Jobs / Coach gets a thank you note

One of my soccer players was recently rummaging through their old email.

He had kept an email that I had sent to him in 2009 just as he was graduating high school. Since then I have recently gotten both a personal and a written thank-you for my career advice … from back in what must seem the dark ages for a young person.

Our correspondence follows. I have substituted Soccer Player X for their real name and email address.


———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Wed, May 7, 2014 at 12:05 PM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Work, Career Advice and All-Stars

look what I came across today…


———- Forwarded message ———-

From: William Golden <>
Date: Fri, May 22, 2009 at 11:25 PM
Subject: Work, Career Advice and All-Stars
To: Soccer Player X
Soccer Player X

Yes. Mark confirmed you as an All-Star.

And you should know that in my mind that you always on the A list. Not
only are you a favorite player but you’ve got great attitude … and
attitude counts in life.

A bit of career advice – study hard and work hard. Focus on your job.

My role in life is as a very senior recruiter for almost 600
organizations. I make lots of money giving advice.

Here’s a bit of free advice: things will get worse in the employment
world. Much, much worse. Unemployment will especially hit two
demographic groups: young folks like yourself and men under the age of
35. Lose a job and you may not get another for a long while.

I don’t see a rebound in jobs until 2014 or 2015. Things could get
somewhat better in 2012 or 2013 … but my advice is to think about
where you are going to be in 5 years.

Hopefully you are going to college. The next 4-5 years will be a great
time to have an alternative other than having to seek full-time

Here is what I want you to study: pick almost any subject you want BUT
seek out a B.S. degree over a B.A. degree. DO NOT WASTE your
electives: devote your elective credits to understanding business
processes, “enterprise” communications and networks (you don’t have to
become a geek), and statistics. Your future will depend upon being
competitive and surviving on statistical margins — and operations
like Bloom survive on thin margins (usually < 5%).

America WILL rebound with jobs about the time you graduate from a 4
year degree. But the way people earn money and work will be very
different in 5 years.

If you follow my advice you will be very employable at the right time
in your life. Synchronicity matters.

… And of course I look forward to seeing you on the field as an All-Star.

Best regards,
Coach is Bill’s World

I grew up a traveler. Was born in Virginia. Many years later I have reset my roots again in Virginia.

My family moved to Alabama while I was still in first grade. Second grade started in Georgia and I finished in Florida. Even in Florida I went to three different elementary schools.

Middle school and high school years were both stable and very memorable parts of my life. Yet the travel bug had bitten me. I remember reading about the Roman and Greek empires and vowing to myself that I would see what remains of them one day. I have not (yet) made it to Greece but have traveled widely otherwise, and been to Pompeii and to Venice a number of times.

At home, our house has many languages in it. My wife is Japanese and both of my sons were born in Japan. My wife studied both German and English while in school, my youngest son is a student of  German and Russian, and I can mumble well enough in Czech, French, German and Russian to get myself into trouble. Often. My oldest son is fond of Latin and I’ve dabbled in it. Our TV is more often than not on the NHK Japanese satellite program. My son and I share music videos back and forth in German and Russian — and we regularly speak both languages between ourselves just for practice; my soccer teams provide plenty of chance to practice too with there easily being 7 or 8 languages spoken on the team.

I joined the Army at age 17 and by the time I retired from the Army I had spent more time overseas than in the U.S. Little of my life between the age of 19 and 38 were from living in these united states. Fate smiled kindly upon me and I finished my military career back in Virginia — where I live and work today, when I am not travelling.

After retiring from the Army I took my experiences and formed a company:, now in its 12th or so year of service to America in a different way.

My sport is soccer, aka futbol. I was never much good at playing the game but I fell in love with kicking a ball in the third grade when I met kickball. Then at the tender age of 19 I met a soccer ball in Germany and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Back in the late 1990s my son’s team needed a coach and I volunteered. It is not that I am a great coach or player — admittedly I didn’t have many coaching skills — but someone has to step forward. I’ve never had problems trying new things. I do not let not knowing what I am doing get in the way of trying new things, or setting new objectives to conquer. Overcoming underestimation has been very good to me.

My soccer playing days are long past, but along the way I’ve coached every age group between U7-U30, served as co-commissioner for soccer in the seven counties of northern Virginia, served on the board of directors for one of the largest soccer clubs in Virginia, and have shelves of trophies. In spring 2010 I even coached two U19 teams with both winning championships in their divisions.

When I’m not on the field or working – although work for me is not really work — I’m dabbling in politics or reading or genealogy or … my wife Yoko has never said that I should find a hobby.

Stay curious.