How to get off on the right foot in your sports career?
Unfortunately there is no defined career path in sport. Unlike in other more mature and structured industries, you need to be in control of your career, otherwise there is the danger of drifting and not fulfilling your own ambitions and potential.
We have identified three areas that you need to focus on to ensure that you get off on the right foot in your sports industry career.
1. Industry Structure
As sport carries a hugely varied set of sectors and is not helped by this lack of structure, it is absolutely critical that you identify key areas of interest. GlobalSportsJobs identifies ten core sectors that it believes makes up the sports industry.
- Agencies & Sponsors
- Clubs & Teams
- Education & Charities
- Elite Performance & Coaching
- Federations & LOCs
- Leisure & Health
- Media, Technology & Broadcast
- Science & Medicine
- Sporting Goods
- Venues & Suppliers
Within each sector sits another layer of sub-sectors and therefore more decisions to be made. For example, the agencies and sponsors sector can include communications, marketing, business development, research and sales. You will need to investigate these areas, making the most from books, the internet, networking and social media to:
- Read around the subject
- Read about key people in the sector
- Learn about the organisations that make up these subsectors – what do they do, how they do it etc.
- Look at job specifications to get a better feel for the skills required
- Look at the people on LinkedIn that have worked for these companies in the past – what do they do now? What has been their career path?
3. Be realistic
Be honest with yourself:
- Is this type of sector right for me and am I right for it?
- Can I see myself in this type of role?
- Where can this job lead me?
Remember – working in sport is not all glamour. Jobs in the industry often require long hours and thankless tasks in a rapid and forever changing environment. If the job has ‘sport’ in the title it doesn’t necessarily make it perfect or the right job for you.
- Research is critical
- Reading around the subject and the people is key
- Applying it to your own skills and ambitions is the art
- Being honest with yourself is important to ensure you start off on the right foot