Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day Teaches Us To Love Our Job

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –Confucius

Though Valentine’s Day is now in our rearview mirror, I thought it would be appropriate to connect the notion of “love” and your career.  For the purpose of this message, Confucius’s idea of a job and mine as a career will be one in the same (though, in reality, there are differences).

When I first entered Drexel University as an undergraduate, I was unsure about what I wanted to study or do with my life.  I was good at math and solid at science, but the idea of becoming an engineer didn’t appeal to me at all.  I could use Microsoft Paint with the best of them but being a graphic designer was not in my future.  I eventually landed on Business Administration as a major possibly more so as a default choice than anything more concrete.  My dad was in the finance industry, my brother was a Business Administration major in college, and a few of my family members were in some discipline of “business” whether it was accounting, marketing, management, human resources, etc.

I remember interviewing for my first Co-op.  I had three interviews in the A round: one was for a marketing and sales role at successful jeweler on jewelers’ row in Philadelphia, the second one was a management function at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the last one was for an operations/marketing/management position at Drexel Athletics, specifically focusing on recreation.  All three interviews went well- I was offered one and picked as a qualified alternate for the other two.  I remember coming home to seek some advice from my parents and oddly enough my grandfather who just happened to be at my house for dinner. 

My grandfather was a successful businessman having started and run several companies during the course of his career.  He was also a no-BS type and I knew he would shoot me straight when I asked him about my Co-op prospects.  He asked me, “Can you see yourself being in the jewelry business, car rental business, or sports and recreation business for the rest of your life?”  He went on to question where I would be most happy, what I would enjoy the most, and what I would be passionate about.  In a very short period of time, I eliminated the jewelry opportunity and the Enterprise role.  I didn’t take the Co-op job that paid the most or the Co-op job at the company that has nearly $20 billion in revenue.  In true Valentine’s Day fashion, I went with my heart and decided to accept the Drexel Athletics’ offer.

My career path has since been slightly altered, changing my major from Business Administration to Sport Management and transitioning from the Sports Industry to the field of Higher Education.  Ultimately though, while my moves have been well thought-out and rationalized, they have come down to the most important factor: will I love going to work every day?  The answer, to date, has been yes.  So, for those of you embarking on a career in the sports and entertainment business, I would recommend that you take some time to be introspective.  Are you currently working (and/or preparing to work) in this industry because you are passionate about it?  Do you truly enjoy going to class to learn about the sports world?  Are you excited to go to work at a stadium or ballpark every day?  If you love your job and your career in the sports industry, you will never work a day in your life.


Mark Gress is currently the Associate Director of Employer Relations and formerly with the Steinbright Career Development Center at Drexel University.

No comments:

Post a Comment