The best part of pursuing a career in sports is the freedom to choose. You don’t have to be stuck selling tickets, if that’s not your thing. Instead, pursue your passion!
The Sports Industry is Monstrous
The sports industry is so enormous that nearly every profession is represented.
You can be a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Writer, an Architect, an Accountant, a Financial Advisor, a Broadcaster, a Fashion Designer, a Sneaker Designer, a Graphic Designer, an Event Producer, a TV Producer, a Filmmaker, a Photographer, a Chef, a Nutritionist, a Fitness Trainer, a Web Master, an IT Professional, a Marketer, a Manager, a Brand Manager, a General Manager, an Advertising Executive, a PR Professional, a Personal Assistant, an Agent, a Salesman and of course, an Entrepreneur.
As you can see, the list of professions in the sports industry runs the gamut.
The Most Promising Aspect
One of the most promising aspects from that list is something you can’t even see. And that’s the massive number of entry-level jobs attached to each of those professions. Look at it like this:
Say you want to be a Sports Broadcaster and your dream is to work for the “Worldwide Leader.” You can definitely land your first job in sports with ESPN, but it’s highly unlikely they’re going to hand you a mic anytime soon for a live broadcast.
And that’s fine because the number of entry-level job opportunities (underneath) Broadcaster, such as assistant video editor, assistant script editor, statistician, fact checker, coffee runner, etc., presents a far greater number of job opportunities than the profession alone.
The same goes with every other profession: Sports Agent, Sports Marketer, Sportswriter, and so on. For every profession that exists in sports, there are thousands, if not millions, of entry-level jobs and ancillary jobs attached to them.
For a college student looking to break into sports, that’s an encouraging perspective. Those entry-level positions are the stepping-stones that will lead to the sports career of your dreams.
How to Uncover Those Opportunities
One of the most efficient ways to discover what kind of entry-level jobs are attached to your dream sports career is by conducting informational interviews.
The informational interview is a powerful tactic that starts by identifying several sports executives doing exactly what you want to do. I recommend interviewing at least three professionals. Preferably five. The more the better. For one reason, it’s a great way to build your network and get to know high-level people in your field of choice.
Another reason is because you want to ask them: 1) how they got their start in the business; 2) what jobs led them to their current one; 3) what kind of entry-level jobs are attached to their career; and 4) what advice would they give to an aspiring [fill-in-the-blank] sports executive.
One thing you don’t want to ask is, “Are you hiring?” However, you do want to milk them for everything you can in terms of what they do day-to-day and glean any wisdom you can — about the career itself — during the interview. People love to talk about themselves. They also love to help students.
I tackle this subject pretty hard in my upcoming book, How to Land Your First Job in Sports: 7 Simple Steps (Fall 2011). I’ll be making an official announcement in a few weeks… stay tuned!