Being Fathers Day last Sunday made me think about what it means to be a Dad. I (naturally) had the best Dad in the world, who I miss immensely and my kids now have (naturally) the best Dad in the world. But I will tell you the difference between a Father and a Dad.
Any idiot can be a biological Father. It takes no thought, just a basic urge, and a working set of genitalia. There are plenty of ‘Fathers’ in the world – far far too many actually.
Now to be a Dad – that’s something else indeed. To be a Dad has nothing at all to do with biology. It involves (willingly) sacrificing tonnes of things – a social life, a good nights sleep, a golfing habit, a smoking habit, any adult TV (for years) and many other things. It involves sitting with your sick child all night when they can’t sleep, and taking them to hospital in the middle of the night. It means going to the shop at ridiculous o’clock when your child remembers they have food tech first thing the next morning. It means watching some Disney film again and again and again until you could do a voice over for all the words. It means playing out when you are so tired you could cry, and pushing that swing again and again to hear that precious giggle. It means playing PS3 or XBox whilst Mummy cooks the Sunday dinner. It means being a permanent taxi service to take them to all their activities. It means coughing up basically – financially, emotionally and of your time – to put your little people first and help them become the best version of them that they can be. THAT’S what being a Dad is..any idiot can be a Father.
In the same way any idiot can be a recruiter – takes little start-up money or industry knowledge – just a bit of confidence, a phone and an advertising budget. But to be a recruitment consultant – that’s something different. That takes care, the ability to understand what your client requires – before they do, to understand the environment that works for your candidate. It takes empathy and passion and endless patience and resilience. It means walking away from deals that aren’t right, and bravely pushing when you know it is. It’s a tough job but rewarding – a bit like being a Dad!