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6 Traits You Can Learn From Playing On Your Company Softball Team

June 12, 2011 2 comments

GERP Golden Eagle Regional Park Sparks Nevada SoftballI know what you’re thinking.  Company softball?  Where’s the beer?  Most people play softball to get away from the office, give themselves something to do in their free time, or just to drink lots of beer.  Not me.  I play company softball for a few reasons.  One, being the fact that I grew up playing competitive baseball in Little League, Babe Ruth, and high school starting when I was just five years old.  After high school, I tried out for the University of Nevada, Reno baseball team and didn’t make it (they told me they already had a full roster).  So after that, I gave up on competitive baseball and focused on getting good grades in college.  After graduating with a 3.92 GPA (yes, I’m bragging), I made my way into the corporate world working in operations for a large corporation.  This is where I found myself back on the field.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the baseball diamond I was used to, but the softball field was as close to competitive baseball I was ever going to get.  This is what I’ve learned:

1. Competition

While some people could care less if they win or lose, I carried the competitive nature of baseball over into the game of softball.  I’m there to win, not drink beer or make fun of each other.  When it comes to your career, you have to be competitive, or you’ll never get anywhere.  You have to have the desire to beat out the person next to you to get you where you want to be.

2. Teamwork

Well duh!  You’re playing on a team.  Obviously, teamwork is a huge part of the game.  You can’t win a game by yourself.  In fact, if you don’t have at least nine players, they won’t let you play.  The same goes for your career.  You won’t make it very far playing the “Lone Ranger” role.  You have to get to know people and you have to learn to work together.  Those who work well with others are more desirable as you work your way up the ladder.

3. Communication

“I got it!  I got it!”  “No, I got it!”  *SMASH*  Okay, that was my terrible impression of two outfielders colliding because they couldn’t properly communicate.  It’s one of the most important parts of the game.  Simple outs turn into embarrassing blunders if you don’t communicate.  Don’t let your career turn into a blunder.  Get out there, talk to people, and understand what’s going on.  That way you can adjust your game plan accordingly.

4. Timeliness

Playing company softball gives you the chance to practice your time management skills.  I get off work at 4:30, it takes me 20 minutes to get home, which leaves me about 30 minutes to eat dinner and 10 minutes to change, so I can drive 30 minutes to the field and be there 30 minutes early for warm ups.  Any idea what time the game starts?  I’ll let you figure that out.

5. Dependability

This goes along with timeliness.  When you say you’re going to be there, your teammates are depending on you.  Let’s say you’re the manager.  You have 12 people on the team and you need at least 9 to play.  You’ve confirmed with your players that 3 people won’t make it to the game leaving exactly 9 to show up.  If you don’t show up, the team doesn’t play and they will have to forfeit.  When you tell someone you’re going to do something throughout your career, you do it.  Build a solid, dependable reputation for yourself so that people know exactly what they can expect from you in the future.

6. Motivation

Saved my favorite topic for last!  There are a couple reason why playing company softball is motivating.  For one, it gives you the chance to get away from everything going on at work or at home.  It gives you a couple of hours to just have fun.  It re-energizes you when you get back to work the next morning.  Second, it gives you a chance to bond with your teammates/coworkers in ways you wouldn’t at work.  When you form a tight bond with people from work, you’re more likely to enjoy being there.

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When Opportunity Knocks, Answer The Door

when opportunity knocks door hand handleDon’t you love when you come across a great opportunity? Feels great when you capitalize on those opportunities, right? Now, think about those opportunities that you missed because you weren’t prepared. Feels like crap when you miss an opportunity like that, doesn’t it? My point here is that opportunities are only beneficial if you are prepared to take action, because an opportunity is only great if you act upon it.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve had a couple great opportunities, neither of which I was completely prepared for.

In my last post, I mentioned that I used to do some graphic design work for fun in high school. Recently, I’ve been wanting to try some professional graphic design work to earn some extra cash. Well, one of my fellow classmates was looking for a graphic designer to design a logo for his startup business. Not long after he posted his request, I told him I could help. The next night, I stopped by his work to discuss his design ideas. While I jumped on the opportunity, I was far from prepared. Most graphic design work is done in Photoshop, a computer program that costs about $1,000 for the basic version. I actually have Photoshop 7 on my parent’s computer at my parent’s house from about 7 years ago, but instead of going there, I downloaded a 30-day trial version of Photoshop CS5 onto my HP Mini Netbook (because my real computer died about a year ago). Unfortunately, CS5 is quite different from the Photoshop 7 I was used to and needless to say, my Photoshop skills were a bit rusty. So the design work that I told my Fiancé would take me a couple hours actually took all weekend and I didn’t even finish it all on time.

Another opportunity I was completely unprepared for was my interview with Kade Dworkin. This interview was a great opportunity for me to get my name out there and promote my personal brand. I mentioned in my post about the interview that I had no idea we were going to do an interview until I was on the Skype call with Kade. My intentions were good, as I made the effort to thank him for talking with our class and then accepting the opportunity to speak with him privately, but intent is useless if you aren’t prepared. I ended the call with Kade that night wishing I would have asked what we were going to talk about ahead of time so I could have been more prepared. Although the interview went well, I think it could have been better had I been more prepared.

Preparation is one of the main themes behind Professional Diversification. While losing your job isn’t exactly a great opportunity, it is an opportunity to find something better. Like people always say, “when one door closes, another one opens.” Use it as an opportunity to find a career that you’d rather be doing. I know we’ve all sat in our chairs at work and thought, “Man, I’d rather be…” Well, I’m telling you right now, you have to be prepared to be that person.

What kinds of opportunities have you missed recently because you weren’t prepared? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Related Content:
Potential Career #3: Graphic Designer
What Goes Around Comes Around… A Special Thanks to Kade Dworkin at Meet My Followers
Chasing the American Dream: One Way… Or (Many) Others…

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