King’s College women’s basketball team is traveling north this weekend to play in the NCAA Division III National Tournament Sweet 16 in Amherst, Mass. The Lady Monarchs’ leading scorer, however, opted instead to head south.
Paige Carlin, a senior forward and the sixth man off the King’s bench, left for Cancun, Mexico for spring break on Sunday, a day after King’s posted a stunning 64-63 win over William Paterson to advance to the sectional tournament in Massachusetts. Her name has since been removed from the team roster.
When I saw this story two things occurred to me immediately. The first is obvious: is this the worst teammate in history or what? We hear so much about the benefits of team sports, about the bonds that are forged, the lifelong friendships, the character building and the lessons that stick with you as you embark upon your career. Those of us who have dedicated a lot of our lives to playing team sports know that it’s not just talk, either. Not a day passes when my background in sports doesn’t help me professionally.
I find myself wondering what Paige Carlin has learned from sports, and more importantly, what lessons has she taught her teammates?
The second thing that popped into my mind: this isn’t going to help her career. Since she’s a senior coming off the bench at a D3, my best guess is that Ms. Carlin is going to be turning in pro in something other than sports. The thing is, these days hiring managers everywhere scan the net for information about prospective employees. They use Google, they use Facebook, they snoop Twitter, you name it.
In a study of 300 hiring managers and recruiters, Palo Alto-based social networking monitoring service Reppler reports that 76% of hiring managers look at applicants’ Facebook profiles. An additional 56% are looking at Twitter, and 48% check out LinkedIn – which seems ironic, considering that LinkedIn is where you’re supposed to present your professional self.
Facebook serves as an extension of your offline self, and employers want to know what kind of person they’re thinking about hiring.
Now, let’s fast-forward a few short months. I don’t know what her plans are post-graduation, but say she’s applying for a job. You get her résumé and you’re thinking, hey, this kid looks like she has some on the ball. Maybe I should call her in for an interview. Oh, wait – better Google her first. “Paige Carlin.”
Whoa. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! Okay, never mind. Who was next on that list?
I have no idea what Ms. Carlin’s reasoning was. For all we know, if we heard her side of the story we might actually agree with her decision. But those newspaper reports don’t tell her side of the story. Those reports are going to be online for the rest of her career, too, which means that it’s entirely possible that over the next 50 years she’ll miss out on who-knows-how-many interviews, never even getting a chance to tell her side of the story because managers won’t bother bringing her in. There are 500 applicants – why waste time on somebody with this kind of red flag by her name?
Like I say, I don’t know. But I hope for her sake that Paige Carlin has a plan.
Meanwhile, best of luck to her former teammates, the King College Lady Monarchs. People you count on will let you down in life, and here’s an opportunity to learn something important about pulling together with the rest of your teammates to overcome adversity.
Thanks to Adam Bonin for tipping me to this story.