Yippee, I’ve lived in Orlando for over 8 years and the basketball team is in the NBA finals. Sorry for not getting overly excited but life will go on no matter the outcome of the games. And truth be told, no matter who wins the series, career management for the non-basketball players will not suddenly become brighter as reality hits surprisingly hard.
As a matter of fact, the unemployment rate and foreclosures continue to rise while the average American remains struggling in an economy that (on the surface) appears to be inconsistent with the disbursement of services. So, what do we do? For some, temporary relief will be found in front of their television set or at the arena screaming at the refs for unfair calls. For others, this sport called basketball simply reinforces the idea of an unfair marketplace. Let me break it down for a second, how can our world justify paying huge sums of money to sports athletes while close to 9% of our workforce is unemployed?
Hey, I am an Orlando Magic fan and did a bit of screaming last night as well. My intent with today’s submission is not to become philosophical and ask for radical change. I am simply bringing a point of reference to the surface and asking the question “what is fair?”
True enough, there is value (an emotional/psychological catharsis if you will) in sports and no doubt we all need to find ways to release tension—I’m asking is there may be a better way to invest the millions of dollars than handing the money over to young adults, wealthy owners, and greedy vendors. Think about an alternative for a second, what type of redevelopment programs would be supported if we reined in on the craziness of sports? Take a look around your community; do you have any ideas where you would invest millions of dollars? Perhaps there are ways this money would make your area more economically stable (and not just for one or two groups—for the community as a whole).
I checked out Orlando’s Workforce program recently. Without argument, additional funds are needed (and I am not talking about a ton) for career guidebooks, support material, additional training, more employees, and extra resources which will in turn increase the marketability of those not properly prepared to market themselves. I got it, this spending is not glamorous. After all, who wants to go to a building where there are no banners, no lights, no dancers, and no television contracts? Then again, perhaps our politicians are doing the right thing by supporting sports franchises? Where else can one go to purchase a $6 hot dog? At this price, no doubt someone is expanding their career aspirations—but at what cost and who is paying the price! Leading me to the question, what does your city do for the unemployed, the struggling, the poor community, and the people who need support the most? Bringing me to the next story…
Several weekends ago, while on the way to the farmers market, I went to an open house as I like to dream and see how the other world lives. The neighborhood was beautiful. The house was huge. The neighbor was Dwight Howard. The price was $5.5 million. The pinch hurt!
So here I remain, back to reality and reality tells me I don’t want a $5.5-million dollar house. I don’t want a famous neighbor. I want our city, our state, and our nation to begin prioritizing where money is invested. Schools are closing at a crazy rate. Teachers losing jobs and our students are losing out. I suggest that career management and career preparation be an investment made TODAY, creating an environment of shared responsibility and personal pride.
Then again, I could be a blind politician and forget about the whole community career thing and go to game four of the NBA finals…after all, nothing Kobe Bryant can’t break that Dwight can’t fix!
On this note and my new desire to be amongst the crowd, if you have a couple tickets and can’t make it to the game tomorrow night, let me know. I need an emotional release and yelling just may be the way! One more thing, Dwight, you do have one beautiful house!
Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP
Education Career Services: www.educationcs.com
Career Services International: www.careersi.com