Woodstock Area Job Bank

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As Baby Boomers move swiftly toward retirement, Millennials are primed to take over.  We have been taking a glimpse into how things have been going for three young adults navigating the challenges of a 21st century workforce. Mike and Amy both chose career tracks that included college.  Not everyone goes that route.  Is choosing not to go to college still a viable career path for millennials?

In this final segment, meet Mark.  Mark was a decent student in high school, some A’s  mostly B’s, he played soccer and skied in the winter.  He dreamed of going to a ski academy, but his parents weren’t ready to commit that kind of money for a sport—ski academies rival fine colleges in tuition.  In his senior year, Mark petitioned his high school to let him miss twenty days of school to train.  When he graduated, he had no interest in going to college and he persuaded his parents to let him try the professional ski circuit.

Job #1 Things went well for the first two years.  Mark competed in national, then international competitions—climbing the ranks. He was doing well, but there are not a lot of dollars in professional skiing until you reach the top.  He worked hard in the off-season at a golf course to help with expenses and was sponsored by several companies for equipment. Until… during warmups, he fell and broke his leg— major surgery, twelve pins and a 6-inch plate ended Mark’s dream of the Olympics.

Job #2During his rehab Mark put all of the passion he had for skiing into recovery. For the next nine months he worked hard to rebuild his body and became a certified personal trainer. It was hard to start a personal training business.  He still worked at the golf course.

Job #3 Mark’s ski coach had kept in touch.  Once Mark was off crutches,  he was offered a summer job coaching at the academy. Yes, ski academies  do train in the summer.  They ski down astroturf ramps into large air bags— freeskiing is all about the tricks.

Job #4The next winter, Mark was offered an assistant coaching position with the academy.  He was back on skis, but his leg would never take the heavy pounding of top-level competition.  He found he liked working with the kids.  He liked the travel.  In the off-season he lived at home, did some personal training and still worked at the golf course.

Job #5  Mark was tired of working three jobs.  He was tired of moving in and out of his parents’ house.  Ten years out of high school, Mark longed for a place to call home.  Should he leave the ski industry and go to college?  Mark was able to renegotiate his contract and now has a full- time position that includes coaching and team training.  He is taking an advanced course in injury recovery.

 Mark has decided to commit himself to a career in the ski industry. He does not see college in his future. He makes good money, has no debt and is living his dream life.

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