I was at an event recently at a company where several people were invited to just hang out and share a meal together. People intrigue me so I prefer to watch the room unfold at events. I overheard a lot of friendly chit-chat, your usual small talk and obligatory questions, but people seemed to genuinely be having a good time. I found myself smiling and nodding in approval at the company culture until the “what do you do here” question hit the air. It’s a fair question and usually innocent, but the response one woman gave was “Oh, I’m just the janitor.” As if the janitor is some position that isn’t important to the overall organization. Which of course led me to judge the organization and it’s practices. How could an organization make any position feel less valuable than the next? Where does that even start? Does it start at orientation, or just at company events? Does it come from the mission of the organization or the lack of acknowledgement of support staff?
Does it matter? I think it matters. I’ve heard plenty of professionals in our industry say “Oh, I’m just HR” or “I’m just a recruiter.” If you don’t respect/value your position no one else will either. Don’t “just” be something, you are more than that!!!
Eh-it’s not so tangled after all, let me break it down for you:
Being that I am a UofA (Hogs not Tide) girl my knowledge of Malzahn goes back to his Springdale High days. I can remember all the talk about this awesome quarterback that he had under him at the high school-Mitch Mustain. Mitch and three of his teammates were quickly dubbed the Springdale 4… Malzahn was offered a coaching position at the University of Arkansas and the Springdale 4 were happy to follow their coach! While, then coach Houston Nutt, disagreed with Malzahn on the ground game (no huddle offense) the rest of us were too busy witnessing a thing of beauty to note the disagreement. This thing of beauty was the wildcat offense and I tell you, putting Darren McFadden and Felix Jones on that field together to run this play was enough to spark hope in the heart of every hog fan! But the tension between the two coaches led to Malzahn accepting a position in Tulsa a year after he accepted the position with the UofA coaching team. In 08, after two seasons in Tulsa, Malzahn mosied on down to Auburn to work with Gene Chizik. He stayed put until Dec 2011 when he accepted a head coaching position at Arkansas State University (where again he had players follow him). And then today. Today it was announced that he will be replacing Gene Chizik and he will be back at Auburn, only this time as the head coach.
So what sparked this post you might ask? Today as I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed I saw a few posts from some stAte friends that were shall we say “butt-hurt” over Malzahn’s decision to leave them and head to Auburn. I even saw a comment along the lines of “and we wonder whats wrong with sports today-no loyalty”… WOAH WOAH WOAH (this my friends is a sure tried and true example that women have no business watching sports lol-shut your mouth ma’am!) Sure Malzahn made some comments along the lines of “I’m in it for the long haul” “I want to make a legacy here at stAte” blah blah blah. Here’s the low down: Malzahn didn’t expect Chiziks position to open up so fast and Malzahn owes it to hisself and his family to take his career to the next level when the opportunity arises (sorry Sunbelt, you will not be the place that SEC coaches go to make their legacy). You know who is expected to be loyal in sports? FANS! Not coaches. Coaches are doing a JOB… that’s right, a J-O-B. And so often we get caught up in our own job feeling like we have to be “loyal” to our employer; don’t read this wrong, we should be loyal to an extent, but be smart. [I am in no way encouraging anyone to act out of expected conduct.] In a recent conversation with an HR pro friend of mine she said it like this “Our job in HR is to look out for the best interest of the company we work for, it is not always their job to look out for our best interest.” That’s it, that’s all she said but there is a profound truth there. All I’m saying is sometimes opportunities will come up that could advance your career and there is a right way to consider them. Malzahn is leaving stAte after an excellent season (9-3) and carrying them to their 2nd straight appearance in the Go Daddy bowl. If you’ve accomplished some great feats at your current place of employment on your way out the door I say that’s not a bad deal for both of you.