As I inch towards my tentative Spring 2016 graduation date, it’s becoming abundantly clear I should probably solve the “what I want to be when I grow up” conundrum. Sadly, I’m almost 24-years old, a number which most people will recognize as “already grown up, idiot,” meaning I really should probably get the ball rolling.
With that being said, I have already begun the “ball-rolling” phase of my prospective career hunt, tidying up my impeccable (cough, cough) resume and attempting to hone my writing skills on this poorly written blog. You see, it seems as if many employers (especially in my field) are interested in a candidate’s ability to perform some outside function, like social media, blogging, creative design work, and maybe even how nice their hair looks with pomade.
So, prospective employers who I hope found their way to my blog, I would like to welcome you to my personal little writing space here, and I’d like to highlight my abilities as to why I would make an awesome employee.
1. I’m pretty good at golf.
I like to lead off with this because I consider it a worthy skill. As soon as high school ended and I realized my athletic career had come to an abrupt, unceremonious halt, I began to plan for my future; how would I fill this athletic void? For a few years, it was by playing intramural sports in college, collecting a pair of soccer championships while failing miserably in both dodgeball and flag football. I also dabbled in playing basketball at the local rec center or church leagues, but honestly you can only watch grown men almost fight each other so many times before you realize team sports probably aren’t going to be a big part of your future, although the aforementioned awkward, flabby man battles provided endless hilarity. So, I ended up learning to play golf. For an entire summer, I probably played four times a week, and I actually got pretty good. I usually hover around the mid to low-80’s, but I’ve hit like 74 or so before, meaning I’m decent enough to hang with upper management, but I certainly won’t be showing up the boss, especially since I still struggle with my low irons. God, I hate those low irons.
2. I write good.
Just kidding. I mean the headline, not my writing ability. I write WELL. Oh god, I probably ruined myself. But yeah, I pride myself on my writing ability. Sure, there’s some errors in my blog, but I feel that provides a more raw, honest look at my artistry, and by that I mean I didn’t proofread my blog before submitting. There’s an extremely incriminating sentence. Seriously, though, when I’m not totally messing around (which is mostly what I do on this blog) my writing is sharp, concise, polished, and technically sound. I have an eye for grammar and spelling mistakes, I’m experienced in the craft, and I do take it seriously when I need to. But, when I’m writing about Jeb Bush’s forehead (or five head, amiright?!) or discussing the societal ramifications of the nuances of “Space Jam” I tend to be a little more lax in my editorial abilities.
3. Things that make me special
This is my favorite question ever. Well, second favorite. My favorite question ever would be, “Mr. Sager, how many chocolate cakes would you like stuffed into this golden Range Rover.” Recently, I’ve noticed a growing trend of job applications asking the applicant “what makes them special.” And I love this tactic because it allows a job-seeker the chance to make a good impression on a more personalized level. However, I feel like some people aren’t taking full advantage of this wonderful tool. Most people will take this opportunity to say “I’m a hard worker” or “I probably won’t stab you.” Instead, people should really try to stand out. “What makes me special? That’s easy: When I was in fourth grade I dressed up as Wyatt Earp for my school’s ‘Western Day’, and the only reason I knew who Kurt Russell was is because I saw him in ‘Tombstone'”. That’s a response that’s going to elicit some questions:
“Why was this young man’s school glamorizing old Western criminals?”
“Why would his parents allow him to watch Tombstone?”
“Tombstone was the one with Sam Elliot and Val Kilmer, right?”
“Do you think he wore a fake mustache?”
My teacher had a weird western fetish, my parents trusted that I wouldn’t become a serial killer, yes, and of course I wore a fake mustache, and I rocked it silly.
4. I’m a leader
My dad is an important figure in my life, considering the source of most of my terrible jokes are the result of ridiculous jokes he told when I was younger. But more than anything, there are certain bits of advice he told me that stuck with me forever: “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships” (ask the Patriots about that one, dad). “Work hard now or work hard the rest of your life”(he told me this when I was like 14, but I didn’t honor it until I started college). And, of course, “be a leader, not a follower.”
That last one is a tough one to hear as a kid. As a child, your mentality is always to follow the crowd, because being an individual is frowned upon and turns you into a social outcast. And honestly, for a while, I ignored this advice. It wasn’t until I was probably about 17 or so when I finally stopped caring what others thought and I started thinking for myself. This realization sort opened my eyes to leadership. I mean, I guess I’m a believer that people are born with leadership traits, but I can say mine were definitely dormant for the first 17 or 18 years of my life. When I started college, I noticed myself taking charge of group projects, and the leadership even paid off in my work setting, as I was promptly promoted to manager at the pizza restaurant where I worked, a position I inherited after only a year with the company just after my 20th birthday. I really consider myself a natural leader, and I pride myself on my ability to take charge and complete tasks with efficiency, accuracy, and timeliness.
5. I’m confident, but not arrogant
Another dad story: When I played soccer as a young lad, my dad coaches my youth teams, as well as traveling tournament teams during my high school years. I remember one specific incident, in the league championship game in my youth soccer league when I was 12, and I’ll never forget it. There was probably about 10 or so minutes left in the game, and my team was trailing 5-4. I usually played striker, but since this was the championship my dad made me play goalie. However, a foul occurred in the other team’s penalty box with under 10 minutes left, and my team was awarded a penalty kick. Being the typical “coaches kid” I yelled to the sidelines for my dad to let me take the shot. If you don’t follow soccer, the goalie taking a penalty kick is a ludicrously unbelievable scenario. If I missed the shot, the opposing team would more of less have a wide open lane and goal to shoot at, which would’ve ended the game. I didn’t care; I wanted to take that shot, because the only one I trusted to score the goal was me. And trust me, my dad was not the type of coach to play favorites. I got no special treatment, and in fact I was probably judged harsher than anyone. However, my dad told me to go take the shot, and I scored, tying the game, and we later went on to win. Obviously, this example is a little irrelevant when it comes to the professional world, but that mentality has never changed for me; I want the pressure, I want to be the problem solver, and I want the “ball in my hands”, so to speak. I welcome big challenges, I’m confident in my abilities to complete tasks (no matter how difficult), and I’m always seeking to maximize accomplishments.
6. I take whatever I do seriously, but come on.
As I’ve sort of hinted at, I’m pretty meticulous when it comes to professionalism. I seek to challenge myself, I thrive in a pressure situation, I welcome leadership roles, and I’m a relentless worker when it comes to the completion of tasks. That being said, I think it’s sort of imperative to allow the mind some breathing room. I’m not the type of person to be a mindless drone when it comes to work related tasks, and I always seek to keep things light, if appropriate. I’ve worked in a restaurant setting for the past seven years, and restaurant workers have a funny way of utterly losing their minds when things get hectic. I’ve witnessed bouts of uncontrollable swearing, near-physical altercations, mental breakdowns, and people leaving in the middle of a busy rush. It happens. And of course, when things pick up people get stressed out, and many people take pride in their work, so they get frustrated and break down because their passionate about what they do. I’ve always prided myself in attempting to keep the ship afloat in such scenarios, and often times that involves keeping things light. For instance, I work in a fast-paced, high grossing kitchen that sees literally hundreds of orders come through an hour, and the staff tends to get slightly worked up sometimes. When I sense coworkers are frustrated or on the verge of utter meltdowns, I try to keep things light. So, since I work in an all-male kitchen instead of shouting “Hey, get this food out of here right now!” I’ll say, “Let’s send out those fries, you big sexy man.” I don’t constantly make jokes or vaguely homoerotic comments, but I am great at keeping coworkers’ morale up and boosting team productivity.
7. I promise you will like me.
People hated John F. Kennedy because he was a womanizer who almost blew up the world because he wouldn’t leave Cuba alone. People hate Barack Obama and John Boehner because they are Democrats and Republicans. And people hate Richard Sherman because he’s the biggest idiot on the face of the planet, but he is the best at what he does. If Richard Sherman was JFK’s bodyguard that bullet never would’ve even came near him. But usually it’s the brash, opinionated, standoffish folks who illicit hatred, not the meek, kindly folks like Betty White or everyone’s slightly racist grandmothers. I fall somewhere between Richard Sherman and Betty White. I will never, ever get into a political debate with you, but I’m also never going to bake you cookies and read you a bedtime story. I will, however, do my best to learn from you, get the best out of coworkers, and when I say I’ll watch that “totally hilarious” video on YouTube later, I actually will (like 30% of the time). I’m personable, yet professional, and I’m confident, yet down to earth. I don’t like being asked about my strengths because I would prefer to demonstrate them, and I can’t tell you my weaknesses because I’m afraid if I do you will dump a jar of spiders on my face. I’m not the most accomplished or qualified, but you won’t find a harder worker, and I’m not the most knowledgeable, but you won’t find someone as willing to take direction and ask questions.
If any prospective employers read this, I hope you actually enjoyed my writing. If not, I hope you will still consider me for the job anyway.