Leaving a Legacy

3 04 2012

Have you ever taken a step back and thought, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this?”  A job should inspire and create enthusiasm, bringing excitement to everyday tasks, right?  Sound like a job that might interest you?

Here are the straight facts: I absolutely LOVE my job.  I get to work with college students and alumni who are in the job search, as well as with employers who are seeking top talent for their organizations.  Every day, I’m inspired to be better.  Not just to be better at what I do, but to be a better person, better human.  I’ve seen what young professionals are capable of achieving when they apply themselves 100% to something they believe in.

Who inspires me? 

  • The college senior that has four job offers on the table, but doesn’t make hasty decisions based on salary or perks.  Ultimately, they’re not looking for money or fringe benefits – they’re looking for the opportunity for advancement and the chance to give back.
  • The job seeker that is so passionate about what they do that it’s simply contagious.  You have to smile.  (For me, I sometimes have a “moment” that makes me all watery-eyed.)
  • The corporate employee that truly understands that their success is intrinsically linked to the success of the organization as a whole.  They’re not just hamsters on the wheel – what they do matters!
  • The teacher that not only delivers the content to ensure their students’ success, but cares enough to help those that fall behind as well as those that truly excel.
  • The employee that not only asks “why,” but also “why not.”  Good enough isn’t good enough anymore.

The list goes on…

Here’s the bigger question:  Are you building a LEGACY?

I have been inspired by many people throughout my life.  Teachers, mentors, friends, family members…all have played an instrumental part in my success.  Perhaps one of the best examples is one that happened just recently – it involves 19 children, a St. Patrick’s Day read-aloud, and a very special person.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the 2nd grade classroom where my wife is currently completing her student teaching.  She invited me to read her students a book about St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve been known to do a few voices in my day, ranging from Irish to Scottish to voices like Kermit the Frog.  Can you tell I had a little fun?  I had an absolute blast.

I read the story of The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow to a group of rambunctious and curious 8-year olds who seemed to be enamored with the fact that I immersed myself so deeply in the story.  Try to get 19 2nd graders to sit still – you’ll soon find out what kind of challenge this was!

My takeaway from this experience isn’t really about the story.  It’s about the passion and pride that exuded from my wife as she showed me all the activities and lessons she’d taught the class.  She was so humble, showing me around her small elementary school.  The way the students light up when they see her, the respect she’s earned from her co-workers, and how she commands the classroom with authority.  I was in awe.  You see, it’s about the legacy she’s building (and leaving) with those very young, impressionable minds.  She’s changing the world.  It doesn’t matter how large or small the task.  She’s making a difference to those students who might not have the support network at home.  She believes in their skills and abilities, encouraging them to follow their dreams.  Her students will not only remember Mrs. Baumann, they’ll remember what she taught them, how it affected their lives, and how it made them a better person.  They’ll remember her LEGACY.

I told you this short story for one reason – to get you thinking about your LEGACY.  How will you make your mark on the world?  What will you leave behind?  Will you leave things a little better than they were before, or will you rise to the challenge and go ten steps beyond that?  I hope you’ll do the latter.  I believe you can make it happen.  Your move.

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17 04 2012
Communicate Like a 2nd Grader « Campus To Career

[…] As you might recall, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a read-aloud activity at a local elementary school in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  Don’t remember or haven’t read the article?  Here you go: Leaving a Legacy. […]

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