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Lessons from Emmett – You don’t always get the job!

Most of us know that September not only means its back-to-school time, but it also means its back-to-sports time, even if you don’t have kids. Hockey, Soccer, Football, Lacrosse you name it – it’s basically on baby!  Recently a friend of mine shared a story about his 14-year-old son Emmett who over the past several years had worked his way up the ranks to play at a high level in minor hockey. 

Since I’ve known him, Emmett, who plays netminder, has spent a lot of his own time working on his game. Whether it was his fitness, putting in extra reps at specialized clinics, practicing with older players to sharpen his game, and even mentoring youth, this kid is the one you’re rooting for any day of the week. For the past few weeks, Emmett was participating in tryouts for a Banton “A” Hockey Association here in the BC.

Throughout the process, it seemed clear that not only was he shortlisted for one of the top 2 roles available on the A1 team, but he seemed the dominant player for the role; in other words, the job was his to lose.  However, on the final day of cuts, he was pulled into the Coaches office and he was cut – in more ways than one! There were a lot of people besides Emmett who were in shock; they couldn’t believe the decision that had been made and questioned the grounds on why it was made.

Sounds familiar? The coach here is a lot like a hiring manager who is trying to make the best decision for their team. The player here is like the job seeker who is looking to get a spot on the team that they believe you’re they’re best qualified for. This story got me thinking about a few things related to getting hired.

First off, you can’t take it for granted that even if you think you’re the best qualified for the role, that the hiring manager and you are on the same page.  At the end of the day, the hiring manager has a lot of on their plate and feels pressure from the higher-ups (league or parent) to make the right decision.

First off, you can’t take it for granted that even if you think you’re the best qualified for the role, that the hiring manager and you are on the same page.  At the end of the day, the hiring manager has a lot of on their plate and feels pressure from the higher-ups (league or parent) to make the right decision.

If you don’t get the role, make a point of asking why and what you could have done to better prepare for this and other roles. It goes a long way with employers to see that you took the rejection well. Who knows perhaps the hire they did make doesn’t work out – an act like that could put you top of mind.

Lastly, no matter what happens, go out and win your next game. What Emmett did next is a lesson for us all; instead of moping and whining about the situation or getting emotional he just accepted the decision. That doesn’t mean he faked being ok with it, but he did accept it. He went home, had a snack, played a little Fortnite, and got ready for his first game as an A2 player. He went to his first game of the season and stood tall for his new team as they sailed to a 4-1 win. Now that’s character!

Remember this, your next win is just around the corner, but you have to get over your losses it to really experience and enjoy them.

Eli Triff
President & CEO

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