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Career Coach: Think

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson reflects on the impact of her father’s wisdom as she notes his recent passing at age 92.

I learned a lot from my dad, Paul Kleibrink. One of the signs that sat prominently on his desk had a single word on it -- Think. This word rhymed with his last name -- Kleibrink. I've been thinking about the word think and what it really means. My parents taught me consideration for others -- to take a moment and think about how what you do or say can affect or impact someone else. I can't remember a time when my father said anything mean, demeaning or derogatory (one of his favorite words) to anyone

When I sought his advice, my dad would often ponder the problem and reflect on options, but then lob the question at me, "What do you think?"

My dad worked for IBM. Thomas J Watson the president of IBM, said "The trouble with every one of us is that we don't think enough -- we get paid for working with our heads...take everything into consideration." My dad would have expanded on that and added “and take everyone into consideration.” Respect was important to him -- not only self-respect but respect for others. He also taught us to think outside the box and look at things from another perspective. That things may not really be the way you think they are.

A naturalized citizen, my dad cherished the Constitution of the United States and its values. He kept a copy by his bed and on a recent visit he insisted that I take home a copy. He believed in the freedom of ideas. I'm sure he would have agreed with William James who noted, "A great number of people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

Think about what you think about. Buddha noted, "What we think, we become." Be mindful of your thoughts. And how you communicate with others. Take a moment to consider if your thinking is






Mahatma Gandhi pointed out that "Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony." My dad never lost his ability to think. Wish I could call him right now. I think it would be great if you would call yours and tell him how much you love him and appreciate him.

Paul Kleibrink lived almost 34,000 days -- September 29, 1928 to August 28, 2021. Wish I could wish him a happy birthday. But think I might anyway.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a career coach for creative people and recruiter for animation, visual effects, games and design companies. You can reach her at or