Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

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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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I’m Just Getting Started (Aspiring to a Career in Sports)..

July 27, 2009

I’ve been on Twitter for about 6 months now, but goodness does it seem like longer. At first I was cynical about it as many are when they first begin. But I gave it a chance. I researched it, explored, got to know people and before I knew it I was a Twitterholic. I’ve learned a lot over my 6 months on Twitter and gained even more. Probably the most valuable thing I’ve gained from Twitter are the connections. The people I’ve met. The relationships I’ve made. One of the connections I’ve made that I consider incredibly valuable was Chandlee Bryan, @Chandlee.

Chandlee, who is a former Ivy League Career Counselor and Recruiter, has her own website, The Emerging Professional. At The Emerging Professional Chandlee urges visitors to put their best foot forward and land the job they love. One of the features I admire most about Chandlee’s website is her genuine effort to help promote young professionals land the job they want and jump start their career.

Recently Chandlee got in touch with me and asked me if I’d be interest in writing a guest post for her website. She had noticed my love for sports and asked if I’d be interested in writing about how my love for sports has impacted my job search. Of course, I said yes 🙂 So below is the first guest post I wrote for Chandlee. My original post was so long that we decided to split it into 3 parts. Therefore, the next 2 posts will follow this week and next. I want to thank @Chandlee for all of her help as I begin this exciting journey and for allowing me to contribute to her site.

Please visit http://www.emergingprofessional.typepad.com/ and http://www.bestfitforward.com/ to see all the amazing things Chandlee is doing to help get careers started. She sure has helped mine. Sure this is only 1 guest post, but I’m just getting started 🙂

My guest post can be found here on Chandlee’s website.

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MegO1I’ve been a sports fan my entire life. The earliest support of that is a picture of me at 6 weeks old in a Chicago Bears sweater and Harry Carey glasses on. My dad, being born and raised in Chicago, was a die-hard Chicago sports fan. It was all about the Cubs, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. That being said, it was no surprise I had Chicago Bears Onesies, Cubs school supplies and was able to recite the entire Bulls starting line-up including Bill Carmrine, Horace Grace and Scottie Pipsen (I know now those aren’t their names) by the age of 4. My uncle, who now does Pre- and Post-game radio for the Texas Rangers baseball team, was a constant presence growing up, which meant so was sports. I grew up following his career in sports media and admiring him for following his dream. And now, not surprisingly, his dream has become my own. Like family, sports has always been a presence in my life. A presence that has taught me about as much as any class ever as. One of the biggest lessons that sports taught me was one that my uncle learned at a young age; follow your dreams.

Confucius once said, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” In my opinion, truer words have never been spoken. Growing up this was a lesson I was told often; do something you’re passionate about. This was one of the first lessons I was taught from sports. One of my favorite things to do as a child was to go to Minor League baseball games. Many of the players were barely out of high school and on their own for the first time. These boys loved the game and you could tell. With scouts watching and local fans cheering them on they put everything they had into the game. Getting paid close to nothing, traveling constantly and staying in motels every night, you knew these boys were there for a reason; they loved the game. It was their passion, their life and they would do whatever it took to make their dream come true.

Some people, like myself, are born knowing what they want to do. Others have to experiment a bit to truly realize what they’re meant for. In difficult economic times such as these many people are settling for any job they can find, but my hope is that eventually they will follow their hearts and do what makes them happy. Everyone’s dream is different. Mine is to work in sports.

But regardless of the shape or size of your dream, all of them are attainable. The first step is simple; ask yourself what it is you really want to do. Has it always been a thought in the back of your mind? Do you have a particular passion? Have you been afraid to try? If you are not sure, do some research! Learn about different career options or paths you could take. Some people need to try a few things before they know for sure. In that case, take a few internships to see what it is you really enjoy. Experience is key to truly learn about a particular industry or career path. Lastly, do what you have to do to make your dream happen. Hone your skills or go back to school if you must. No dream is unreachable and if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen.

My dream is to work in sports. I want to meet new people, travel the country, help others and put my passion to work. I know the power sports can have in impacting people’s lives and I want to be a part of that. New York Mets General Manager, Omar Minaya once said, “We were born with baseball in our blood. It’s more than just a sport. It’s a passion. It’s an opera. It’s just a way of being. It’s almost like breathing.” I was born with sports in my blood. It’s part of what makes me the woman I am today. I know there will be obstacles and I know my dreams won’t come true with the snap of a finger, but I do know that I can make it happen. So for now I’m okay traveling from city to city and staying in local motels, because it will all be worth it when I finally get the call, “You’re goin to the Show.”

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