I decided to write a blog about the experience of being a dad in corporate America because although there are many guys in this category, few write on the subject, at least as far as I can tell. I hope to be insightful, informative and bring humor to the world where most dads spend more of their time than at home.
A little about me, I grew up in suburban Ohio in the 70’s and 80’s. I received a good public school education, had two loving/supportive parents and was very involved in a host of extracurricular endeavors. Upon graduation from high school, I attended The Ohio State University to study Industrial and Systems Engineering. My college years were some of the best and toughest of my life. The best were fraternity life, homecoming court, and meeting my wife. The toughest was getting through the engineering program, whose main goal I thought was to ‘weed’ out more students than matriculate. Five years and two quarters, yes we were still on quarters when I was at OSU, I graduated and returned back to Cleveland to work at my first corporate gig. I worked in production for Pepsi Cola. It was an eye opening experience, being in a union environment, fresh out of school, managing folks old enough to be my parents, or at least an older brother and sister.
Three years of long hours, lots of administrative change, and few promotional opportunities later, I decided to get my MBA and move to the next pay grade. I was recently married and knew that now would be the best time to get a graduate degree, given that we didn’t have kids yet. I received a full scholarship to Case Western Reserve University, so there I went. The two years flew by. The year between my first and second year I interned at TRW’s corporate headquarters where I continued to work during my second year. Upon graduation, I went to work for A.T.Kearney, a global management consulting firm, out of their Cleveland office. I worked long hours and was on the road five days a week. I traveled to Europe and Asia for the first time and in many ways was stretched to limits that I had never experienced before. Life was tough but rewarding. My wife and I bought our first home and stared to really get settled in to married life. Then it happened. The second life changing event, we had our first child. Needless to say, being a new dad, with a wife at the time in a Doctorial program, and traveling five days a week, was not a recipe for success. I had to find a job in town and fast.
Life after consulting has had its ups and downs. I worked for a bank, in-town for the corporate IT organization, where I had six managers over the course of a three year span. I was home every night so that definitely was a benefit, but the grind in my management and turmoil was too much to bear. After getting fed up with the corporate comings and goings of the bank, I decided to try my entrepreneurial luck at starting my own business. It was more like a hobby because for the next three years, I did not make a profit and the business I was in saw more and more deterioration in the marketplace. Reality struck and I knew that I had a mortgage, bills to pay and mouths to feed. Even though I had learned a lot about myself and about business, I swallowed my pride and took the advice of a friend in executive search and went back to corporate America, Information Technology where I have been since 2002. As I write this blog in the days to come, I hope that my insights and observations spark comment and discussion as well as give a lot of people fodder to relate to.