Monday, February 14, 2011

"Here-I'm Open!" - Don't Shoot for Par

“Here—I’m Open!” is a weekly column written every Monday aimed at offering readers inspiration, a unique take on sporting news, and general sports know-how.”   

Don’t Shoot for Par.  Alright, get on me for making a golf reference during my first-ever blog post of this new weekly column.  Besides, I can’t play it so I might as well steal a reference from it and put it to better use, right?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, par is “an amount taken as an average or norm.”  That sounds pretty accurate, par is essentially what you are expected to shoot – the status quo.  That shouldn’t be too difficult to understand, I mean I have yet to get into the exact chemical composition of the golf ball and the physical and environmental forces acting upon it while at rest, in flight, and in clockwise and in counter-clockwise rotation.  I’m just joshing you; I couldn’t tell you any of that information if I wanted to. 

Anyway, par is an average.  Especially to non-serious golfers, shooting par is an incredible feat.  Thus, making par a target score when golfing is acceptable and recommended.  However, how does this sentiment translate and correlate to life and your career aspirations?

Ask yourself this question: moving through life, is shooting for par (the average) your ultimate goal?  Hopefully your answer is a defiant, “No!”  With a turbulent economy and more eligible and qualified workers than there are jobs, differentiation and finding your own identity is essential.  Especially in the sports industry, there are many fish in the sea and only so many fishermen.  Jobs, especially the good ones, come to those with an established and well defined skill set.  Are you going to hire the plumber with one tool in his toolbox or hire the plumber with a tool box filled with many tools?            

For the rest of this week, I offer you a friendly challenge.  I challenge you to perform three simple tasks that differentiate yourself from the status quo.  Stay after class conversing informally with a professor, provide your boss with that important proposal a day in advance, create a LinkedIn page, or begin searching for a summer internship.  No matter the specifics, take the time this week to perform three tasks that set you apart and improve your professional life.

I can remember sitting in a classroom when I was in elementary school.  The poster above the door read, “Shoot for the Moon and if you don’t make it, it’s okay because you’ll land among the stars.”  This week, take on the aforementioned challenge.  Better yourself so that when the time comes you are interviewing or applying for that perfect job or co-op, you are well-prepared.  Be the plumber with many tools in his/her toolbox.  Set yourself apart.  Don’t shoot for par.

“Here—I’m Open!” is authored by Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU) President, Kevin Giordano.  A sophomore sport management major and native of Hillsborough, New Jersey, Kevin has experience working in women’s and men’s professional soccer and collegiate athletics.  For questions, comments, and story suggestions, he can be reached at

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