Professional Development & Sports Career Management
More than 45 million people find themselves unemployed each year. Millions of others try to increase their satisfaction within the workplace as well as advance their careers by looking for alternative jobs and opportunities. Statistics show that you will make more than 10 job changes and between three and five career changes during your lifetime.
Many people transition into a sports career by accident. They do little career planning, other than take advantage of opportunities that arise unexpectedly. While chance and luck do play important roles in finding employment, when you plan for future sports career changes, you will experience even greater degrees of chance and luck!
Finding a job or changing a career in a systematic and well-planned manner is hard, yet rewarding work. The task should first be based upon a clear understanding of the key ingredients that define jobs and careers. Starting with this understanding, you should convert key concepts into action steps for implementing your job search.
A career is a series of related jobs which have common skill, interest and motivational bases. You may change jobs several times without changing careers. But once you change skills, interests and motivations, you change careers.
This process is not just for job seekers or those “on the outside, trying to get inside”, but also for the millions of professionals currently working in Sports in need of strategic action plans that help individuals to recognize where their career has been, where it is now, and where it is going.
Job Search Process
Networking plays a key role in the overall sports career development and job search process. If you want to find a job or change careers in sports, you must first know how networking relates to other equally important career development and job search processes.
Finding a job in sports is both an art and a science. It encompasses a variety of basic facts, principles and skills you can learn, but you must also adapt to different situations. “Learning how to find a job in sports” can be as important as “knowing how to perform a job.” Having marketable skills is essential to making job search strategies work effectively for you.
Four Step Career Development Process
1. Conduct a Self-Analysis…(Skill Set Driven)
Assess your skills, abilities, motivations, interest, values, temperament, experience and accomplishments. Your basic strategy is to develop a firm foundation of information about yourself before proceeding to other stages in the career development process. This assessment develops the necessary self-awareness upon which you can effectively communicate your qualifications to employers as well as focus and build your career. Know your strengths, weaknesses, and what you do best.
2. Gather Career Information…(Marketplace Segment Driven)
Here you need to formulate goals, gather information about alternative jobs and sports careers through reading and talking to informed people. Then narrow your alternatives to specific marketplace segments for which you have the highest degree of passion and interest. When you match your skill set with your passion, you will never work a day in your life.
3. Develop Job Search Skills
Focus your career around specific job search skills for landing the job you want. These skills are closely related to one another as a series of job search steps. They involve conducting research, writing resumes and letters, prospecting and networking, conducting informational interviews, interviewing for a job, and negotiating salary and terms of employment. Each of these skills involves well-defined strategies and tactics you must learn in order to be effective in the job market.
4. Implement Each Job Search Step
The final step emphasizes the importance of transforming understanding into action. You do this by implementing each job search step which already incorporates the knowledge, skills and abilities you have acquired.
Organize and Sequence Your Job Search
The chart below further expands our career development process by examining the key elements in a successful job search. It consists of a seven-step-process which relates your past, present and future. Your past is well integrated into the process of finding a job or changing to a career in sports. Therefore, you should feel comfortable conducting your job search. It represents the best of what you are, in terms of your past and present accomplishments, as they relate to your present and future goals. If you follow this type of job search, you will communicate your best self to employers.
Since the individual job search steps are interrelated, they should be followed in sequence. If you fail to properly complete the initial self-assessment steps, your job search may become haphazard, aimless and costly. For example, you should never write a resume (step 3) before first assessing your skills (step 1) and identifying your objective (step 2). You normally network (step 5) after assessing your skills (step 1), identifying your objective (step 2) writing a resume (step 3), and conducting research (step 4). Indeed, relating step 1 to step 2 is critical to the successful implementation of all other job search steps. You must complete steps 1 and 2 before continuing to the other steps. Steps 3 to 6 can be conducted simultaneously because they complement and reinforce one another.
Try to sequence your job search as close to these steps as possible. The true value of this sequencing will become very apparent as you implement your plan.
You must do more than just know how to find a job through networking. In the sports industry, you need to constantly review your skills to make sure they are appropriate for the changing job market. Once you have necessary skills to perform jobs, you can target your skills on particular jobs and careers that you do well and enjoy doing. You will avoid the trap of trying to fit into jobs that are not conducive to your particular mix of skills, motivations, and abilities…the number one temptation and mistake while building your career path in Sports.