Tag Archives: Career Development

To the Class of 2016…Advice From a Parent

Archbishop Rummel Class of 2016

For both students and parents, High School graduation is a time of remembrance and of celebration – A backward glance at accomplishments, friendships, and a measure of innocence lost. A reflection of joy, love, and sometimes pain and sorrow, amidst the realization of a journey ahead that will leave friends and mentors behind.

$Rum057It is also a time of anticipation – of endless possibilities, of hope, and of uncertainty. The apprehension that comes when discarding the comfort of that which is familiar eventually succumbs to the promise of potential fulfilled and the discovery of new horizons.

To the Class of 2016, a few words of advice…

Follow that which provides fuel for your soul and provides a service to others. There will be a time in your life for compromises, but those moments can wait. Be relentless in pursuit of a life that yields no regrets. Your future depends upon it.

Your energy, enthusiasm, and optimism not yet diminished by life’s disappointments and the shortcomings of the human race, work diligently to resist the temptation to turn cynical and lose faith in the goodness of others. Our future depends upon it.

$RumSrProm029Think big and remember that greatness has been achieved time and time again by those who simply outwork those with more talent, intelligence, and skill. Failure is a given, but merely a speed bump on the road to success. Quitting is optional.

Yet in your pursuit of greatness, never forget that the measure of a life well lived is simply the sum of tens of thousands of small moments that might seem inconsequential in isolation, yet are monumental in aggregate. Every smile, gesture, compliment, word of advice or encouragement, and sacrifice for others has a ripple effect that becomes a wave.

In the end, the quality of your relationships will provide your most lasting satisfaction.

Know that you alo$RumGrad012ne are responsible for your happiness. Don’t live a life based on the expectations of others, even your parents. Forgive us for wanting to guide your steps. We’d like to keep you from disappointment, heartache, and harm, but we can’t. Life’s most meaningful lessons must be lived to be learned. Besides, we don’t have all of the answers. Life at any age is a work in progress.

When you take your final breath, you’ll have to answer to yourself and your creator. Simply live a life that leads to the conclusion at that moment merely one simple thought, “Well done.”
$RumSrProm009And know that you are not alone in your journey. Everyone who has achieved success owes a measure of gratitude to those who took an interest in their development along the way. We hope that we’ve lived up to your expectations and haven’t disappointed you with regard to our duty as role models. As you develop your own sense of identity you will travel your own path, but we will take pride in your footsteps.

To Michael and to the entire graduating Class of 2016 from your greatest cheerleaders, your parents – We wish you success and love, and all of the above.

Onward and upward.


Music & Technology, Upgrading Your Skills & a Lifetime of Learning

When I started my career in sales, I listened to a set of audio tapes by Brian Tracy called “The Psychology of Selling.” A statistic that he cited really startled me. In the audio tape (cassette actually, this was 1995) he claimed that 90% of the sales tapes, books, CDs, etc. were purchased by 10% of the salespeople. Just the fact that salespeople are looking to upgrade their skills tells me a lot about their attitude. Perhaps they will find a gem of information in those materials that will actually lead to a sale. Regardless, I like a person who is always looking to improve and get an edge on the competition.

When I advanced in my career to a position where I had the opportunity to interview prospective employees, I always asked the question, “What books, CDs, or seminars had you read or attended that you found helpful in your career or self-development efforts?” The answers weren’t particularly important. Sometimes I got an idea for something to add to my own library, but the important thing is that they had an answer. ANY answer.

That brings us to the story of Mrs. Abby Nyhof of Mission, SD. Yesterday, she posted this message on Twitter:  

“RT @mrsnyhof: Referenced #MusEdChat in a job interview today! The admins seemed impressed 🙂 <- PS I got the job!”

First of all, congratulations to Mrs. Nyhof. #MusEdChat, for those who might not be aware is what as known as a “hashtag” on Twitter that allows like-minded people (in this case, music educators and those with an interest in music education) to search for content of interest. There’s also a dedicated time in which a live Music Education Chat takes place where those interested in Music Education tweet for one hour a week.

I suspect that those who interviewed her were intrigued by the fact that she might have insights on music education from her twitter activity. I suspect that what impressed them the most is just the fact that she chose to seek out information that would keep her teaching skills sharp and give her an edge.

A university music professor once told me that the average music conservatory could run by candlelight and that most hadn’t changed much in the last 150 years. With the integration of technology and the decline of major record labels in the era of the “self-sufficient” artist, the game is changing.

I’m often stunned by people who haven’t done anything in 20 years to diversify or upgrade their skills and complain when their company has a layoff and they are lost in the job market. Everyone should consider themselves self-employed these days, and you’re simply renting your services to a company or directly to the customer.

Kudos to Mrs. Nyhof. Dedicate yourself to a lifetime of continuous learning as she did, and you will become recession-proof.