I had a job interview in Frisco, Texas this past Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm. At precisely 12:31 pm , when I was 22 minutes away from the interview location, I received a call from the company saying they needed to reschedule the interview and asked if I could come in on Wednesday morning at 9 am instead. Considering the fact that I was already off work and I was very interested in this position, I replied that I could make the change. What I didn’t know at that time was that this day would be the beginning of an epic road trip. I would travel from Austin to Dallas to San Antonio to Houston to New Orleans to Lafayette to Houston and back home to Austin…1574 miles on the road….Boy, I love my Jeep. Here are a few other things I learned on the road this week.
*When interviewing for a job, the words, “I don’t want to waste anyone’s time here” can be very valuable for both the interviewer and the interviewee. These words often trigger a brutal honesty from both parties that can cut through a lot of dancing around an unspoken issue. Such was the case with the job I interviewed for in Frisco. Throughout this job search I have run across several people who have a hard time believing I’d give up a wildly successful career in real estate for an entry level sports job. As many times as you say “It’s not about the money,” it’s still hard to convince a potential employer that you’d be happy making $30-40K a year after pulling in six figures. While I was initially asked back to Dallas for a second interview, those words led to a later phone call from the employer stating that it was likely they wouldn’t actually hire for this job for another three months, so it might be better to keep searching.
*Good friends are there for you at the times when you need them most, even if you haven’t been the best friend yourself. I absolutely adore some of the people that are and have been a part of my life, but lately with all of the job searching and moving from DC, I haven’t kept in touch with some people I should have. Somehow, those people swoop in when you least expect it and provide you with a much-needed heart-to-heart phone call and a free place to stay in New Orleans. Those people are also great at stating the obvious, but sometimes uncomfortable truth about what you should be doing with your life.
*Twitter is such an amazing connector of people. I talked to a lot of people about Twitter on this trip…reason being? It’s part of the reason my trip went the way it did. I ended up with free tickets to the Rampage game on Wednesday night, press row seats by some awesome Houston media people for the Aeros game Friday night and some great conversations along the way. After the Twitter drama that did not involve me that I was somehow sucked into last weekend, it was really refreshing to be reminded of the other side of things.
*It is great to get outside your comfort zone at times and see the world….even if it is only Houston or San Antonio! It was nice to experience AHL games in two different arenas this week, see what types of in-game promotions other teams are doing, see things that work and things that don’t. I think a lot of times in the sports industry we get tunnel vision. The only people that travel with the team don’t really pay attention to the game production and share things they learn with others back in the trenches. I think it would serve all professional sports teams if their road crew occasionally shared some things that other cities are doing well.
*Texas Stars fans have a long way to go when it comes to getting rowdy at the games. I lived in Washington DC for four years and was lucky enough to experience the Red-ness at Verizon Center when the Caps play. Visiting Cedar Park Center for the first time, I was a little disheartened by the lack of fan-involvement in the games, but brushed it off as an AHL thing. After being in San Antonio and Houston, I think Texas just needs to step up their game. Yes, there are some people that get very involved at the games, but the Houston chants knock “Texas Stars” out of the water. Even in a huge arena the fans echo and get loud.
*I’m a very adaptable person. While it would drive some people crazy, there is something thrilling about waking up in a different city every day. Why I didn’t pursue a job younger in life where I could travel more, I don’t know. I love the constant change of scenery, meeting new people, discovering a new place. Of course, it is always nice to revisit the familiar (Julien’s PoBoys in Lafayette, oh how I love thee!!) but also fun to see new things.