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More Family Time Helps Fathers’ Careers

There is a lot of talk these days about balancing our work lives and our family time. Parents are torn between professional and personal pulls and too often feel as though one priority is pushing another onto a back burner. Also, family dynamics have changed in some big ways in recent decades alongside increased pressure for workers. These days, both fathers and mothers value a high level of involvement in raising children, and often both work full-time. We are just beginning to explore how these changes have impacted working fathers.

There is a lot of talk these days about balancing our work lives and our family time. Parents are torn between professional and personal pulls and too often feel as though one priority is pushing another onto a back burner. Also, family dynamics have changed in some big ways in recent decades alongside increased pressure for workers. These days, both fathers and mothers value a high level of involvement in raising children, and often both work full-time. We are just beginning to explore how these changes have impacted working fathers.

family time

(Photo Credit: ECraig4/Flickr)

A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Management Perspectives has found some interesting links between how much time fathers spend with their children and their levels of professional happiness.

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Here are some takeaways from the study.

1. The meaning and value placed on fatherhood has changed.

It used to be that the ideal worker was someone who put work above everything else, even their family. But, over time, men’s increased involvement in family life has changed what it means to be a father in our culture. These days, if you’re a parent, whether male or female, our society expects that you will be involved with your family. This is a good expectation as it should support you spending time at home. It will also help other men to do the same if you confidently walk the walk with this one.

2. Involved fathers experience greater job satisfaction.

This study identified many professional benefits for involved dads, but overall job satisfaction stands out. Additionally, these fathers have less work-family conflict, and are less likely to think about quitting their jobs.

3. Men don’t experience the same stress levels about parenting that women do – but they do experience an increase.

Perhaps it’s not that men are less stressed about balancing the demands of work and family, they may just experience that tension in a different way. Co-founder of the Dad 2.0 summit John Pacini says that for years men gave in to the work end of the spectrum due to cultural expectations and norms, but that things have changed. He told Yahoo Parenting:

“Today’s dads are standing up for their paternity roles and rights in the workplace, and that stance is being solidly supported by society and by more and more businesses.”

He also added that dads who work for those supportive companies are more likely to stay at their job.

4. It matters to them when it matters to you.

As our culture continues to shift toward understanding the value and meaning fatherhood has for men today, each of us can do our part. If you show, through your words and actions, that spending time with your family is very important to you, it will help the culture reset in the right direction. As employers understand the positive benefits of supporting this balance, they’ll be increasingly likely to make it their priority too.

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How does being an involved father help you succeed professionally? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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