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Archive for Monday, October 2, 2006

Options can help rebuild career

October 2, 2006

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Q: How can my husband salvage his career? He was a college soccer coach who was released when his assistant coach made recruiting violations. He and the school agreed to state that he was leaving to "pursue another position." Other positions have not lived up to his standards and to make matters worse, he was released from an elementary-school position because of an outburst of anger; then he received a DUI, which resulted in a suspended license. Yes, he's in therapy, but he desperately needs employment. - Alicia

A: Dale: Until you've gone through it or known someone who has, it's hard to understand just how quickly a life can spiral down. The good news is that there are plenty of people who've had that revelation, and if your husband is earnestly seeking help, those people will treat him with sympathy rather than contempt.

Kate: I'd say that the downward spiral started when the college asked him to lie about his leaving. Nothing made sense in his career after that. So he goes to a program not as good, then winds up at an elementary school. I can only imagine how frustrating that was for him. I can picture the anger and the drinking and all the rest - I could see how it could happen to anyone, myself included.

Dale: See what I mean about sympathy, Alicia? However, people in public institutions are in a lousy position to come through with a "sympathy hire." How does it look when the local news media do stories on the "checkered past" of a new coach? What administrator would take that risk? That's why your husband should focus on jobs with professional teams, or perhaps being a consultant to schools who are starting a program or whose coach needs help.

Kate: In doing so, he will prove that his therapy is successful, while he adds success stories to his resume. Eventually he will get to that place where a college athletic director can offer him a job.

As Judge Sol Wachler put it: "When God closes a door, He opens a window. But the hallways are hell." Wachler spent time in those hallways - he headed the New York State Supreme Court before self-medicating for bipolar disorder and ending up in jail for harassing his girlfriend. I know it doesn't help much to hear, "It could be worse"; however, you must remember that there's a window waiting for your husband, and he's lucky to have you helping him get through it.

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