Dreams and Possibility will Lead Me to Success

baseball, fresh starts, and being a young professional

Strengths Finder: Chapter 1 – Relator July 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahreuter @ 11:39 pm

[this post is also on my other blog lifeadventureswithsarah.wordpress.com]

A couple of months ago I took the Gallup Strengths Finder quiz for work. I’m always amazed by how accurate tests like this are at describing me flawlessly. Seriously, who writes these things and figures out how the results work?! Anyway, upon getting the results I told my direct manager and a few of my supervisor counterparts that it’s funny how accurate the results were for me; and how some of my strengths explain why I’m a great leader and others are why I’m great at getting things accomplished on my own.

The first one that came up on my list of five was relator. Here is the exact quote from the packet I got:

“People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”

True story, I love people and making friends. I am most definitely a people person, and as my degree will tell you I love communication. At first glance, this strength goes into my “why I’m a leader” category, but as I read through my “Personalized Strengths Insights” I realized that it actually falls into both.

On the leadership side: I will initiate conversation with anyone. I’ve been that was since before I can remember. My parents have told me some pretty entertaining stories from when I was young and started introducing myself to people at adult functions. I like to make people feel welcome and comfortable, no matter the situation. I also fully believe in supporting my leadership and/or team’s plan to outsiders/corporate/newcomers/etc no matter what. Whatever “beef” I have with the plan is between me and whoever is part of the plan, not the person/people I’m discussing the topic with. I also LOVE to coach and train people, and luckily that is the core responsibility of my job. I want to get better at it, and I love helping people reach their goals at work or in life.

On the individual side: My “Personalized Strengths Insights” point out that I “feel most fulfilled when [ I am ] busy and simply performing routine tasks.” This is completely true. I have very recently had conversations with my general manager and my direct manager about my “daily business rhythm.” That’s the fancy way to talk about a daily routine. When I started my role it took me about six weeks to fully settle in and find a routine that worked. I figured out how to get everything done on time or early, and I even had time to work on my own development or go above and beyond on a few aspects of my role. Then, three months later my entire world was turned upside down. Everything that was working, was suddenly against the plan. I truthfully don’t like change, so this literally screwed up my world for the better part of two months. My GM was concerned about my engagement at work and wanted to make sure I was still on board with my goals, and my manager was wondering why I was always behind. I just couldn’t make things work again, no matter how early I tried getting things done I was always five steps behind somehow. Now, thankfully, because we’ve changed one hour (yes, only one hour of the 40+ that I work in a week), my life is suddenly starting to get back to where it should be. I like structure and plans, and I love finishing task lists. As my strengths finder has summed it up perfectly:

“You deliver peak performances when you can tackle a task. You experience tremendous satisfaction each time you accomplish something. You probably like being held accountable for your actions and words.”

Those three sentences sum me up to a tee. Like I said before, it amazes me how perfectly these tests seem to assess me. How do they do it?!

My new challenge moving forward is to do my best to use my strengths to make me an even stronger leader. I believe that this is one of my strongest strengths, but there’s always room for improvement!

 

Marathon Training and Job Hunting February 13, 2010

Filed under: Goal Setting,interviews,Job Search,running — sarahreuter @ 6:06 pm

As anyone that follows me on Twitter can tell you I love running and I’m training for my first marathon. On top of that I am working at a deli and looking for a job to launch my career. During my hour run on Monday I realized how marathon training and getting a job are similar. Hey, these are the things I think about when I’m on a treadmill for an hour watching people ski. Crazy? Yeah, I know. Here’s how I connect the two:

Getting the right gear – For running you have to find shoes that fit right so you have the right support and you don’t get blisters. You also need to have shirts, shorts and/or pants that are weather and activity appropriate so that you’re comfortable, protected from the elements and supported in all the right ways. The same goes for what you’ll wear for an interview. You need dress shoes you can walk in (ladies, you don’t want to be falling over because your heals are too high). You’ll also need dress shirts and skirts/pants, or a trusty suit. I recommend a trusty suit because it’s always better to over dress than to under dress when you’re interviewing.

Stretching and Warming up – You have to stretch and warm up your body to help prevent injury. There is nothing worse than getting a twinge that turns into a pain…that then keeps you out of training for weeks all because you skip stretching (I’ve been there, sadly). You warm your body up differently based on the workout you’re going to do also. You may do more stretching and jogging to get ready for a speed workout than you would for a long an low run. This is like the research/preparation part of getting ready for an interview. You always want to have a few good questions to ask in the interview, know a handful of facts about the company you’re interviewing with and be able to tell the company what you can do for them. This step makes a world of difference when you walk into an interview.

Training – Before you can run any race, 100m or a marathon, you have to train. If you don’t train either you won’t reach your goals or you’ll get hurt. Neither one is very fun. As far as finding a job goes this part really isn’t fun. You have to apply to tons of jobs, edit your resume, get business cards, interview for jobs you don’t really want, patiently wait, and get told “no” or “we’ve selected a candidate blah blah better fit blah blah, good luck in the future.” No one likes being told no or going through the long process of searching and applying for what seems like a million jobs. If you think about it though, it’s going to be worth it. You will learn in every interview you go to, every cover letter you write will get better, you’ll get more comfortable with phone interviews, and hearing “no” will end up being a step closer to the yes you want.

Friends – In training your friends can be your accountability partners, training buddies, #1 fans, or amazing motivators. The same goes for your job search, except it’s your network. Expand your network, and make friends in the industry you want to work in. Make friends with people that can help you put out a stellar resume or give you great interviewing tips. Your network will help make your job search so much more productive than if you try to do it on your own.

Race Day – Everything you’ve been training for leads up to race day. Your first race or your last race…or some race in the middle…this is it. You run your race and feel amazing. You’ve finished your race, you’re in line for a free beer or a massage, and all of that training is worth it. If you’re like me, you’re ready to sign up for six new races at the point (at least I was after a half marathon). In the job search, after X number of interviews and X months of being patient you finally get a yes. Or, you get two, three maybe four yeses if you hit the jack pot! Congrats! YOU are the one that gets to say no. All of your efforts are worth is for the one yes you’ve been waiting for. Even if those yeses aren’t quite what you want, keep going. You know you can do it. You know you can get a yes, and you know you can be the one with the power to say no. But don’t settle for anything less than what you want.

Celebrate- After the big race go celebrate your accomplishment. Go get a massage, a fancy dinner, take a 4 hour nap or drink a beer. you’ve earned it. The same goes for getting a “yes, we want to hire you.” Even if it’s not exactly what you want…celebrate. You got a yes, and one thing I learned from being in sales is that when you get that first yes….good things keep coming. So, celebrate that yes and stay focused if you’re still looking.

 

Hello 2010: A New Decade a New Start January 4, 2010

Filed under: 2010,Fresh Starts,Goal Setting — sarahreuter @ 10:33 pm
Tags: , ,

Hello Everyone!

So much has happened in my life since 2000, and I am very happy with where my life is right now. However, I plan on making the new decade even better! I’m 23 at the beginning of this decade, not 13, so that helps open up some doors for me! I’ve always been told that setting goals is the best way to make things happen in your life, and I must say that I haven’t always been the best goal setter. I have set my goals for 2010 though, so here they are (in no particular order)!

Marathon: I will run at least one FULL marathon and two half marathons. I may throw in another full depending on my thoughts after the first. Follow my training progress!

Move Out: I will get a job or go to grad school and get back out on my own, and out of the state of Indiana. I’m thinking somewhere on the East or West coast.

Do Service: I was one of the VP’s in my service fraternity in college, and I have hardly done any service since I graduated in May 2008. I will do at least 50 hours of community service this year.

Financially Plan: I learned how to keep my finances in order, and I will keep them in order and planned out to a T.

Buy a New Computer: I have a Tangent…if you’ve heard of them and didn’t go to University of Dayton I will be damn impressed. The company doesn’t exist anymore, and after five hard drives and two power cords, Tanj is being retired. It’s time to start off fresh.

Twitter: I will give Twitter a good solid effort because I believe in what it is…I’m just waiting for my efforts to show. If you have pointers, by all means help me! ( http://twitter.com/sarahkettler)

Job/Internship/Grad School: One of the above will happen. Maybe even a combo if needed. I’m setting my sites high on the job, of course.

I look forward to updating you on my progress towards these goals! Happy 2010!!!

 

2009 Winter Meetings December 13, 2009

Filed under: interviews,Job Search,networking — sarahreuter @ 11:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The PBEO (Professional Baseball Employment opportunities) Job Fair and MiLB Winter Meetings were a fantastic break from reality. I got away from my “amazing” job at the deli and the stresses of everything life is throwing at me. I had the incredible chance to reunite with my great friend, Megan Ogulnick, after over a year.

Megan came down Friday, and we spent the day Saturday exploring downtown and setting our game plan for the week. Once we found our way to the convention center there was no way to contain our excitement. Even though the interview posting boards had 100 name spots and were intimidating we were beaming with excitement.

Sunday at the Business of Baseball Workshop we had the opportunity to hear some amazing speakers. If you follow either of us on Twitter (MOgulnick and sarahkettler are our handles) then you may have seen her live tweets and/or my first attempt at live tweeting.

Many of the speakers came up and explained the interviewing process, from how to prepare to what happens after it’s over; or they talked about sales and how it’s not as scary as it sounds. Rob Crain, however, came up and explained the Winter Meetings in his talk, “Expect the Unexpected.” Below are the notes I took from Rob’s slides, and then my personal experiences have been added in as well.

>MONDAY

-Get to love the job posting room: I can’t say that I ever loved the job posting room because it was a zoo as soon as anything new went up. I’m not a fan of being a fish swimming up-stream. I did love getting excited over the rare MLB posting and finding media relations postings though.

-Be open-minded. I was open-minded and wrote down a few sales and community relations jobs to give myself more opportunities. I tend to have tunnel vision for media relations because I fell in love with it during my internship in 2008.

-Apply for a lot of jobs. I dropped off 20 or so resumes on Monday. It was a very productive day in the job posting room and at the resume drop off boxes.

-Be willing to sell. I interviewed with the Kansas City Royals for a media relations internship, and sold my skills and who I am. I know he meant sales, but in public relations we sell our skill sets to get to where we want to be. So that’s exactly what I did.

-Don’t stress today! Hard decisions will come later. There was no stress for sure! Megan and I made friends with Alicia (she sat with us during the workshop Sunday) and Chris. Yay new friends!

-Go out! Check! I ran into the Rockies MLB.com writer who helped me find Mark, the Reds MLB.com writer, and we all had a few drinks at Champions just taking in the craziness of the day.

> TUESDAY

-Get to love the interview posting room. I know I didn’t come to love this room. I tried, I really did! Of the 27 jobs I applied for, seven or eight posted interviews over the course of the job fair. It was very exciting when one of us got an interview, otherwise we celebrated getting to sit and talk more. We were eternal optimists for sure!

-Get to know everyone. Check! Megan and I snagged Seamus, the emcee of the workshop Sunday, and got to know him. Our little group also got to know Rob Crain, and were very entertained by him.

-Go out AGAIN! Megan didn’t feel well, so I went out without my sidekick…I got to catch up with my old co-workers from the Dayton Dragons and the Reds. I took advantage of the chance to network through my old co-workers, even though I was very sleep deprived the next day.

>WEDNESDAY

-Second interviews, second guesses. Well, I had an interview!!! I can’t say that the second interviews and second guesses was a problem for me. But hey, that’s okay. I also set up an interview for Thursday. Yay progress!

-Go with your gut. On Wednesday my gut said “thank goodness the hurry-up-and-wait game is almost over.” I didn’t have any jobs or internships to decide between, so I wasn’t stressed out at all.

-Go to the Gala. I can’t believe I ever thought it wasn’t going to be worth it. Alicia, Chris, Megan and I dressed up and had the most incredible time at the gala. We were at Lucas Oil Stadium (Go Colts!), and got to tour the whole facility, enjoy some free drinks and network. We were all very productive in our networking at the gala. We found Rob Crain and talked with him, and then met several new connections through him.

-Go out AGAIN! After the gala we went to the Marriott to network more. I met a few of my old co-workers again, and met two different agents. I had my eyes opened for different opportunities outside of media/public relations. Who knows, maybe an agency has potential after all! After the Marriott we went to Howl at the Moon, a piano bar. There we celebrated Megan and Chris’ birthdays, and spent time with our new friends. I also had the opportunity to meet the Nationals and Orioles Media Relations Directors. Whoever said that “nothing good ever happens after 2am” is wrong. I met them both after 2am, and networking with them was definitely a good opportunity.

>THURSDAY

-Be selfish. I wish my friends didn’t have to leave…that’s all I have to be selfish about.

-Don’t be afraid to take a risk. I almost went into an interview wearing slippers because I didn’t want to wear my heals out in the cold. Apparently they would’ve loved it! Too bad I let my feet get cold, darn it!

-Take a look back at the last few days. $200 for the PBEO Winter Meetings, $55 for the gala, making great friends and standing next to Tony LaRussa? Priceless.

Over all, I wish that the Winter Meetings hadn’t ended. Would I spend the money to attend the job fair again? No, I probably wouldn’t. That’s because I want to work in the major leagues and the job fair is 98% minor league opportunities. I’m glad that the speakers Sunday reminded me of some of the keys to interviewing, and that I had the opportunity to get to know such great people. I walked away with a few job leads, some amazing new friends, and knowing that I can’t wait to work in baseball again.

For more on what we learned, check out Megan’s notes from the Business of Baseball workshop! Just click on her name in the first paragraph.

 

The Equality Battle November 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahreuter @ 11:06 pm

Over the last week or so I have read countless amazing blogs, letters, and articles about the battle for equality. I’ve also had countless conversations with people about the subject.

At the National Equality March everyone there was challenged to start the movement. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, ally or however you like to be identified as. Everyone of us has to work together to make this happen. We were challenged to come out, write letters to our congressional districts, talk about our fight and make things happen. I love that TV shows and movies are starting to help make the general public realize that we homosexuals aren’t all that bad, and they show some of the battles that some go through.

A very close friend of mine and I were talking about being out at work last week. Personally, I don’t hide anything. Everyone I work with knows I’m a lesbian. Even the 70-year-old woman who can’t stand the idea of gay people. My friend, however, said that she was just going to keep it quiet at her job because she didn’t want people to be uncomfortable. Keep in mind, she’s proud in every other situation…so this upset me. Why should we have to keep things  quiet to save them from being uncomfortable? We are supposed to stand up and be proud in every situation. We shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable for the happiness of the closed-minded. Straight people, let me ask. Do you like watching straight people PDA? Didn’t think so.

Another great friend of mine, an ally, has gone to amazing lengths to help with the battle. He’s written letters, had arguments in my defense, and even wants to help me start a revolution. He’s pretty much amazing. To all the allies out there, thank you for everything you do. Your love and support will help us all go far.

I challenge you to help in this battle as an ally or a member of the GLBT community.

 

One Month and Counting November 6, 2009

Filed under: Job Search — sarahreuter @ 8:48 pm
Tags: , , ,

In one month my good friend, Megan Ogulnick, and I will be attending the Baseball Winter Meetings. I cannot wait to interview for either hours a day over three days. It’s going to be incredible. I will get to reconnect with the guys I worked with during my internship with the Cincinnati Reds, and the people who I met throughout the course of the 2008 season. It will be a networking and interviewing field day!

I’ve already gotten my suits dry cleaned, and gotten a million (slight exaggeration I suppose) copies of my resume made. Next step, business cards that everyone will remember. From what I know I’ll be having a bunch of mini interviews, so I’m doing what I can to make an instant and lasting impression. I’ve got my confidence cranked all the way up, and I can’t wait to show everyone that I’m made of. I miss working in baseball, and I can’t wait to get back.

If you’re at the Winter Meetings I look forward to connecting with you!

 

Gay? Fine by me! November 4, 2009

Filed under: GLBT — sarahreuter @ 7:09 pm
Tags: , ,

 

Photo0031

my partner and I on our way into DC for the National Equality March

Oh, America. The land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE. Well, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely disappointed in the majority of Maine for voting against marriage equality. I am completely disappointed. After the National Equality March last month I have a huge charge for making things happen. I must admit, I’ve been thinking more than acting or talking. As an out and proud lesbian, it’s about time I actually said/did something to make things happen, right?

 

I am ashamed to say that I did used to hide my sexuality in the work place. I only hid it in the field I love most, Major League Baseball. Well, as the winter meetings approach and I will be interviewing like crazy to find a job…too bad if they know I’m gay. I’ve always said, if I’m asked I’ll tell. Which is still true. But I will proudly talk about my partner, and not my calling her my best friends (she’s that too, but being my partner is more important). I say too bad if you don’t want me to work for you because I’m gay, your loss. Someone will want me to work for them, and it will be worth their time.

As for Maine and the majority of America…who are you to tell me who I can or cannot marry? This is the “land of the free” is it not? Why am I not FREE to love and marry my partner? Trust me, we are not affecting your marriage. Fifty percent or more of you heterosexual married couples will divorce anyway. Harsh? Maybe, but so it telling me I can’t have equal rights. If  my partner gets sick/has to have surgery I can’t even find out if she’s okay because “I’m not family.” The religious argument doesn’t really work for me either. Coming from a devout Catholic family you’d think that none of them would be talking to me, right? Wrong. They love me and my partner, and understand that we were born this way. You can’t pray away the gay. As for the definition of marriage that apparently we gay couples are violating. Thank you to Caryn, my other half, for point this next part out for me. According to Merriam-Websters dictionary, and too much of society, marriage is “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” This is the definition I have been told that I am trying to redefine, and how bad that is. Consider that not too long ago interracial marriage was illegal. Tell anyone in an interracial marriage or relationship that they don’t deserve the same rights as an all white, black, pink, green or purple heterosexual couple. That won’t go over well. But, what Caryn pointed out was that in US history marriage was a man’s possession of a woman, and only whites could marry. Our country has redefined marriage before, and we will again.

For those who are unsure how they feel. Think about your friends who are gay. Maybe me, maybe someone else. Would you want to take that away from them? Consider what you might think if you have a gay child, or you have a gay sibling. How will your opinions change? Will you stop talking to them because they are gay? That happens too often, and believe it or not…they find love and support despite family rejection.

The GLBT people of America are incredibly brave. Someone of us right on the front lines for the military, and we all risk losing our jobs and families because we’re “different.” We have to fight for our acceptance.

Our generation will make things happen. Starting today.