While no specific “playbook” has ever been written for getting a job in the sports industry, there are hundreds of books that feature principles applicable to obtaining the sports job of your dreams. It would be foolish to try to create a “be all, end all” list of books to read because there are tons of legitimate contenders out there. Instead, for your benefit, below are five book suggestions that you can start reading now and into the new year. These books will give you an immediate head start on key tools you need to help you in your quest to obtain the sports job of your dreams. By applying the principles given by the authors in the correct ways, you will be well on your way to establishing yourself as a thought provoker, influencer and someone who can bring creative and unique ideas to a sports organization.
Sports Job Books
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith (2008)
Let’s face it, as this point in the “social media game” obtaining almost any job is difficult without the help of that thing we call the World Wide Web. But if you dive deep into the “social media game”, there are tons of fantastic tools that you can utilize to help you stand out. The days of paper resumes are soon to be left in the dust. It’s becoming more important than ever to “own” your online resume, and this is a book that will help you get the best start. There are cases upon cases of individuals using the web as a personal branding tool, becoming so-called “experts” in a given community, and leveraging that expertise as a way to establish trust in their particular community. In Trust Agents, expert bloggers Chris Brogan and Julien Smith break down, step by step, how you can use social media and the power of social networks to improve your reputation and relationships online. They cover all the basics from starting a blog to finding where the “conversation” is being had. If you haven’t read this book, I suggest starting right here.
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin (2010)
It’s no secret that there are people ready to knock down doors to work for sports organizations. In order to land that elusive sports job, you need to become indispensable. In this book, Seth Godin will help you come to grips with what will make you worthwhile to the organization compared to those coming up behind you. An excerpt of a particularly intriguing part of the book on resumés: “If you don’t have a resumé, what do you have? How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects? Or a sophisticated project an employer can see or touch? Or a reputation that precedes you? Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up? Some say, `Well, that’s fine, but I don’t have those.’ Yeah, that’s my point. If you don’t have these things, what leads you to believe that you are remarkable, amazing, or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don’t have more than a resumé, you’ve been brainwashed into compliance. Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people kill for – those jobs don’t get filled by people e-mailing in resumés.” Do you want to be Indispensable? Well, let Linchpin show you the way.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie (1936)
By today’s standards, How to Win Friends & Influence People is a dinosaur. However, this book’s message is timeless, and should be required reading by all. Carnegie teaches important principles on how to communicate with others and how to handle people appropriately. The sports business industry is a people driven industry, if you are going to succeed and land a sports job, you are going to need to be able to work alongside others seamlessly. Since the mantra of getting a sports job is “networking, networking networking,” what better book to include than one that deals specifically with interpersonal skills and how to interact with other human beings!
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi (2005)
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk (2009)
Within the last year or so, Gary Vaynerchuk has become what some may call an “overnight sensation.” He will tell you straight up that one of the biggest secrets to his success is that he will outwork anyone. That alone is worth the price of admission. If you want to get into the sports industry, a big step is to simply work harder then everyone else – of course, just working hard is not enough. You need to be knowledgeable about what you are speaking about, and offer a desirable skill set. In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk speaks passionately about how “anyone can build a career around something they are passionate about.” Here you will learn “Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content,” and “How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.” Lets face it, most likely if you are dying to enter the sports industry, it is something you are extremely passionate about. Very few people sign up for sports gigs without the fire burning inside of them. This book will help light that fire inside of you to go out and land that job.
What do you think of these resources as sports job books? Have you read them, or do you have others to share that have helped you on your quest for a sports job? Please share your thoughts in the comments and feel free to spread this on Facebook and Twitter!