Career-related discussions are something that my dad and I tend to have on the weekly basis, and have increased since changing my major to Management Information Systems last year. Our latest discussion was on the phone about word choice and the do’s and don’ts when writing/typing papers and other documents, moving forward in college as well as in my future career. What sparked up this conversation though was my dissatisfaction with a comment I got on a paper from a peer review. The comment stated that my choice of words were not “scholarly” or on the college level.
It really got under my skin so I decided to call my father about it. I told him the situation, and I felt that my paper was scholarly and I wrote it in a way that my fellow classmates would understand. His response was, moving forward into my career, the choice of words I used really would play a big part. As more advice he told me that having a bigger vocabulary showed professionalism and knowledge. Throughout our discussion I became frustrated because I believed that as long as my audience understood what I was talking about it should not matter how “simple” the words were.
Even though I knew what he saying was right I did not want to hear it, because I was frustrated about the comment. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t care what he had to say after a while, but I have a lot of respect for my father. I knew what he was saying was right from experience being a computer programmer, where he is constantly in meetings and speaking in front of his colleagues. After we finish talking I still felt a little frustration, because I kept thinking back to the comment.
I really was surprised by the valid points my father made about the situation because I was so set on the way I felt and my stubbornness took over. The discussion was really needed though, initially I was not going to go back and reedit my paper but my father words really made sense. I guess he was right the choice of words you choose can really go a long way. The advice I took from our discussion to help me in my future career was to continue practicing and improving my writing skills.