I recently shared a story about my mom (a gas station manager) and this incredible young employee she has. The kid is 16, saved up and bought his own truck, and is now working at the gas station, and another job, while going to school. It’s impressive. It’s a lot of work for a young kid, but he seems to be taking it very well. He makes smart decisions and most importantly, he does what’s right for people. So the question is, where did he learn that?

My first question when my mom told me about this young man was “what do his parents do?” Now why did I ask that question? Well, I have a theory about parents. I have a theory that parents who work hard raise kids that work hard. Now there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes a kid goes off the rails despite a good upbringing and sometimes kids succeed even when home life doesn’t provide great examples, but my life is full of examples of working class parents raising hard working, focused kids.

In the case of this particular kid, his dad is a manual labourer. I wasn’t surprised. Parents who understand the value of a hard days work raise kids who (generally) understand the value of a hard days work. So what does this mean? Well, I think that we tend to judge people based on a lot of different things and one of those things is the vocation and economic position of their parents. We make judgments about how hard they’re going to work, how far they want to go in life and how smart they are. And in most cases, we’re wrong.

When you’re hiring, don’t JUST look at work that pertains directly to the job you’re hiring for. Did they pick apples for the summer? Did they work as a carpenter’s apprentice? Did they do landscaping? While none of these things might relate directly to the job your hiring for, you need to think more about the ethic. Experience can be EASILY replaced by hard work. EASILY. A kid that will stand out in the burning sun and work their ass off will work for you if you show them a modicum of respect.

Stop judging people because their parents get their hands dirty and they don’t drive a fancy car.