This is the first day of March Break for many people in Ontario, and some lucky families are making their annual trek to Florida. That is where I spent a few of my March breaks as a kid, down in the sunny warmth. Being a bit of a baseball fan, I used to visit the Toronto Blue Jays spring training camp in Dunedin, Florida.
I have been a long time Blue Jays fan, and even had the privilege of seeing them play in the World Series. The voice of the Toronto Blue Jays since 1981 is Jerry Howarth. I have had the honour of spending time with him and believe that he is a good and decent man.
Jerry had heard that Joe Siddall, a former professional baseball player, had just lost his 14 year old son to blood cancer. He reached out to Joe to share his condolences and offer help and support.
Joe was surprised to hear from Jerry, he shared, “I replied to him right away, ‘Thanks very much. I look forward to seeing you when you come to Detroit this season, or maybe in the broadcast booth one day.”
What Joe Siddall wasn’t aware of is that Jack Morris, Jerry Howarth’s broadcast partner, had recently left the Jays and they were looking for a replacement. The “hidden” job market is a constant conversation we have with our clients. Career opportunities can show up in the most unbelievable ways and sometimes even under the most unfortunate circumstances. What Joe didn’t realize was the opportunity that was about to come out of a truly sad event. Joe had tapped into a hidden opportunity.
This is a story with a happy ending! Howarth quickly answered, catching Siddall completely off guard, “How about right now?” Joe went down for training camp and has just landed in a new role in the broadcast booth as Jerry’s new partner.
Truly unfortunate circumstances led to a whole new journey for Joe and his family. They realized they had to create steps to start moving on with their lives and, as a retiredbaseball player, Joe was ready for a new phase in his professional life.
You may not be in the kind of situation that Joe and his family were, and I don’t want to make light of the healing journey they are on as a family.
I think you get the point: you never know where your next career opportunity may lie, or what circumstances may lead to doors opening. Like Joe, if you can be open and are willing to take some risk and share what you are looking for, you most likely will be very surprised where this could lead you.