Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brian Akin, Five-Tool IT Consulting Analyst

Brian Akin, author of Dear Tommy John Letters, has been chronicling his path in the minor leagues on his blog. Akin is blessed with being a solid writer, and his blog has been an enjoyable read. Friday, though, Akin announced that he is writing his final post for DTJL, as he will be ending his pursuit of a major league career, having taken a job as an analyst for a IT consulting firm.

My first thought was to write a quick piece about how Akin brings a solid set of tools to IT consulting; he's got great velocity on his powerpoint skills but his excel macros still need work, et cetera.

But it's a pretty serious and important change for one to shift career and life tracks like this, so I don't want to trivialize Akin's decision (even though the concept is admittedly kinda funny). And I was really struck by what he wrote in his last paragraphs:

Any disappointment I'm feeling is not because I no longer get to play baseball, it's because I didn't achieve my goal of pitching in the Major Leagues. And since I have no regrets about the way I chased that goal, this disappointment has been a surprisingly easy pill to swallow.

There is one thing though.

As a minor leaguer, you often daydream about getting called into your manager's office and finally getting that amazing news. When I had this daydream, I never envisioned myself trotting out to the mound at Dodger Stadium, or signing autographs for adoring fans. I didn't think about the paychecks or the chance at fame. I always thought about making the phone calls to my friends and family. I dreamed of calling my parents, who have been so amazing and supportive my entire life, and sharing the good news. I thought about calling my brother, Justin, who has always been willing to do anything for me. And I thought about calling my wife. She has sacrificed so much, and has never made me feel even a sliver of guilt for pursuing my dream at the price of a 'normal' relationship. I love all of you... thank you.

Brian, I never had a chance to become a major league player; heck, I never even had a chance to become a little league player, thanks to a stunted childhood. So I never got that opportunity to make those calls home like the ones you had hoped to make. And I think I can imagine how gratifying those calls would have been for you and your wife and family and all of the people who supported you along your journey.

But the cool thing is, they're supporting you not because you're chasing a dream in baseball; they're supporting you because of you. Because you're passionate and dedicated and they know how hard you've worked. And they're going to continue to support you as you pursue this job in IT consulting and other jobs after this.

I've never gotten to make those calls like you've mentioned. But I have gotten to make the calls home to my parents and my wife in those times when I've gotten promoted. Or gotten into graduate school. Or had a good presentation. Or even got a nice pat on the back from someone I admire at work. And it probably can't compare with striking out the side, or hitting a game-winning home run--but their support of me was there all the same, and it was gratifying to share my little joys with them, to know that they are proud of me and they support me.

I have a feeling that you'll have many calls home to your loved ones in your lifetime, and I wish you the best in your new career, and your pursuit of your new goals and achievements (both of which I'm confident will come). Best of luck on this new journey.

And go knock one out of the park.


rbnlaw said...

I don't get it.