6 Simple Tips to Advance Your Career

by Brad - Feb 12, 2015


Do you ever feel trapped in a dead-end job or feel like you’ve reached the height of your career? I’m sure most of us have felt that way at some point in our lives. Most of us want to advance in our careers, but we don’t always know where to start.

A couple of years ago, I worked on a course which required extensive research on how to succeed at work. While I’m sure there are many things we could add to the list, all of my research seemed to boil down to six simple steps that anyone can follow to advance in their career.

Be Consistent

While it can be fun and exciting to be spontaneous, it is rarely appreciated in most workplaces. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun at work, but inconsistency can quickly kill your career. Simple things like following a set schedule, arriving on time for your job, and maintaining a high quality of work can put you on the fast track for a promotion. There are few things more frustrating for a manager than not knowing when employees will show up or what the quality of their work will be like when they do.

Challenge Yourself

No matter how enjoyable your job is, performing the same tasks day after day can get repetitive and make you feel like you’re in a slump. Sometimes the fix for this can be as simple as developing a better way to complete a task. If that’s not an option, you may choose to volunteer for new assignments or use your downtime to work on new projects.
Another way to challenge yourself is to learn new skills. Many employees have access to training programs through their companies, and for those who don’t there are many online options, such as LearnKey’s self-paced training courses. The more knowledge and skills you can acquire, the more valuable you can make yourself to your company.

Show Loyalty

You may not always agree with everything, but supporting your manager’s decisions can go a long way toward advancing your career. Your manager may not always do things the way you would do them, but that doesn’t mean their method is wrong. Don’t undermine your manager’s authority by airing your grievances publicly. Carefully determine which battles are truly worth fighting and talk to your manager privately if you have a legitimate concern.

Admit Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. John Wooden once said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.” When you make a mistake, you have two choices: try to blame your mistake on someone else, or admit your mistake and work to correct it. In all areas of life, those who freely admit to their mistakes and work to correct them gain more respect than those who are constantly trying to push their mistakes onto others.

Stand Up for Yourself

You are an important asset to the company, and sometimes you need to remind your manager of that. Find ways to subtly market yourself, like offering to help on a project for which you have a private talent. Make a list of contributions you have made within the company and use those when asking for a raise or promotion. And don’t be afraid to ask. If you feel you are unlikely to get what you want, start with something bigger and negotiate down. If your manager has concerns about your work or qualifications, ask for feedback on how you can improve.

Find a Mentor

Sometimes all you need to get ahead is someone to show you how it’s done. Find someone you look up to and observe their work habits and methods. You can even formalize the relationship by asking the person to mentor you. Many companies have structured mentoring programs where you can set guidelines and define your goals and expectations. In the absence of a formal mentoring program, mentoring can happen as a natural outgrowth of mutual respect.

I hope you find these six tips useful and good luck in your career advancement!


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Newest EOM helps veteran students realize their potential!

by Jeff - Feb 04, 2015


You can always tell when someone loves their job. It’s not in what they say, it’s the results they achieve, and this month’s Better Learning Systems/LearnKey employee of the month is Susan Havens, a Veteran Services Representative who has a passion for helping students.  This is evident in the way she supports the sixty-five (65) plus students she works with who are going through our Blue Ocean IT & Career Ready program!

Even though Susan has only been with LearnKey for four (4) months she brings passion, commitment, and discipline to her job each and every day. Her manager had this to say during her nomination:

Susan Havens

“Susan has done an amazing job taking the roll of supporting our Veteran Students, and has really helped mentor and motivate them to stay on track and achieve their goals. She is a true display of our core values by earning trust from her team members that she is going to follow through on any task she is given and is an absolute professional when it comes to customer service. We truly value her ability to dig in and figure out how to complete a task on time and she makes it easy for students to like her as she is always engaging with them frequently to ensure they are moving along in their coursework and removing any challenges they face”.

We strive to make LearnKey a fun place to work and Susan fits right in with her funny personality and natural “can do” approach to supporting other team members. Take a minute to get to know the personal side of Susan through this fun Q&A:

  1. How many siblings do you have? I am number 3 out of 3 brothers and 4 sisters.
  2. What is your favorite movie? The older comedies because they aren’t so crude…like “The Man Who Knew too Little,” “Grumpy Old Men,” the “Vacation” Movies w/ Chevy Chase, and “What About Bob.”
  3. What is your favorite band? I love the 80’s Rock Bands…like Chicago, 38 Special, Foreigner, and Aerosmith.
  4. What is your favorite vacation spot? The central coast in California Pismo Beach, Arroyo Grande, San Louis Obispo area. Still a quiet beach community.
  5. What was your High School Mascot? A Porterville Panther.
  6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? Honestly, I avoid weird foods at all costs! I’m not a big fan of weird or things that are considered NOT food. I will eat most anything, but weird.
  7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? My favorite pet was a little Chihuahua named Annie.
  8. What was your first car? A yellow Datsun B210 and my favorite car was a 76 Camaro when I was a senior in High School.
  9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I’ve been most everywhere, but I would really like to go to Italy and visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Rome and Jerusalem and Greece.
  10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? I would probably have a higher percentage of survival zip lining.
  11. What is the funniest thing you have heard working here? Nothing specific, but I work with a bunch of witty people who crack me up everyday.
  12. If you could eat dinner with anyone past, present, or future who would it be? Bill Murray. He cracks me up and I love his sense of humor!

Please join me in congratulating Susan on being our February 2015 employee of the month, and now that I know she does not eat weird food so much for her trying my home made Chili!.


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Newest EOM keeps LearnKey looking good!

by Jeff - Jan 08, 2015


Join me in welcoming in 2015!

Its always exciting to start a new year especially when you have a great team.  No better way to do that than talking about our great people. So it gives me great pleasure to announce our first 2015 BLS/LearnKey employee of the month, JJ Embleton, who is our lead on the LearnKey production design team.

JJ_small

JJ’s job is not easy as he plays a key role in making sure our course designs are modern, effective, and drive learning engagement. A great example is the work he did around our Security+ course the end of last year and how he lead the team fostering creativity and providing feedback.  Here is what his nominating leader had to say about his efforts:

“It’s hard to choose just one course where JJ has exceeded my expectations as there have been several courses over the past six months where the Design team has had to meet crazy tight deadlines, Flash CC included. He ensures the courses we are releasing are up to the standard we have come accustomed, all while rallying the team alongside him. He does this with his strong organizational skills and a relentless positive attitude of ‘it may be hard, but we can do it.'”

We are fortunate to have JJ as part of our team and along with being a great co-worker we wanted to share a little about his personal life. So take a minute to get to know him through this fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have? One Brother and one sister both younger.

2. What is your favorite movie? Haha! It changes about every week for me but right now it is Big Hero 6.

3. What is your favorite band? That is also another one that changes often, but I have been listening to a lot of Archive lately.

 4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with good vistas and good hikes. I love hiking with my family!

 5. What was your high school’s mascot? The Panthers.

 6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? I don’t know if it is exactly food, but recently when I was super sick and probably doped up on cold medicine, I mixed Grape Airborne with milk… It ended up being pretty good.

 7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Tango. He was a Yellow Labrador I had pretty much all through growing up.

 8. What was your first car? 1998 Ford Taurus

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to go anywhere in the Scandinavian/Icelandic regions.

 10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Sky dive.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? “Mmm, hot brownie…in my mouth”

 12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My Grandpa Chuck. I knew him well when I was younger but he passed away and I think it would be really fun to get to know him better as an adult.

Please join me in congratulating JJ on his recent success and thanking him for his contributions to our great team!

Sincerely,

Jeff Coruccini

 


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Newest Employee of the month always a step ahead!

by Jeff - Dec 02, 2014


Beau Shakespear

As we go into the holiday month of December it gives me great pleasure in recognizing our newest Employee of the Month. It has been a treat to watch him develop and grow over the past year into a true example of someone who demonstrates our core values (ease, value, and trust) each and every day. So please join me in congratulating one of my favorite team members, Beau Shakespear, our marketing and trade show coordinator, as this month’s Better Learning Systems/LearnKey employee of the month.

Beau has become someone who not only gets the job done on time every time, but really “stays ahead” by anticipating the needs of his customers, our employees, sales, and marketing teams. He displays a true “can do” attitude and is  extremely easy to work with and has such an honest and caring demeanor. Trust me, we throw a lot of changes his way, such as: last minute hotel/travel revisions ( I am the biggest offender), urgent updates to our course release schedule, revising our course catalogs, trade show changes, and he does it all with a smile and never a sign of any frustration.

Because of this he has established a high level of trust with everyone in our company, brings tremendous value to our operating groups, and has the respect of not only our employees and leadership team, but also our LearnKey partners.

Take a minute to learn some fun facts about Beau and his family:

1. How many children do you have? One, Kezia Mae Shakespear
2. Who is your best friend and why? Definitely my wife. She puts up with me and we basically have telepathy. And we are constantly finishing each others… sandwiches? (two movie/tv show references right there =) )
4. Name your wife’s favorite restaurant? Spicy Tuna. A sushi restaurant in Vegas.
5. What is it that you like most about your job and why? I love that I really never know what I am going to be doing each day. Also I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with all of the teams at LearnKey.
6. Who at LearnKey have you learned the most from? Hands down, Kim Johnson. Whenever there is a work decision I have to make I think W.W.K.D (What Would Kim Do)? But seriously she has taught me so much and helped me get the marketing team on track.
7. Name a place you want to take your wife for vacation? My wife would love to go to Ireland.
8. What is your ideal dream job in the next five (5) years? I need to win the lottery or find a rich relative. Because I would love to be a stay-at-home-dad. Kezi has me wrapped around her finger and I am totally fine with that. =) In reality I love my current job. I would like to see the marketing department grow and be doing some kick butt campaigns, high web sales, active social media presence, while promoting and protecting the LK brand.
9. Name your favorite meal to cook? I can make a mean pot of Gumbo.
10. IF you won a million dollars, name a cause or not for profit you would donate a portion of that to? There is an orphanage in Guaymas, Mexico that I have spent time at. I would makes sure they were taken care of.

Again, please join me in congratulating Beau as this month’s BLS/LearnKey employee of the month, and now I am off to buy him lottery tickets in hopes of him winning the lottery, becoming a stay at home dad, and spending time with his lovely wife and daughter!

Happy Holidays!

 

 


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Thanksgiving

by Brad - Nov 25, 2014


This Thursday and Friday, LearnKey offices will be closed in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. LearnKey offices will return to regular hours of operation 12/1/2014.

While many early groups of settlers observed a yearly day of thanksgiving after their arrival in the New World, the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday is generally attributed to those colonists known as the Pilgrims. Fleeing religious persecution in England, the Pilgrims originally settled in Leiden, Holland. Fearful of losing their cultural identity through long association with the Dutch people, the Pilgrims eventually left Holland and sailed to the New World aboard the Mayflower.

In late November of 1620, the colonists arrived in what is now known as Provincetown Harbor. They organized the first government of the new colony through a contract later known as the Mayflower Compact, signed by forty-one adult male passengers, two of whom – Degory Priest and George Soule – are my ancestors. The Mayflower Compact allowed for democratic voting and as been called the world’s first written constitution.

By December, most of the colonists on the Mayflower had become ill and were suffering from scurvy. A small group began exploring the shore for a place to found their new settlement, eventually choosing on an abandoned native village which they named New Plymouth. The first home constructed became a hospital for the sick, and by March only 47 of the original 102 colonists had survived.

During the first year, the colonists made friends with the native people, who shared supplies with the newcomers and taught them how to grow corn. In late September or October of 1621, the surviving Pilgrims invited their native friends to a three-day feast to celebrate their harvest. This feast is traditionally known as the First Thanksgiving.

We wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for!

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving, Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)


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Bringing passion & motivation to supporting our veteran students

by Jeff - Nov 03, 2014


Jessica Staples

Some people have a way about them that makes other people respond positively. That is exactly what Jessica Staples does for our veteran students and why she has so much success with them and the vocational rehab counselors that support them as well. That is also why Jessica is our November BLS/LearnKey employee of the month. It was six months ago, almost to the day, that we had the opportunity to bring her on board as a Veteran Services Representative supporting our veteran students. Jessica is also a veteran and can relate to students and motivate them in a way that brings out the positive in them to have the confidence to succeed.

She displays our core values each and every day. Ease comes by the way in which she communicates with students and veterans, always positive and with a “can do” approach. Value is what she brings to the team with her professionalism, top notch customer service skills, and the way she motivates her students. Trust is something she creates everyday, earning it not only with students, but peers and VRC’s.

Here is what her manager had to say during her nomination: “Jessica has shown an amazing amount of professionalism and every day demonstrates excellent customer service skills in her position here at LearnKey. I truly appreciate her ability to adapt to change here at LearnKey while we focus on continuous improvement. I value her knowledge, and experience as a military veteran herself and trust that she has the best interest for the students and LearnKey.”

Please take a few moments to learn a bit more about her outside the office with a fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have? Two and a half. One older sister, one younger sister and a brother on my dad’s side
2. What is your favorite movie? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. What is your favorite band? The Strokes! Or pretty much any classic rock band.
4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Hawaii or Palau
5. What was your high school’s mascot? A Buffalo
6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? Ranch mixed with pasta and salad (I was hungry…and didn’t have a lot of time to eat one at a time). Also, ranch makes everything taste better.
7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Toto (he looked just like Toto)
8. What was your first car? Ford Taurus SES 2001 Sedan
9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Ireland, to get to know m’roots!
10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Zip Line…I’d like to stay as close to the ground as possible LOL
11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? It was a conversation that Tiffany was having over the phone with her husband,
“Well if she wants to start dressing like that, she can stay home from preschool!!”
12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My grandfather on my dad’s side because I never got to know him and he died before I was born.

Congratulations Jessica as we are so fortunate to have you as part of our team!

 


Newest Employee of the Month all about the team!

by Jeff - Oct 01, 2014


Kelly Woods

Like any other company we continue to try and get better at what we do. That could not be more evident than what has transpired over the past ninety (90) days on our LearnKey Veteran Services Team (LKVS). During this period we required everyone to “be all in” on what was good for our students. It required several team members to stop what they were doing and do what is good for the team, even if it required their other priorities to be put on the back burner.

Kelly Woods, an Adviser on the LKVS team and this month’s BLS/LearnKey employee of the month demonstrated our core values by not only jumping in to help fix the problem, but took on a leadership role working with other team members on building a better process, assisted with finding good team members, and recommended a “team approach” for handling students with “a can do attitude” the entire time.

He demonstrated the value of his team members by trusting them and working on solutions vs. pointing fingers.  At a time when frustrations were high he made it very easy for team members to work with him on finding the best solutions that were the best for the team.

Kelly has a way about him that makes it easy for people to feel comfortable with him and he relates to people – a true gift, not only in friendship, but leadership and business as well.  A perfect example is what one of his peers, Kim Johnson, had to say when she nominated him. “At a time when I needed leadership support while making drastic changes to teams and processes Kelly supported me the entire way and I am so appreciative of that”.

Here’s a way for you to get to know Kelly a bit  on the personal side through a fun Q&A:

How many siblings do you have? 4 sisters and 3 brothers, I am 7th out of the 8
What is your favorite movie? The Ultimate Gift
What is your favorite band? Alabama
What is your favorite vacation spot? Kolob Mountain
What was your high school’s mascot? Ram
What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? I don’t eat weird combinations
What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Buddy
What was your first car? 1976 Toyota Corolla
If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Jerusalem
Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Zip line
What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? There is a cat on the heater vent
If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My little sister Tiffany who passed away suddenly last year. I would like to make sure that she really knew I loved her.

Please join me in congratulating Kelly on this achievement and his contributions to our company!

 

 


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Newest EOM problem solver, master of Rubik’s cube and trivia!

by Jeff - Sep 02, 2014


Bill Wilhelm

It’s safe to say our Better Learning Systems & LearnKey employees of the month are great at doing more than just one thing and this month’s recipient is no different. We are congratulating Bill Wilhelm from our Cedar City office. Bill has been with LearnKey Cedar City for over a year and a half and in that time he has become one of our most valued employees and built a reputation for being a master of  everything he touches.

Take for example needing help with the right combinations of a code fix for a demo file? Or how about fixing OnlineExpert.com to pause correctly? Better yet, what about secrets of a Rubik’s cube? Bill to the rescue, says his leadership team. Probably one of the greatest qualities of Bill’s contributions is he does his job with a very easy-going attitude which makes him a great team player.

Get to know Bill a bit more through some fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have?

One sister, younger

2. What is your favorite movie?

Bandits. It features a Suburban like mine as the bank robbers’ getaway car (see question 8).

3. What is your favorite band?

Bloc Party

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

I absolutely love being on the water at Lake Powell.

5. What was your high school’s mascot?

Falcons. Beware our astounding ability to plummet toward the earth really, really fast combined with incredible visual acuity! *

* (The FDA has not verified the falcon-like capabilities of all high school students. Your specific animal-based traits may vary.)

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?

Once, on a whim, I requested a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich with onion gravy on top. My co-worker actually made the thing, and I did try a bite. It was every bit as nasty as your imagination can make it.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?

Dewey, he was a miniature dachshund with a great temperament.

8. What was is your first car?

1970 Chevrolet Suburban. I still have it and drive it regularly.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

My wife and I would like to go on vacation to Thailand together some day.

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail?

Why not all four? I’d be up for any/all of them.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard while working here?

There are too many Chris-ims to pick from, but a good recent one was “Sincerity is so hard when you don’t mean it!”

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I could over analyze the hypothetical ramifications of this question for weeks. Instead I’ll say Nikola Tesla. We’d have ever so much fun pontificating on his plans and apparatuses which are now lost to history while enjoying a specially prepared entrée of legume and fruit paste, surrounded by baked dough slices and briefly submerged in hot fat!

 

We are very fortunate to have Bill as part of the BLS/LearnKey family and value his contributions. He exemplifies our core values through making it easy for team members to work with him, providing problem solving skills that are of great value, and building trust with his leadership team.

Thank you Bill and congratulations!


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Newest Employee of the month leverages what we do!

by Jeff - Jul 29, 2014


Aaron Colburn

Not only is Aaron Colborn the newest addition to our LearnKey film and edit team in Salt Lake City, he is also this month’s recipient of our Better Learning Systems Employee of the Month award. Several qualities resonate to the top of what impressed us most about his accomplishments and their alignment to our core values around ease, value, and trust

In just five (5) short months he has become certified in Adobe’s Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6.  He is extremely easy to work with, values his co-workers, and has won over the trust of the entire leadership team. Here’s what his manager had to say during his nomination:

“As you can see Aaron is a very goal-oriented employee by taking advantage of what we do, which is produce certification training. He set his sights on these certifications early on and passed them in a very short amount of time.  He is a work horse.  I can always count on Aaron to meet or beat extremely strict deadlines while maintaining a high quality product.  Aaron brings more than 10 years of experience of editing and shooting to our team.  His experience allows him to help others on his team who are looking to add that pop or creative flair to the project.  We are thrilled to have Aaron on our team!”

Take a moment to ready more about Aaron and his life outside of LearnKey:

1. How many siblings do you have?

I have one older brother who is much smarter than me, but not nearly as handsome. And I smell better.

2. What is your favorite movie?

Anyone who knows me knows that is probably the hardest question that I can be asked. But if I had to narrow it down to one it would be Pulp Fiction, with Boogie Nights as a close second.

3. What is your favorite band?

Again, a tough one, but probably either Radiohead or Pink Floyd.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

Anywhere with a beach and booze.

5. What was your high school’s mascot?

A grizzly bear. RAWR! Scaaaarrryyyy!!!

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?

Fried fish eyes. They explode like Gushers (the candy) when you bite down.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?

Bender was the best and weirdest cat I have ever had. He passed away 3 years ago. :(

8. What was your first car?

A 1973 Dodge Dart. It was more power than a 17 year old should have.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?

Argentina

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail?

I want to skydive into your heart.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here?

“I’m all teeth and boogers.” – Liz McEuen

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with Stanley Kubrick — at Chuck-A-Rama because their mashed potatoes are delicious!!!

 

Please join me in congratulating Aaron and congratulations on your Adobe certifications and believing in what we do!


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Soccer and Certification

by Wyett - Jul 03, 2014


For nearly 30 years Cedar City has played host to the Utah Summer Games. For the past several years I’ve wanted to participate in the 3×3 soccer tournament, but for any number of “convenient” reasons it has never quite come together—couldn’t find enough players to field a team, going to be out of town, had other plans—things of that nature.

JeffAndWyett

This year the planets aligned and I was able to participate with a team of fellow LearnKey employees. Now, in the interest of full disclosure I should state that I am somewhat past my prime when it comes to my soccer playing days, in fact I would dare say that I was in contention for being the oldest player in the tournament. Full disclosure part II—we would be playing in a division made up of players 17 years-old and older. Due to the number of teams in the tournament the Open and Intermediate divisions were combined which meant that we would be playing some pretty decent teams and not the weekend warriors that we were anticipating.

We were able to practice as a team only three times prior to competition and during one of those practices I had cramped up so bad in my right leg as to hardly be able to kick the ball much less run after it—it was shaping up to be a stellar tournament.

The Friday of our first game (we were guaranteed three) we were pretty excited and a little nervous. We played somewhat haphazardly during the first half of the game—running about without coordinating our efforts and generally just playing poorly. We got our act together by the second half and played a much better game—though still coming out on the losing end. It should be noted, however, that the opposing team did go on to win the tournament undefeated.

We ended up playing four more games. With each game we played better. With each game we gained confidence. With each game we enjoyed ourselves more and more. We finished the tournament with a silver medal in the Intermediate (“consolation”) bracket and had an absolute ball (pun intended) doing so.

Team LearnKey

So what does this have to do with certification? A couple of things. First off, there will always be a reason to not do a certification. Second, proper preparation is essential. Finally, certification yields numerous rewards.

Honestly, we got lucky. We did play well, but we weren’t well prepared. However, we’re already planning for next year. We know what our strengths are as well as what we need to work on. The point is, we jumped in and tried. Sometimes it is overcoming that first step—just doing it—that can be the most daunting. Certification can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Learn from our soccer mistakes and prepare, but above all—do it!


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