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Why I did not become a Ninja Turtle

Posted by Chad O'Connor  August 14, 2013 11:00 AM

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I remember when my nursery school teacher had us fill out biography posters as tall as the average student. One of the things we included was what we wanted to be when we grew up. The average kid drew astronaut or police officer, but not me. I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle - Michelangelo's trusty sidekick to be specific.

As I grew up, my dreams turned much more realistic when they changed to the goal of becoming a Professional Baseball Player. I got a little older and my dreams finally became completely realistic when settled on pursuing a career in a MLB Team’s Front Office. Age brought wisdom, though. I soon realized thousands of others settled on this ‘simple to obtain’ career. I had no chance at getting this career in a competition with the masses by sending in a resume and cover letter to an online listing. No, I had to utilize every relationship I have had: family, friends, etc.

Then the day came when I finally got my interview with the Mets after a referral. I was sitting on my Boston apartment stoop whilst people watching, staring at sewers and daydreaming about Ninja Turtles, racking my brain for reasons I deserved the position. The phone interview started. I thought it went well… really well.

A week came and went. I heard back with a generic email explaining I was not what they were looking for. However, I did feel genuinely lucky to get an interview. How many people can say they even had an interview with their dream employer?

Now that I’m a year out of college, I have learned there is more than one dream job out there. What worries me is not my resume or my ability to write a cover letter. I worry and wonder about the chances of meeting the right people to help me overcome the masses, to get an interview.

I’m not complaining as I feel fortunate I have been employed in the year since graduating. I can even say I've genuinely enjoyed my work, but my search for a dream job has not ended and I don’t expect it to get any easier without meeting the right people. We have a broken system, where knowing people can get any resume in the door for an interview, but great resumes can be ignored. You may never even get an interview because you don’t know the right person. How can hiring practices change to give every candidate a chance to be seen and heard? How many have been ignored due to a lackluster resume, when these very people may have the innovative ideas only people growing up with dreams of working there may have?

Chris Garland is a recent graduate of Northeastern University, still hoping for his dream job of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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