Goal-driven Life or Life is Bittersweet?

Goal-driven Life or Life is Bittersweet?

Casey Eichfeld

Goal-driven Life or Life is Bittersweet? On Monday, Casey Eichfeld and his dad, Steve, came to dinner. I’ve known Casey since he was 9 — he’s 20 as I write this in 2010.

Before I even met Casey, his reputation preceded him. I read on the paddlesport e-list that at 9, Casey was an incredible paddler. We reminisced about those times and Casey’s paddling history. He started paddling solo at the age of 5 and worked hard to build his skills in C-1 paddling.

A C-1 paddler sits on their knees in the kayak and paddles with a single blade paddle. Challenging sport with fewer athletes trying to paddle this class than others.

Casey and his dad are here because Casey is competing to make the USA Slalom Team at the USACK Junior / Senior Slalom Team Trials in Wausau. He had sent me a message on Facebook asking about camping during the event and said he was looking forward to seeing me soon. I asked if he had realized that I had resigned from Wausau Whitewater and it was a surprise to him.

I told him  he and any one he wanted to bring with him were welcome to eat at my house when he arrived in Wausau if he got here before I left for New Orleans and the Career Management Alliance Conference. Casey called Monday to see if I was still available and to get directions. We had a great meal of brats and hamburgers, salad and chips. Simple, but an opportunity to touch base about all the changes in our lives since we last saw each other in 2007.

Big changes for Casey!

He paddled in the Beijing 2008 Olympics for Team USA as a C2 partner with Ricky Powell. Watching him grow up from a little boy with a big paddle to an Olympic competitor with goals to compete in 2012 and 2016 is hard to believe. Note: As I update this, Casey is getting ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio!

Why the “Bittersweet” title?

Even though I know that it was time I moved on from Wausau Whitewater and it was the right decision, talking to Casey about all the people who are in Wausau right now that I will not connect with again is bittersweet. A little sad. I’ve been blessed with knowing a wide range of incredible “goal-driven” people through my whitewater days.

I love watching a paddler like Casey progress from learning a craft to using it in national and international competitions. When I write resumes, goal-driven is an over-used buzz word but there are just a few people who end up really being defined as goal-driven. Setting goals, putting measurable steps in place, and then achieving your goals takes true dedication and determination.

Though I am not going to see wonderful people like Casey and his dad very often any more, I am connecting with new wonderful people in the career field and in my clients. Life is always a bit bittersweet when you leave one  role and move on to another. But new challenges and opportunities are always out there for the truly goal-driven people.

If you are facing challenges within a job search, just know that there are new doors opening all the time and you will find one soon.

Julie Walraven can help you achieve results through using a personalized job search and resume writing  strategy to take the mystery out of the process. To find out how, simply click here!


  1. Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health on April 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hi Julie

    It’s similar to the bittersweet quality when people part ways by mutual consent in relationships because they both want something different.

    I adore the song “He Lives in You” from the Lion King. It encapsulates perfectly the strength of life.

    We get to recognise and actually move through the new doors because of the strength and qualities we gained from what came before.

    PS: What are brats? I’m guessing it’s not spoilt children you ate with chips?
    .-= Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health´s last blog ..10 Things I Can Trust and Like About Myself =-.

  2. Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health on April 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Julie, hope you don’t mind – I wanted to add a link to the song “He lives in you”. It’s just so beautiful and has been known to bring tears to my eyes.

    .-= Reeta Luthra | Stress and Health´s last blog ..10 Things I Can Trust and Like About Myself =-.

    • Julie Walraven | Resume Services on May 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      Not a problem, my friend! You have permission to leave whatever links you want. I will check it out when I get home. It has been crazy traveling. But soon I will be back in Wausau.
      .-= Julie Walraven | Resume Services´s last blog ..Life is Bittersweet =-.

  3. Julie Walraven on April 28, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Exactly, Reeta! You are so right. Life can be challenging but new doors are always there. Brats are a sausage and I send you a link on Twitter. Wisconsin tradition.

  4. Yael Brisker on April 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I am enjoying learning about you and your career. Particularly admire your courage…and dedication to your self. Acknowledging the bitter-sweetness of life seems so real, authentic to me – and so necessary to move ahead in a healthy way. And from the looks of it you’re doing well.Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Yael Brisker´s last blog ..Empathy – The Missing Link =-.

    • Julie Walraven | Resume Services on May 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Yael. This has been a year of tremendous changes for me but it has yielded wonderful blessings in new friends and knowledge. I appreciate you coming to visit. Stay in touch!
      .-= Julie Walraven | Resume Services´s last blog ..Life is Bittersweet =-.

  5. Davina on April 29, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I understand this bittersweetness. That life you lived then is a part of you now and always will be; it is what lead you to where you are. You obviously appreciate that memory. Good memories are gifts.
    .-= Davina´s last blog ..The Muse Will Play in May =-.

  6. Julie Walraven | Resume Services on May 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Yes, Davina, I do enjoy the memories but I am so grateful that I made the change. The journey I have been on has yielded so many great connections and a better understanding of the complexity of the career field. Now that this latest trip is almost over, I am going to be able to focus on building connections and relationships with my existing client base.
    .-= Julie Walraven | Resume Services´s last blog ..Life is Bittersweet =-.

  7. Joe Jacobi on May 3, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Thanks for the great post, Julie, and to everyone who contributed comments – really enjoyed it. I’ve been fortunate to talk “life lessons from the river” with Julie for many years now. Context to life experiences sets such a positive theme and direction for moving forward.

    Thank you, Julie.
    .-= Joe Jacobi´s last blog ..March of a Lifetime =-.

    • Julie Walraven on May 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

      Yes, you are right Joe. I sometimes wonder how much our conversations led me in the direction I am now. Following your heart and doing what you know is the best choice for you even though it might mean leaving other things you care about behind is working for me.

      I look forward to hearing where life leads you as you continue your journey on the river of life. 🙂

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