Charles Hawes, a Senior Wealth Management Advisor in Denver, has worked for TIAA for 16 years and his career progression has led him to a role that combines financial planning with leadership of a team of highly specialized staff to serve clients’ needs. In addition, he’s the father of three children—a 10-year-old son, a 7-year-old daughter, and a 5-year-old son.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a working parent?
Balancing success in my role here—which takes more than 40 hours per week—and my passion to be involved with my precious family. Finding ways to participate in baseball practice the last couple of years was difficult, but we got it done.
Additionally, my wife works at home with our kids, and she of course could always use more help from me. She is the rock of our family and we would be nowhere without her. The most rewarding part of being a working parent is that I am able to give my kids the childhood I could have only dreamed of when I was their age. The school they attend, the sports, and the vacations we take were all out of reach of my mother when I was a boy.
What’s your definition of success as a working parent?
I define success as a working parent by deriving personal meaning from my role with our clients. I enjoy working with clients at TIAA because they allow me to help them, and I absolutely love it when I know I have made a crucial difference in the well-being of another person – it really drives me. I have also managed to be involved in the coaching of my son Asher in baseball. When my son was rewarded by our head coach with two Rockies tickets, and I asked him who he would like to take, he said, “You, Dad!” I knew in that moment that despite some of my long hours, my son and I are connected—and that is so important.
How does TIAA support you in that goal?
TIAA has given incredible flexibility in my role here, compensated me very fairly, given me generous amounts of paid time off, and the leadership in Individual Advisory Services is extremely supportive of a work-life balance. It is good to know your leadership team and others value what is most important to many of us—family.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a working parent?
My Director, Brian Samson, gave me indirect advice in a story he told about his father. He shared how his father, a policeman, never once brought the stress of his job home to the family. Compared to that job, I have no stress! It was a great illustration of self-control and putting others first.
What’s your best advice for other working parents?
Don’t be afraid to challenge your kids to stretch themselves, and back them up with time, treasure, and talent when they do.
How do you think seeing your example can help your child succeed?My children, if they understand that I came here with a B.A. in English, will understand that with hard work and focus they can build careers for themselves as well. I went on to earn my CFP® and have applied myself to financial education for the last 16 years.
I am the child of a single working mother. She fought bias, prejudice, and barriers to rise to a high level in management at Pacific Bell. I absolutely learned how to work hard, make sacrifices, and not to surrender in my pursuit of success from my mother. She did it at a time when it wasn’t that popular, and I will be eternally grateful for her grit and determination to provide for us such a precious example of grace under pressure.