Posts Tagged ‘goals’

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Parents Meet GenY

September 18, 2009

Last night I got home after a night out with friends. My mom was still awake and decided that 11pm was the best time to talk about my future.

During our late night conversation, besides the fact that my parents want me out of the house (ha), I learned that parents may not necessarily understand what makes up GenY.

At this point in my job search I’m being pushed to accept any job offer that comes my way. And while my wallet is more easily persuaded to do so, something in me just can’t do it.

You see, I’ve never seen GenY as entitled. We don’t expect things to be handed to us. We don’t think we deserve more than others. On the contrary, it’s that we have high expectations of ourselves.

The thing I’ve learned about GenY is that we refuse to settle. We’ve been taught to set goals, to reach those goals, and to follow our dreams. Its engraved in us to be the absolute best we can be. So the idea of settling leaves a horrible taste in my mouth.

So where do I go from here? How do we explain to our parents who GenY is?

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Lessons Learned From Cheering On MLBs Most Lovable Losers

September 16, 2009

This is the 3rd and final guest post in my series for Chandlee Bryan’s Emerging Professional site. Here I discuss some finals lessons I’ve learned from sports and how I relate them to the job search. Best of thank to everyone!

I was born bleeding Cubbie blue. Cheering on the Yankees or Dodgers was never an option. It was embedded in me likeMegO2 DNA. I had brown hair, green eyes and I was a Cubs fan. At a young age the charm and personality of the Cubs got me and I watched more Cubs games than I did cartoons. The first time I entered Wrigley Field, my fate was sealed. The atmosphere, the sounds, the tastes and smells, the ivy covered walls and the old-school scoreboard. It was enchanting and my heart still skips a beat every time I return. The Chicago Cubs have a power over me that words can’t describe. It’s a love, a passion, a union that only Cubs fans can understand. They can give me the ultimate high, but have the power to bring me to indescribable lows.Cubs

I was sitting in section 205 on October 14, 2003 as the Cubs were 5 outs away from making it to the World Series for the first time since 1945. In my face paint, handmade Cubs shirt and Cubs print pants; I hid behind my hands too nervous to watch. Hiding was a good idea. With 5 outs to go, Moises Alou lost a foul ball to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Alex Gonzalez let a ball go through his legs, Mark Prior imploded, and the Florida Marlins went on to score 8 runs. All with 5 outs to go! This wasn’t the only time the Cubs were the reason I cried for hours. Being a Cubs fan means enjoying the highs, but expecting the lows. People ask me constantly, “Why are you a Cubs fan?” Why? Why do I cheer on a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908? Why do I support an effort that is 101 years in the making? Why do I constantly set myself up for disappointment? I had no choice. I was destined to be a Cubs fan. And while my mom constantly reminds me “Why do you love them so much? They don’t give anything back to you!” I know that’s not true. The Cubs have taught me the importance of loyalty, dedication and persistence. Being a Cubs fan has prepared me for anything and given me invaluable skills I use daily. Sure I’d like a World Series ring, but a few, good life lessons will do for now.

“If at first you don’t succeed..”

We’ve all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” The great thing about this saying is that it can be applied to anything we do in life from playing sports to landing that perfect job. Practice is the key to success and is something that even the most talented athlete does daily. After an 8-game winning streak the Cubs won’t cancel drills just because they’re doing well and a player won’t just hang out in the clubhouse during practice if he’s batting .380 in June. The best keep going. They keep practicing. They keep honing their skills. They try each and every day to better the athlete they were yesterday. Texas Ranger pitcher CJ Wilson said, “We practice every day despite having played the same basic game for over 20 years…Think about how weird that is!”

The same applies to the job search. It is rare to find someone who wakes up one morning and is just naturally good at interviewing. It’s a skill and something we need to practice. Rehearse answering important questions in the mirror, set up mock interviews with family or educators, research keys to successful interviews and go on actual interviews as often as you can. My friend Sarah recently went on an interview with a company that she didn’t know much about. While she was apprehensive at first she saw it as an opportunity for practice. The interview only lasted two minutes, but the point was that she gained more experience and knowledge through it. No harm there, right? You can’t win every game, nor can you knock every interview out of the park, it takes practice, dedication, and persistence. Someday I will have the home run of all interviews and land that perfect job, but until then practice makes perfect.

Perseverance “Yet we still believe it’s gonna happen. Maybe this year, maybe next year, maybe in 50 years. We’ll wait.”- No Love Lost, ESPN

Sports have taught me some important life lessons including, dedication, preparation, practice, experience, and persistence. However, I feel this last lesson is truly the most important; perseverance. It was Wednesday, October 14, 1908 the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series. 101 years ago. Chicago fans are constantly reminded of it and the players are too. Yet at every Chicago Cubs home game you’ll be pressed to find an empty seat, the crowd will be cheering louder than even the day before and the players will sprint out there with one goal in mind; win. The Chicago Cubs understand the definition of perseverance. They eat, sleep and breathe it. Regardless of any obstacles, the cynics or their history, the Cubs know that one day they will win the World Series and until then the only thing they can do is put everything they have into every game they play.

The truth is, the job search can be exhausting. Constantly being told “no” by companies can take its toll. And being turned down for positions you’ve dreamed about can be heart breaking. I know, because the Cubs still haven’t offered me an interview. Regardless, the important thing is to keep going. Never take no for an answer and never accept failure. My dream is to work in sports and I won’t stop until that dream becomes a reality. A baseball player doesn’t quit after going 0-for-4 in an important game and neither will I. Now, let’s play ball!

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Megan, meet Megan.

August 5, 2009

Tonight I once again made the commute into the city from Naperville like I’ve done many times before. Depending on the time of day the BNSF is either a quick 40 minute ride or the dreaded hour and 15 minutes. Most people, including myself, despise a 75 minute train ride, however, from time to time there are nights where maybe that extra time provides you with a much needed break. That extra time gives you the opportunity to disconnect from the world, enjoy the silence, and for once, hear your own voice. For me, tonight, that extra time was exactly what I needed.

A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine, @SarahKettler, suggested I read Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver. I love a new book and I needed something to take my mind off of the adventure that is my current job hunt. So I said, “Why not?” and swiped my library card one more time. I didn’t know what exactly to expect from the book. It was small, both in size and length. Sarah had raved about it, but I wondered how life-changing a book could be in 91 pages. I sit here eating my words. Just Who Will You Be? is a beautiful, heartfelt story of Maria’s personal journey in finding out just who she is. An invitation to speak at a high school graduation ignited Maria’s own quest to find out who she was, who she had been, and who she wanted to be. The book details her difficulties in deciding on a topic to speak about. After all, even a Kennedy needs to be persuaded that their story is worth telling. In the end, Maria gives a moving and genuine speech concluding with her own poem entitled, “Just Who Will You Be?”

Tonight I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the launch of Sevans Strategy founded by the incredible @PRSarahEvans. As I stepped out from behind the laptop and phone for awhile I made sure to look and listen as people of all types came together. I mingled, caught up with folks I’d previously met and introduced myself to some new faces. However, regardless of when I’d met them, one common question kept being asked; “what do you do?” What do I do? Well, right now I sit at home applying for jobs, writing blog posts and networking like I should get paid for it. But that’s not really what they wanted to know. So maybe, “What do you want to do?” But even that question leaves for so many possible answers. As the night wore on, I felt so limited by the questions being asked. Okay, well, I’m Megan, I graduated in 2008 from EIU, I interned with the Chicago Blackhawks and Weber Shandwick. Those are basically the answers to every question I was asked. But what does that say? What does that tell you about me? At times I longed to delve deeper into conversations, to really learn about the person, but it always went back to their career or social media or something of the sorts. Don’t get me wrong, the night was a great success and I met some incredible people, but the experience had me questioning a lot. A lot about myself. A lot about “what I do.” And a lot about what I want to do.

Before leaving the house this evening, as I threw my business cards and lip gloss into my purse, Maria Shrivers little book of answers caught my eye. “It’s going to be a long train ride,” I thought, “Might as well have something to read.” And while many people despise that 75 minute train ride, sometimes life means for you to miss an earlier train so you’re forced to take time to just…breathe. As I sat alone on the train, tired and hungry, I began to read and began to see things much clearer. My whole life I’ve been asked, “What do you want to be?” Well, a ballerina, obviously 😉 What do I want to be? Throughout high school and college that answer changed constantly. And since then I’ve been many things, I’ve worn many hats, and I’ve had many dreams. But the truth is, what I am now or what I was then is only a small part of what I will be in the future. Of who I will be in the future. Because tonight after reading Maria’s book in its entirety, I realized that the important thing isn’t what I do, or what I want to be..It’s who will I be. What kind of human being will I be? Will I help others or serve only myself? Will I cherish money and belongings or family, friends, and relationships? As I met new friends tonight I wish they had asked these questions. Because what I do in no way defines who I am.

I am grateful that I had that extra time on the train to read all of Just Who Will You Be?, because I’ve realized a few things. I’ve realized that the expectations others have of me, aren’t nearly as important as the expectations I have of myself. I’ve realized that in order to truly be happy, I need to follow my heart and my passions. And I’ve realized that above all things, the most important question to ask myself is “Who will I be?” So as I continue this journey in finding my rightful place in this world, I look forward to meeting the who I will become.

Megan, meet Megan.

There will definitely be more to come regarding this post! However, since it’s 1:20am I should probably be getting to sleep 🙂

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