If you want to work in sports, you better be ready to compete. Because like Vince Lombardi once said, “The most competitive games draw the most competitive men,” the sports business world is exactly that.
To compete — and win a job — in the highly-competitive sportsbiz landscape, I’ve outlined three keys that will empower you and help you reach your goal.
1. Have a Game Plan
To accomplish any hard-to-reach goal (like winning a job in sports), it’s in your best interest to put together a game plan. Especially if you want to reach it in a timely manner. It doesn’t have to be complex. But it does need to include two crucial pieces to be effective: your written goal and steps that will get you there.
Best-selling author, Stephen Covey teaches a concept he calls, “Begin with the End in Mind.” This means to begin each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination. Your game plan must include your vision (i.e. your career goal) of where you ultimately want to be.
Once you have a clear vision of your goal, write it down. Then figure out how you’re going to get there. To help you with that, Ken Kragen, author of Life is a Contact Sport, describes a concept he calls, “Backward thinking for forward motion.” By thinking backward, you’ll create a road-map (in your mind) to where you want to go. As you think it through, write down a list of things you need to do. This simple “To-Do List” is your game plan.
2. Focus on Your Greatness
Too often aspiring sports executives get caught up in trying to be all things to all companies. They’ll position themselves to fit any possible job. If that’s you, quit doing that! Instead, focus on your greatness.
When it comes to marketing yourself for a job, your greatness consists of three things: A) Your skillset; B) Your God-given talent; and C) Your passion. When you combine all three of those things, what does that look like in terms of a job, or a position? If you’re not sure, work on it. (I’ll help you! Hit me up via email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once you discover your greatness, figure out what kind of companies will pay you for it. Make a list of them and make sure to include the executive’s name who has the power to hire you. While these hiring managers might be interested in your greatness, they are much more interested in how it can benefit them — and their department. Important: be able to communicate how they will benefit if/when they hire you.
3. Be Super Aggressive
There’s a huge difference between being super aggressive and super annoying. One main difference is that annoying people aren’t sharing things that other people want. They’re just, you know, really annoying.
You, on the other hand, have a lot to offer. And you’re probably someone people enjoy working with. Not to mention all the greatness you can bring. Since you have all that going for you, you can be super aggressive about marketing yourself for a job.
While some coaches say, “Let the game come to you” I say, “Take over the game like Michael Jordan.” Abraham Lincoln sums it up beautifully: “Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” To get what you want in America, you’ve got to be aggressive.
Comment below if you have any ideas on winning a sports job! Also make sure to follow @sportsnetworker and tag us with #sportsbiz.