Career Implosion Made Easy

A question: Don’t you actually have to have a career before you can blow it up?
I ask this because of three recent incidents in the news which makes me wonder – and probably you as well — what the heck were these women thinking.

Up first, Britney Spears’ sister – Jamie Lynn Spears – who suddenly finds herself pregnant at age 16 from hr 18 year old boyfriend who she met at church .. and it was a surprise. Here’s the biggest surprise for me: I did not know Britney even had a sister. Apparently, she plays some wholesome character on some kid’s show .. although I have a feeling that job is out the window. What shocked me was all the media coverage of this – including people wondering what the impact will be on the kids of America? Here’s what I think: The kids of America are smarter than to follow the lead of the sister of one of the biggest train wrecks in recent memory.

Then, there is Alycia Lane. I’m sure you don’t know who she is .. but most of us in this news business do. She is an anchor at the CBS station in Philadelphia .. and she was recent;y arrested after an altercation with a New York cop which include her use of a derogatory term. After the incident, she placed a phone call to Governor Ed Rendell because they’re friends and she needed somebody to talk to. Since then, she has been sent “on vacation” and her image removed from all station promotional campaigns. Here’s the kicker: the woman makes $700K .. and this is not the first time engaged in questionable behavior.

Both these people were on their way to success when the self-sabotaged their careers by engaging in – at the least – questionable behavior and put themselves in messes of their own making. What really saddens me is that they will likely have careers beyond this moment of major misjudgement because that is just the celebrity-obsessed culture we live in. Meantime, a man who has done all the right things is being forced to end his career because of a questionable rule.

Ron Wabby is the long-time football coach at Brashear High School. In my dealings with him, I have always found him personable, kind and putting the kids he coaches first. However, after 30-plus years as a teacher, he has decided to retire. The kicker here is that he still wants to coach football but some rule in the Pittsburgh Public Schools forbids it because you must be a teacher to coach any sport at a city school.

I think in an age where good coaches are hard to find this rule is ridiculous, especially when you consider the coach in question has shown his credentials over three decades. In this case, it’s red tape and questionable rules which are causing a good coach to call it a career .. and the biggest losers are the kids he once coached.

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