Tag Archives: college

The Career Contender – Who Am I?

“You don’t understand. I could have had class. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody, instead of a bum — which is what I am.” – Marlon Brando – On the Waterfront

So you’ve just graduated college. Four, maybe five (or more), years of hard (?) work have been dedicated to getting a small piece of nicely embossed paper. You feel a little ripped off and don’t quite understand how this piece of paper differentiates you from the rest of the world. Let me sooth your worries by saying that you have now taken a vital step in differentiating yourself from the rest of the workforce. You have taken the time and the effort to procure yourself a tool set that employers will look upon favorably. At this moment it doesn’t matter what your degree is in or where your degree is from. What matters is that you are able to set a goal and achieve it.

Great, now that I have assuaged maybe one of your worries, you are still confused as to what to do next. I’m guessing you received your degree from an “accredited” institution and they likely have a career center. While you should take advantage of all opportunities available to you…you are clearly at your computer right now and don’t need me to tell you that you need to exit the house. Besides, leaving now to go to the career center won’t be much help to you if you don’t know YOU!

Quick, right now, what do you want to do for the rest of your life? Blanking? Don’t be concerned. I would be willing to bet that the majority of the population, young and old, would not be able to answer that question and believe whole heartedly in what they say.

As a child it was easy. We weren’t hampered down by things such as salary, schooling, prestige, retirement, job security, supporting a family, mortgage payments, economic shocks or any of the other annoying things that invade the “big kid” world. That’s why it was so easy to say fireman, policeman, astronaut, artist, pro athlete, surfer, etc. It’s almost sad at times to think about having to “grow up”. But, this is where you have to make a decision to take charge of your life. The date has changed, your interests may of changed and you certainly have more experience as a human being. It is now time to evaluate yourself and your desires.

To first figure out where you want to go, you must figure out where you are now. One method I would suggest is doing a personal inventory. Take a piece of paper and a pen and proceed to list your name, address, phone numbers, hobbies, likes, dislikes, favorite color, places you have traveled, favorite sound, favorite smell and whatever else you want to list. If you have something like Facebook or Myspace this process can go pretty quick. I strongly urge you to write it down physically on a piece of paper with a pen or pencil and refuse to erase. Writing invokes all of your sense and makes the experience that much more real and intimate. If something is worth your effort to write it in the first place, it is likely important to you somehow. Should you change your mind, don’t erase but cross out the “incorrect” item. Hopefully, when you have completed this exercise you will have a good understanding of who you are as a person. (Be honest with yourself. If you have to lie to yourself, then I suggest seeking professional help because I will not be able to help you be happy.)

Now that we know what composes you as a person, how does that person act? Take an inventory of your hobbies and a critical look at your social relationships. Are you a person that spends most of your time on the computer? Do you prefer to be outdoors? Do you have a small group of really close friends? Do you have a large group of “part-time” friends?

I’m not here to judge you and you shouldn’t judge yourself. We are who we are and when we accept that we can start to have a truly happy and fulfilled life.

While these form the basic concepts of introverted and extroverted personalities, in the modern age things aren’t so black and white. All jobs require you to interact with people. Therefore, even if you are extremely introverted, you will have to work on communicating with other human beings. That’s why it is up to you to figure out how all the pieces fit together. Understanding what you like, dislike and how you best interact with other humans will be the foundation of your career search.

I feel that we have a decent start on our career path. You should have one sheet of paper now that describes who you are in a nutshell. This will be the foundation for everything to come. It will save time in the future and be immensely valuable to you if you actually do write down the personal inventory. (To save even more time, I would suggest writing down past jobs and experiences you have had.) Should you want more insight, there are many tools on the internet to assist in profiling your personality. There are some at monster.com. (You will have to sign up for an account, but if you follow this series you will likely be signing up anyway.) They can give you a decent understanding of what type of work environment would best suit you. Other than that I recommend using Google or your favorite search engine to find resources. There is a lot of garbage to sift through if you go this method. Or, you could get up off your butt and go down to your college career center. I’m sure that they will have a number of tools that you can use to profile yourself and more.

As Always Happy Hunting!


Today was a monumental day.  I was present to witness the first shootout in Gopher Men’s Hockey history.  It was a phenomenal display of individual talent for the Gophers.  Sadly, that seems to be all they have because as a team they just aren’t clicking.  The shootout was forced after the first over time ended with no score.  It was against Air Force, a team that the Gophers should send packing soundly.  It’s sad the Boston College beat Air Force so decidedly last night and tonight we were forced to go into a shootout with them.  I fear the worst when we have a real series against Boston College.  Some may argue that our best players are away in the Czech Republic, but I think it’s a chemistry issue and not a talent issue.  The shootout was wonderful however and Kangas really showed what he can do.  On one stop he spread full out and from skate to skate he was much wider than the goal.  I think that he should be our main net minder due to his very consistent performances over this year.  Today he was only beat once and scored on twice.  To clarify that statement, the first goal he stopped the first shot but an unfortunate rebound was picked up by a pinching defensemen(?).  That should have never happened because one of our D-men should have not allowed the pinch.  The second goal he was in decent position but let it in near side.  (This happened while Air Force had their goalie pulled to get the extra man with one minute to go in the third period.)  Kangas redeemed his mistake by making four saves to completely shut out Air Force in the shootout.  Barriball had an amazing five hole goal that I knew was going in the moment he touched the puck.  It was a definite high for fans who have had a rather mediocre season.  I can only hope that this helps the guys gain some morale and some momentum going into the second half of the season.

Sometimes I wish I could throw Lucia (The Don) some tips.  I would say:

  • It takes 15 seconds to score
  • Tic-Tac-Toe not Tic-Tac-Tic-Tac-Tic-Tac-Tic-Lose the puck
  • Teams are playing the Gophers aggressive.  Take advantage of that by getting them out of position.
  • Passing too much allows opponent goalie to set up.
  • Find someone else who can carry the puck in aside from Barriball.
  • Set Goals to get Goals.  Ever notice how a team plays their hearts out when they know how many goals they need to score?  Well go out there and aim to get 2 goals a period.  Not get as many as you can but get 2 a period.  If a hockey team can get 6 goals in a game they will win 95% of all games.
  • The D-Men need to learn how to clean up the garbage.  Our Goaltenders our doing a fine job most of the time but it is the second, third and even fourth shot that is killing us.
  • You’re not superstars yet.  I still want to see some hustle.
  • If you’re gonna pass, make it a good pass.  Tape to Tape.

I’m clearly not qualified to be a coach, but I’d like to think that if these pointers were followed they would do better.

There is a busy New Year’s Eve ahead of us.  I will try to get a better post up before the new year hits, but we shall see.