem...I know, completely inappropriate...and embarrassing - not that he was complaining!).
This is an overt example of how my father crept into work life, albeit my ex's workplace, but I bet you can think of ways your father impacts your work in subtle and not so subtle ways if you take a second.
It's Father's Day in Australia this weekend. The perfect time to evict Dad from your work life!
Whether you love your father, can't stand him or have never met him, it's likely he's shaped how you see yourself in relation to men in authority.
Your Dad is generally your first man in authority. Feel free to sub in another key man if your father was MIA.
Here are some things to consider, to make sure you are acting consciously when it comes to senior men in your life.
Putting Dad in his rightful place!
It's time for your father to be that (if he is capable) and not be projected onto any man above a certain age.
Consider these questions...
- How did you two get along?
- How do you interact with your father? Informally? Walking on eggshells? Deferentially?
- What do you consider your father the expert on in life?
- What was his role in the family? Saviour? Provider? Betrayer? Loving father? Idiot? Kingpin?
- Do you/did you trust your father growing up?
- Did you know your father? How do you feel about him?
- Where did you feel the most vulnerable with your father?
- Where does/did his approval matter the most to you?
Now think about men in your workplace...
Are there any parallels?
What works, what would serve you better?
In my own life, when left unchecked, I definitely pander to older men, approval seek and give them waaaay too much attention - sorry Dad!
That doesn't serve me at all or anyone around me. So it has been slowly weeded out, with gentle curiosity on my part.
If you have anger or disappointment with your father that you are projecting onto other men, writing about it or talking about it with someone may help.
I'm certainly not putting suncream on any older man's head again!
You can change things up too.
Awareness is key to living from your own power and not replaying old roles and patterns at work.
P.S. Did you see that I've made a free video series to help you make your next career move with confidence? Five Steps to Career Clarity will come straight to your email, complete with new tools and insights for you. Just sign up in the form below - you can also click below to see yours truly introducing the series!