Get yourself inspired for your career

Work can be challenging on the one hand, on the other hand you’ll find days where time just won’t pass. And that’s what this blog is for.
The single posts will bring you motivation at work or could even inspire you for a new job. All in all, it’s about spicing up your career – whether it is about getting promoted or just new ways of spending your work day. For example, did you know that doing sports regularly or the way you spend your lunch break could boost your career?

So, whenever we see an interesting Ted Talk about work or take a break from our work by brainstorming about ideas how to stay motivated, you’ll find our results in this blog. Find yourself some inspiration & motivation!

 

The advantages of working remotely in the sports business

While modern companies implemented remote work - even just for a day  per week - even years ago, the location-unbound working model is now becoming a big part of the every day work culture in the sports industry. 

One company in the sports business showing exactly how it is done is komoot. While located in Potsdam, the team is actually working from all over the world - remotely.

Right at this very moment, they look for a Brand Manager to expand their team.

This way, they’re actually developing a full functioning and effective team which takes responsibility and therefore, really pushes the company to the next level while being more satisfied in their job.

How so? That’s what we discovered in this blog. Find out what advantages working remotely brings and what it needs to make it work. 

The advantages of working remotely

Better work-life-balance

While most companies which offer remote work as a benefit do expect you to be available for a specific time frame matching the office hours, there’s still plenty which allow a flexible time schedule. Taking time off for necessary appointments and continuing work afterwards, starting earlier to have more time in the afternoon, or whichever model it is you prefer - you’ll be able to use your time more effectively and actually, coordinate your job around your life and not the other way round. A very exciting experience. 

And even if you need to work fixed hours, after all it allows you to spend more time outside of work. Taking into consideration the time employees are saving by not having to commute to work and back home, as well as the option to actually use your break for something else than having lunch in the canteen, it seems to enable a better use of time.

A focus on productivity instead of time

What happens when your daily task are done and your project is on hold? Well, let’s face it: A lot of office time is spent with browsing the web, socializing, figuring out where to go for holidays, you get the point. The reason is simply that we have to be there until a specific time when our shift ends, no matter the work load. While being idle in between tasks can push motivation, it can also be wasted time that you could put to much better use. 

That’s where remote work comes in handy. The advantage of working at home is that 

  1. you can actually concentrate on your work without having colleagues from your office interrupting 
  2. when your work is done, you can actually do something else because
  3. your boss can hardly stumble into the office noticing you’re procrastinating

We’re not implying that you should skip on your work for a layday at home and fool your team or boss. But if you’re doing your job quickly and still maintain good quality, there’s nothing wrong about using remaining working hours for other activities - as long as you’re available when needed.  This leads to more productive and effective work - so both sides, employee and employer, benefit from it. 

Creativity & innovation

In general, working from home might give you the needed distance from your work and team to be creative or innovative. Especially, when having the option to „work from wherever you want, be it a beach, the mountains, your house or anywhere else“ as komoot puts it in their job ad, the remote work gives you the freedom to explore new places, new cultures or even just the neighborhood in your daily life, to gain new experiences and impressions. Which - as we know - is fueling creativity. 

Cost savings 

Shifting to the employer’s point of view who does benefit from all mentioned points, they have furthermore the advantage of actually being able to save money. With more people working remotely, there’s less working space needed, which cuts the cost for rent, interior and maintainance. 

Happiness and passion

Taking all these things into account, it’s no surprise that surveys say that remote employees are all in all happier than regular office staff. It benefits their health, mental and physical, as well as giving them much needed freedom to fulfill dreams and goals. 

Disadvantages and how to avoid them

With our own Sportyjob team working remotely from everywhere between Germany to France and even to the Canary Islands, we know exactly that not working together takes a lot of effort to actually create a functioning team. While benefits for employees and employers are obvious, there are still disadvantages luring around the corner. Talking about miscommunication, feeling disconnected, projects lying dormant, unhappy team members - you name it.

But, like mentioned above, those issues can be easily handled with some effort and measurements that the whole team needs to take.

Communication

When being in the same office or building, it’s easy just to give a short update in between. But even in regular working environments, there’s a need for individual weekly jour-fixes and team meetings to keep the team updated. Even with some distance between the team, it’s absolutely necessary to maintain this. Giving updates on what you’re working on, project status, etc., even some personal information every now and then (planned holidays, how everyone is doing, etc.).

The most important part though is remembering that there’s is no digital, but actually a human team existing. For this, video calls are the easiest way to continuing talking face to face over any distance. With plenty of tools which allow split screens and group calls, there’s no problem to keep up with the communication.

komoot even took it a step further: 4 times a year, the whole team meets up at one destination around the world for one week, to work together, socialize, get to know each other in case there are new team members aboard. A perfect way of combining a team building measurement with an activity which resembles perfectly to company spirit and mission. 

Trust 

A very big factor. Remote jobs only work when both sides trust each other. If there’s colleagues or your employer mistrusting your work ethics, this is not going to work out. There might always be someone who thinks that remote workers only relax, play games or chat or watch tv instead of working, but in our experience, this is far away from the truth. Whether you prefer working regular office hours or like to use your mornings for sports or other activities and therefore, work late - that’s fine. It should be accepted and most of all, trusted, by your team that you still keep up with your work. 

Also, on the other side of the medal, trust in being seen. Don’t worry about being available all day long in case your boss actually sends an e-mail when you have just finished your day. There’s the possibility that you might feel the urge to always check your e-mails, always be online, so no one gets the idea of you being lazy. There’s absolutely no need to. Trust is needed on both sides. So is free time to stay productive and passionate about your job. 


If you’re interesting in knowing more about the realization of komoots working model, check out the free Whitepaper from our partner ISPO: Digital talents in the sports industry - Whitepaper.

By looking at komoot, they derive concrete recommendations for winning digital talents for the sports industry.

Meet Alicia Pinckney: Designer at Timberland

Timberland Designer Alicia Pinckney

Passionate, creative and a very contagious smile: That's Alicia Pinckney. The Men's Apparel Designer of Timberland heritage talked to us about her career, what inspires her and the possibilities for sustainable solutions of sports fashion design.

Sportyjob: I've seen you had your 2 years anniversary these days. Congratulations!

Alicia Pinckney: [laughs] Thank you!

SJ: So, how have your last two years at Timberland been?

AP: I feel like these last two years have gone by so quickly! I've joined the team together with a bunch of new people, so in a sense, we kind of build the brand up again with a completely new team. With that in mind, there has been a lot of evolution, a lot of structure changes, just a lot of things happening in these last two years. So I think that’s what made it go by really fast! I’ve just been keeping up with everything that has been going on. I like fast pace and that’s what Timberland has been. It’s always been open for change and constantly evolving to something new. So it has been a very interesting time in my two years here, meeting different people, traveling to different places around the world.

SJ: Is it something that sparks your creativity, going so fast pace?

AP: I definitely think it is! Because for me, if I feel like I am stagnated or anything isn’t happening, my creativity can lie dormant. But if you have something that is stimulating you, like going to new places, being exposed to new cultures, that keeps the creativity and juices flowing. Whenever we design for a new season, we are always traveling - I can say that it definitely helps with the creativity.


If I feel like I am stagnated or anything isn’t happening, my creativity can lie dormant. But if you have something that is stimulating you, like going to new places, being exposed to new cultures, that keeps the creativity and juices flowing

Alicia Pinckney

SJ: Let's go back two years. Do you remember your first product that came to store?

AP: Yeah, actually! When I first joined the team in July 2017, I immediately started working on a collaboration project with Christopher Raeburn. Then, around June 2018, it was presented at the London Fashion Week. It was our first time having a Timberland product on a runway during fashion week. So that was something! I was like: "Wow, I just started and I already see my stuff!". Normally, when you start at a company, it takes a while to actually see your designs in action, because of the timelines we are working on.
Another few months later I saw it in our Flagship Store in London in Regent Street, which was very cool and very exciting! And when I went back home to America, I went into the New York store and I saw that we had a popup store based on showing this product, because this project was so significant for sustainability. You see, Christopher Raeburn is all about reuse, reduce, recycle and circular design. And our product was basically that. We made sure that all of our cotton that we used was organic, any part that is possible can be recycled. It was basically like a very closed circular collection. The intent was reducing waste and making use of waste, everything we used from very sustainable resources.

SJ: Talking about sustainability. Timberland has been doing a lot to reduce the carbon foot print of the fashion industry. One of their goals is to reuse 100% recycled materials until 2020. What is your role in reaching these goals?

AP: We’ve been training a lot on circular design. I am not sure if you’re familiar with that. You look at design in general, normally it’s very linear, we pick up a resource, we use it and then it’s wasted. And no one does anything with the waste. But the concept of circular design does. You start with the resources, make fabric from it which - after the consumer uses it - can be remade into something else and can go back to the beginning loop of the resources. It can be regenerated for something else. So, we should eliminate our carbon foot print, not have so much waste. A lot of our decision making also depends on: ok it can be repaired, so the customer doesn’t have to throw it away. Which is a big factor. Or we also can choose things that are already recycled, for example, companies using recycled nets from the ocean. It’s about doing the research, to take waste and making something out of it.  So it’s a lot of thinking what we’re doing and honestly, out of all the big companies that I’ve worked for, Timberland is the most aware in the details to help reduce our carbon footprint.

SJ: How does sustainability influence your designs?

AP: I feel that it influences my way of designing in the way that when people think of me as a designer or like when you think of the idea of any designer, you automatically think of fashion, trends, that’s it. But for me, I think, having this whole topic of sustainability in the forefront of my mind, I am not just chasing after fashion. I am chasing after what makes a change for the world. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but if you only stay relevant with what’s happening in trends, honestly, a lot of trends aren’t that great for the environment. So, it really changes my way of designing, because I am not really trend and fashion focused, I am more purpose and function focused.


I am not just chasing after fashion. I am chasing after what makes a change for the world

Alicia Pinckney

SJ: So, you don’t only have an impact on Timberland's design, but it also has one on you!

AP: Yeah, I can definitely agree with that. It feels like it gives you a sense of purpose. Because I feel that when you’re designing with not having anything in mind other than creating a garment that someone looks nice in, you kind of feel - I don’t know about anyone else, but for me - I kind of feel empty. Because this is what I am contributing to the world, that is my purpose.
When you look at the DNA of Timberland and the fact that we’re trying to do good for the world, while we also do this creative part of designing, you can feel a bit a balance of your fulfillment. Because you’re doing creative stuff, but you’re also doing something that is going to actually make a difference. Instead of just filtering the world or just oversaturating the world with garments, garments, garments, we’re trying to make a difference. Because of course, garments will always be a part of our life here, but if you can do it in a way you’re not killing the world, you feel a sense of purpose, of personal purpose.

SJ: Finding this fulfillment as an employee must be extraordinary for you, because before you were freelancing, you had your own brand GLEON 1938. It probably must have been a big change when switching from your own products to representing a brand. How is it different when working for a brand than doing your own products?

AP: I think it’s completely different as you are working collaboratively. Everything is build off of a team, from the initial ideation of the direction for the season to working with different partners to help to complete the collection. Whereas when I was working on my brand, I did everything on my own. I cut and sewed, and created my own patterns. I was connecting with different creatives, from my photographers to models and event creators for whenever I did fashion shows. At Timberland, we're involving another community of manpower to help get the brand globally reached.
But what I definitely think is the difference when you’re working for a brand is, not only do you have the financial support, but you can actually make a global statement when it comes to being sustainable.
But I really think you can take your ideas and your mindset from working  on your personal brand and bring the two at a larger scale when you’re working collaboratively with other designers. You can really see how it can become something big.

SJ: Would you say your old designs have become a part of your new work as well?

AP: I can definitely say that. For me, I have always been into function, as I mentioned before. Growing up, I have always been into maths and science. I was really into engineering throughout high school. And when I decided to pursue fashion design, it was another way to let out my creative side. So when I was designing personally for my brand,  I did a lot of things that required a lot of function. So, for me, I used that same way of thinking coming from Timberland. Whenever we design something, we always design with a purpose. Whenever we present something, we can’t just say „Oh I did this pocket, because it looks nice“. We have to have a true reason why we did it. Especially, for me working off of the heritage of Timberland, we defined our customer and our customer loves function. Our customer goes outside a lot. so, you know we need to be able to equip them with anything they'll need, whether it’s multiple pockets or a reversibility or whatever. Every detail that he can use when he’s outside. so for me, I was able to translate my functional way of thinking to Timberland.

SJ: Looking back, what is your favorite part of being a fashion designer?

AP: I have so many favorite parts of being a fashion designer  [laughs]. First, I would say the traveling is one of my favorite parts, because I love to travel and I am really really excited and grateful to have a job that allows me to travel. Seeing different cultures, seeing different things that help inform your collections.
The second thing I can say is when you actually get the garment, because you spend so much time sketching in 2D or sketching on the computer and then when you actually receive the garment that feeling to see it is just like „wow amazing!“. To see it transform from paper to an actual product is a very... it’s kind of like a confirmation.

SJ: Hearing this, you’re very passionate about your job. Which is great! You’d probably recommend becoming a designer.

AP: Yeah, I do!

SJ: If you would have to advice someone who wants to become a designer, which advice would you give him or her on how to achieve this career?

AP: I would definitely say, to surround yourself with people who you aspire to be. Getting to know other people that are designers. To ask questions. That way you can, you know, get advice from them. Also, be open to learn on your own. Do a lot of research. Like for me, I have always done a lot of research, I learned how to sew when I was 12. That was kind of a self-taught process. So when you’re open to researching, problem solving, anything like that that can really help you and boost you to becoming a designer.

Self-Taught Designer: All garments designed, cut and sewn by Alicia Pinckney for Vogue Italia's Call for Talents IV where she scored a scholarship for the Domus Academy's Master Fashion Design - © Vogue Italia

SJ: Did you already know that you want to be a designer when you were 12?

AP: Yes!!! I know, it’s so crazy. As i mentioned before I was really smart in school, like i was the valedictorian and the president of my class. I was really smart, I was like the mathlete nerd kind of girl. But at the same time, my family is filled with a lot of creativity. My mother works a lot with wood and my grandfather used to build with wood, too, he was a carpenter and a painter. And for me, just being surrounded by that as a kid was always something I also wanted to do. So I used to sketch all the time! I got my first sewing machine when I was 12. And from there, I used to make a lot of things, I made my prom dresses when I was in high school. So for me this was always a part of who I was, I’ve always known I wanted to be a designer since I was very young. And i just took the path to follow to get me to where I am now.

The dream of working in a sports job: Which advantages does a career in the sports industry provide and which disadvantages will I have to face?

Our life is a huge compromise in almost all things. The partner we choose, the town where we move to and as well our job, that provides us with the money to survive. Since humanity always aspires happiness, we try to find the smallest compromises to create our life at least a bit how we imagine it to be. That also is crucial when it comes to our sports job – before deciding for a career we have to consider many factors like payment, education, place of location. Since we spend around 50 years of our life with working, the job-decision should be taken deliberately so that we can spend these working years as good as possible.

The easiest way to make a good decision? A pro and contra list! Here's our version of it to see which advantages and disadvantages a career in sports provides!

The advantages

The sports industry is blooming

The sports market has been growing significantly over the years and is expected to develop even further. The reason is - simply put - the steady popularity of sports (and esports) events, and with it, the brands, products and companies that are part of it. Due to esports, digital revolution and even politial situations (like the evolution of diversity and gender-specific & gender-neutral events), the sports industry is facing opportunities instead of threats. As a consequene, companies and brands have the chance to increase their revenue which results in a higher demand for employees.

After all, a successful business means a safe working space - and one which allows development for yourself inside the company.

Investing time in something that you love

Who decides in favour of a sport job already does a big step onto happiness because there is nothing better than transforming the hobby into a job, right? Right! As a matter of course, a 100% willingness to support the brand, sports or agency you are working for is much easier if it is part of your spare time - or personal life -  as well.

Normally, if you apply for a sports job the reason behind is not simply the field of work which suits your CV, but probably the identification with the brand. In everyday life, this will give you a proper motivational boost to do your job well and to even result in enjoying it more.

More than just colleagues

The teamwork with sport job-colleagues is also pretty laid-back, since all have the same passion and therefore there is no need to break the ice first. How can we be so sure? If you check the job descriptions at Sportyjob, you'll notice that apart from hard and soft skills, most brands are actually asking for an interest, knowledge or even practicing of the sports that they are related to.

For instance, if you want to work at blue tomato, Atomic or Salomon, a passion for ski or snowboarding is a must. komoot? Biking. Boardriders? Surfing. Mammut and The North Face? Hiking. You get the point.

Even if you aren't the same age or don't seem to have much in common, there's always a link between all of you. As a result, the office atmosphere is always a little more familiar and personal than in other industries.

Being in the centre of sports

Really amazing about sports jobs is, that (according to the field you are working in), you are close to your idols, this may be either professional athletes or celebrities of the sports industry. Jobs at sporting events, for example, are normally an entry-card on meeting athletes. On the business front, sponsored athletes are normally invited to visit the headquarters every now and then. Just check adidas if you want to know more.

Furthermore, it is advantageous to get tickets, gear and clothing (that you would have bought anyways) either for free or at least, with a discount. Neat!

And last but not least: Working in a sport job is absolutely wicked!

The disadvantages

Overtime and weekend shifts

How already mentioned at the beginning, there are two sides to every coin. Sports jobs quite often are associated with long workdays and weekend-work. This, of course, depends on the field you're working in.

Since events, competitions etc. predominantly take place at the weekends, everyone either working directly for the event, association, club or as a sports journalist or a PR agency, is going to face work on the weekends.  Also, whenever an event is coming up, it normally means a lot of unpaid overtime hours due to the big amount of organisational tasks which come up right in advance.

Same goes for jobs in retail: If you choose to work for a sports brand in retail, it might be that you'll be facing 6-day-weeks and long working days.

We know this doesn't sound really good, but don't be discouraged! Of course not every sport job condemns you to do unpaid overtimes and there are others which reimburse the extra effort extraordinarily well, but unfortunately this is not the majority.

Average payment

When it comes to money you will have to cut back your prospects because the basic salaries of sport jobs in general are not as high as the ones of comparable jobs in other sectors of economy. While sports clubs and teams offer over-the-top-salaries (but only few jobs), payment in the field of sporting goods is very average. So, if you're "doing it just for the money", a position in banking or IT would probably be a better choice.

As we all know, demand determines supply – that means that sportjob-companies can define lower wages for treasured sport jobs. This may be traced back to the fact that sport jobs are really popular and therefore there are a lot of potential candidates

But isn't the abdication of money worth the feeling of getting up in the morning and looking forward to working in a sports job, where you will have fun and can enjoy your passion day by day?

Nicolas Cerrato on esports & its development

esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.

Nicolas Cerrato

Formerly a small niche, esports has become a successful branch of the sports industry thoughout the last years. With professional clubs incorporating gaming teams and live streams watched by millions, it offers great market potential which is still increasing every year.

However, it's people like Nicolas Cerrato who are helping to evolve the esports industry by using its potential for entrepreneurship. Being a former gamer with the necessary experience to understand the field, he found Gamoloco, an insight portal on gaming streams early on. Since 2014, they have been providing viewership data from established streaming platforms and making it readable due to developing their own metrics.

Furthermore, Nicolas is a well-known guest in the esports section of Quora. His insights or his advice on how to become a professional gamer are pure gold, thanks to his own experience which he shares openly.

Bringing all his answers together in one post, we asked Nicolas in this interview about Gamoloco, the future of esports in the sports business and his personal advice on how to achieve a career in esports. So, please, everyone:


Meet Nicolas Cerrato

" I am from France and my esports dreams started the year after I graduated from high school, in 1998. In 1999 I became a professional in the space as I dropped out of college and opened a PC gaming center in downtown Paris. Quickly after that I started one of the 1st pro gaming teams in the world, it was called GG. Since then I almost never stopped working in esports and the last thing I’ve been working on is Gamoloco, a data service focused on Twitch viewerships which i started in 2014. I’m the President and CEO at Gamoloco."


You’ve been a professional gamer in the past, but decided to add more to the esports business with your info portal Gamoloco. When and how did you come up with the idea to found Gamoloco? And what was your motivation?
I got the initial idea in 2012: I was the head of sales & partnerships at a start up producing of esports contents back then, working closely with Twitch on a daily basis. I realized that Twitch viewerships were carrying a lot of information and meaning, of the kind any professional in the space would want to access and decipher. My motivation has been to help market actors make the best calls when it comes to strategy and investments. As a seasoned veteran, I’ve been witnessing many clueless moves in the space, sometimes leading to spectacular wastes of time, money and energy. Gamoloco aims at speeding up the learning process and contributing to making the best calls.

What is Gamoloco? What is its role in esports?
The business of esports can be seen as a competition for attention and viewerships: What game is the most watched? What event is the most watched? How do they compare to each other? How do they compare to regular sports? Has there been growth lately? If yes, where?… That’s the kind of questions Gamoloco helps answering.

How does a day of Nicolas Cerrato at Gamoloco look like?
I wake up without an alarm, somewhere between 6 and 8. Then I usually go have coffee outside and start my day checking www.gamoloco.com: to see if everything is working, and to get my daily dose of viewership data. Viewerships are one of my main informational sources regarding esports and gaming: they tell me what gamers were interested in yesterday, last week, last month. After that I usually do some Qi Gong in a park close to where I work and then it’s back to work. Usually i do coding, the hardest for me in terms of required brain power, in the morning and more business-oriented work (data research, promo, sales, hr, networking) in the afternoon.

Being an expert in esports, it’s obvious that you have a lot of experience in the field. How did your esports career evolve? What have you been doing before you started at Gamoloco?
I experienced many different things as an esports professional: gaming center owner, tournament organizer, pro team manager and coach, journalist all the way to „Le Monde“, shoutcaster on some of the biggest stages, TV show producer, community manager, business developper, creative director, consultant. I would describe my journey in esports as passionate and chaotic, just like my life. Things have started to settle a bit lately and I can only be happy and proud of the variety of experiences I’ve been through. I definitely understand esports from many angles.

esports was a big topic at the last ISPO Munich and its counterpart the ISPO Digitze. It’s a quickly growing branch of the sports industry with a lot of potential for sports companies. How do you think esports will effect the sports industry?
I think they will merge. There are many hints showing that, not the least of which being the big interest of pro athletes and established sports organizations in esports: if a bunch of people still can’t get the potential in esports, sports entertainment professionals for sure naturally do. Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.


Within 15 to 30 years from now, we’ll have high quality augmented reality games that require to be both an outstanding athlete and gamer to perform. At this point, the door will be open for esports to reach their maximum potential as they will become one with sports.

Nicolas Cerrato

Imagine sitting in a room with esports enthusiasts who would love to make their passion a profession. Which advice would you give them on how to achieve career in esports? How do you possibly enter the esports business?
JUST DO IT. If you’re passionate, if this is what feeds you energy, just do it. Bring your light to the mix, get involved in a team, community site or tournament organization or whatever suits you in the space. I don’t believe in degrees that much. Learn by doing and remember: esports are still very young and require way more innovation and creativity than regular sports: the promise of esports is that of the wedding of professional sports and Hollywood. Many groundbreaking things have yet to be imagined, invented and brought to life.


If your curiousity grew steadily throughout this interview, you can shed some light on esports and gaming live streams on Gamoloco: https://gamoloco.com/.

Landing your new job – Expert advice that could give wings to your career

Make a top ten list about the hard things in life and "work" will always be a part of it. The reason for this are two things which probably everyone of us has experienced at some point:
  1. "What am I going to do with my life?" Back in school, college or university, when we had plenty of options of becoming (more or less) everything we want, but we just couldn't figure out what. The different career possibilities are endless, but which one is the right one?
  2. "I hate my job" Going to work day in and day out on auto-pilote, because it just doesn't satisfy us. If you work in a job that you don't enjoy, because it isn't meant for you. Hard.
Both cases actually require finding out which career would suit you, challenge or bring out your talents, hence turning profession into a passion. But how do you do this?

"Without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far". - Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzie


As head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies, author of 10 books and Psychology Professor at University of London and the University of Columbia, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is well placed to give you the answer to this question and some more. Together with an expert team of psychology professors from University College London and Columbia University in New York and Red Bull, they developed the online assessment Wingfinder, a tool that aims at outlining your strengths and handing you a talored coaching plan to maximise your skills. In this interview, he gives you advice and tips that you can take to increase the chance of landing the right role, based on experience, hard data and science. Inset: Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is head of assessment at one of the world’s biggest recruiting companies and psychology professor at University of London and the University of Columbia. Photograph: Shannon Morris

For those searching for a job out there:

Jobs today can pay well. They can also be interesting. They can also require creativity and fulfil multiple life needs. Competition is fierce though and qualifications and experience are only part of the requirement — without them, you can do very little; but without understanding your personality, experience, connections, and self-awareness you're not going to get very far, either. We live in a talent economy and the main talent passport you have is your reputation and how you can explain it. How are you different and better from your competitors? I don't like the idea of cultivating your personal brand – it sounds trivial, vacuous and narcissistic – but if your reputation doesn't stand out in a crowded market, or if you can’t explain how you will use your talents at work, you’ll only make it if you are lucky.

What’s your top tip for somebody working out their next step?

Self-awareness can go a long way. The better people understand their own strengths, limitations, and interests, the smarter their career choices will be. They’ll end up liking their jobs more, performing better, and staying put longer. Self-awareness, in other words, is a sorely undervalued talent enhancer because it can help people identify jobs that actually match their values and skills. Remember: talent is largely personality in the right place. For individuals to make better choices for themselves, they’ll also need some data - making the free, career-related feedback available at Wingfinder even more crucial.

What’s the most important thing to show in interviews to get any job in any company?

Your main competitive advantage lies in discovering and being able to explain your own skills. Tests we’ve set up on Wingfinder give you tailored feedback as to how you can do this. What you need for any role, in any company is what’s called the RAW components of talent (Rewarding – interpersonal and intrapersonal skills; Able – a style of thinking or Intelligence suited to the demands of the role; Willing – drive and motivation). Inset: www.wingfinder.com model; based on the original meta-analysis of employability & success by *Hogan, R., Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Kaiser, R. B. (2013). Employability and career success: Bridging the gap between theory and reality. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 6, 3–16.

Interviewers often ask, ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’. How do you suggest people answer?

Try and look like you’re thinking about the answer, because the more you look like you have rehearsed the less truthful your answer will seem. Avoid common clichés such as ‘I'm too much of a perfectionist’ or ‘I'm too self-critical’. Avoid being completely honest, too. Much like a first date, an interview is not the time to reveal your deepest darkest secrets, so instead highlight the things your interviewers may have already identified as weaknesses, be it gaps or shortcomings in your CV and background, which will show self-awareness. Red Bull’s Wingfinder is one of the most valid freely available personality tests that can identify your strengths your shortcomings, and even offer coaching advice on those same weaknesses. We all have flaws and limitations, but it's our ability to keep them in check that determines our true potential.

What are the most common mistake people make as they begin a new career?

Thinking they are better than they actually are. When in fact modesty, self-awareness, the right career choices, and hard work will open doors. Expect less and give more. You’re at the beginning of your learning curve, so understand that this journey is probably not going to be a straight line. Nothing will open more doors than performing in your current role and being valued by those that you work with.

If you could redo your time studying or the first years of your career what would you do?

I would spend more time on extracurricular activities, getting real-world experience. It’s important to focus on your studies but use your spare time to create something, pursue hobbies, internships, projects and interact with people, proving to yourself that you can influence others and work well with them. These interpersonal skills are critical in any company.

What do you wish you knew when you graduated or early in your career ?

That, from now on, life will only get harder and more complex, but the rewards feel even greater. In a real sense, you never truly graduate — it’s a constant flow of learning, adapting and gaining more insight into yourself. Learning how best to leverage your curiosity and creativity, drive and how to work with others will be the greatest way of finding success.

5 reasons why you should look for a sports job abroad

How about looking for a sports job internationally instead of your home country? Working abroad can kickstart your career in the sports business.
Today the change of location within Europe is easily performed and even enjoyable, so how about realigning yourself with a new sport job abroad ? It doesn't matter whether you are looking for a change yourself or got offered a new position in another country by a Headhunter, we would definitely recommend you to at least consider moving. To sum this blog up before we even start: A sport job abroad will benefit your hard and soft skills, your personality, your professional network and might even bring the step forward in your career that you've been longing for. Do you feel something tickle in the back of your mind? That's probably your wanderlust that tells you to get up and just go for it. Here's 5 reasons why you should look for a new job in a different country:

Some sport jobs can only be found in a particular region

Sport companies often settle in regions where you can also perform the sports that they're specialised on. To concretize: You'll find companies concerning Ski, Snowboard and Mountain activites in alpine regions, see Blue Tomato in Schladming (Austria). Water sports like surfing or wakeboarding on the other hand build up their headquarters close to the ocean or a lake, see Quiksilver in St. Jean de Luz (France). Then, there's sport jobs in sport clubs or leagues which are often based in the cities their team plays for. If you want to work in these companies, a move is almost always necessary. Even if it means relocating to a small mountain village when you used to live in the city. As a plus, outdoor enthuasiasts normally benefit a lot from this as they can finally perform their favourite activity all-year-round and outside of holiday times.

A fresh start: Let's go on an adventure

Sometimes moving isn't the result of a job search, but the desire for excitement and a refreshment of your life. Especially if you've been stuck in a city that you could never warm up to or just got a little bored of. If you have the advantage of being flexible and without (too much) obligations, how about trying something new? Finding yourself in an unknown place might make you feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the experience will support you develop yourself, your mind's strength and your personality in a way that you probably didn't expect. In the end, this will also affect your career.

Get an international insight on the sports industry

The sports industry is a worldwide business. A lot of companies, especially the big players like adidas, Intersport or VF, act internationally, with hubs and shops all over Europe. Furthermore, they expand their sales on other continents with the help of e-commerce. As you might know, different cultures are accompanied by different market conditions and customer's needs, which results in specialised Marketing strategies, product management & design, and so on. Working abroad gains you a better understanding of the culture and market of a country - which will come in handy if you work in an internationally operating company.

... and improve your CV

Hands down: If you've worked in another country, learned about a different culture, this experience will stand out in your CV and will increase your chances to get hired. Also, it represents openness, self-confidence and flexibility - and normally goes hand in hand with great language skills.

Kick up your salary

Even though, I'd personally always choose a good team and a job that I love over better payment, for others the value of work is measured in money. (Which is absolutely ok!). Getting promoted isn't the only chance to increase your salary, sometimes moving to a different country brings the desired effect. As a Marketing Manager in the sports business for example, you'll earn more in Switzerland than in Germany or in Austria. However, higher payments are often accompanied by higher costs of living (especially with an increased lifestyle). You might earn double in Switzerland compared to Austria, but in the end, the rents and even groceries are more expensive, too.

 

Why your degree doesn’t matter – or: How to choose your own career path

How dramatically we can change our own career paths is largely a question of motivation. Merely 20 years ago, the steps you took as an adolescent decided your future career. However, nowadays your study or apprenticeship can be seen as an orientation at most. This is a plea for all the freethinkers out there: Follow your passion and get a job outside of your college major. Let us tell you why - and how.

Should I be brave? The advantages of lateral entrants

A study in 2010 found out that only one quarter of college graduates worked in a job that was related to their field of studies. As a conclusion, 75% of all majors end up using their learned skills in completely different sectors - for example in the sports business: „There have been more lateral entrants, especially in departments like E-Commerce, Digital, Sales and Marketing. Something which has been impossible in the past. Times are changing.“, says Andy Gugenheimer, professional Headhunter and Sportyjob founder. A look at our our own Candidate database proves the variety of experience. Of course, there’s graduates who studied sports, who studied business, but also engineers, biologists, teachers, psychologists, .. What we see in it, is a colorful mix of abilities and experience - a big advantage for every company. Lateral entrants provide great talents: They introduce techniques to solve tasks outside of the regular scheme, by bringing in methods from other fields or just a completely different way to look at given challenges. Furthermore, they contribute motivation and passion , because they CHOOSE what they want to be, something which can energize a whole team. Just hiring the most experienced in a related field might cost many companies fantastic employees. Diversity holds the key to a team complementing each other with their different skills.

How to get a job outside of your former experience

Can I get hired without the right degree or former experience in the job? Of course! It will be a challenge to convince a recruiter that you are the perfect candidate. But with a combination of passion, organisation, effort and endurance, you will work it out. It’s up to you.

1. It all starts with your own will

You’re not forced to continue working in a job that you don’t like and which doesn’t yield the advantages you’re looking for. Choose a new destination and start your way. It needs a lot of willpower, but it will change your life for the better.

2. Define your goals

What’s your passion or what are you interested in? Is there a specific company, department, position, … that you’re dreaming of? Set your goals and see what it takes. If you lack the skills, you know what’s up next: Invest in yourself.

3. Earn the necessary skills

Even without studying a field or working in it before, you can achieve the knowledge to work some magic in a job. You will have to invest some time (and money) and face a lot of additional work. See which skills are required and acquire them. You want to program websites? Teach yourself HTML. Online Marketing? Learn about SEO straight from Google. A good way to do so is with online courses - here’s some platforms that offer paid and free courses: Free courses to advance your career - some of them even by elite universities. Just remember: You can try any discipline - and make it your own.

4. Believe in yourself: Present your own skills

„Anything that brushes up your CV is helpful - and you might end up with interviews that you weren’t expecting.“ The best advice Andy can give you. If you’re lacking experience, give personnel managers something else instead that they can work with. Like we said before, lateral entrants carry a variety of abilities from other fields. Whether it’s additional language skills, analytical techniques, communication skills - you definitely have a lot of talents. Believe in them. For example, Baristas and Waiters bring along extraordinary stress resistance and social skills. They are very service orientated, are able to figure out their client’s needs and solve problems if something doesn’t work according to plan. Magic for every Sales department.

5. Show your passion

Nothing flatters a personnel manager like someone who’s passionate about working with them. Since you decided on changing your life and setting a new course to fit their needs, make it count. In your application letter or an interview, let them know what you learned and achieved. A great way to do so, is by handing in a Video CV. Not only will it stand out, but it’s also your chance to present your soft skills and your motivation instead of relying on experience and abilities on paper. If you want to give it a try, read our guide „How to do a video resume“.

Sleep your way to the top: How sports companies help their employees rest

Activity and exercise are known to be two factors to be more successful in your sports job and your life in general. The other side of the medal though centers on the complete opposite: It’s about a good night’s sleep or your rest throughout the day. 
Unfortunately, in the 21st century sleep is put on the sideline as a consequence of bigger work loads, greater focus on careers and actually, the digital media. In the last 60 years, our society reduced their sleeping amount per night from 8 hours to 6 and a half, ignoring the importance of a rested mind. What follows is sleep deprivation in big parts of our society, resulting in mental and physical health problems. Even the minor effects of insufficient sleep already effect our daily tasks negatively, leaving us unconcentrated and unproductive at work. Logically concluded, being well rested is important for your job - something more and more sports companies understand.

What happens when we sleep?

Even nowadays, neuroscientists still didn’t discover completely what happens in our brain when we are asleep. There are several theories though which seem very likely and fit the results you might notice yourself. It seems that during your sleeping phase, your brain processes all impressions you made during the day, be it aware or subconscious. When you sleep, these things that you learned, will be committed to your memory. Something else you probably noticed is how your brain activities will tire you - how at the end of a stressful day you can’t concentrate that well and have problems memorizing things. So at night, or even during a power nap, your mind is able to power up again, to restore its resources so to speak. In consequence, if you manage to rest well during the night, your concentration and awareness improve. You’ll be more creative, social, productive, better in problem solving, just to name a few. On the other hand, your stress level is reduced, resulting in a more balanced mood and this way, in an improved ability to make (good) decisions. Overall, your mind and body are healthier.

How sports companies support the rest of their employees

Modern sports companies nowadays focus a lot on the well being of their employees. It doesn’t come as a surprise that most sports companies contain fitness and workout areas, yoga studios or even special sports facilities like a boulder wall (adidas) or a skatepark (Quiksilver). Furthermore, a lot of companies over flexible hours so the working times are timed around your own schedule, depending on whether you are a morning or an evening person. But there are some who take the well-being of their employee’s on a next level, knowing about the importance of rest and sleep to increase producitivy, creativity and overall the employee’s happiness. The trend of napping areas or boozes that we find at Google, Uber and Co. have also been adapted by the sports business, but there are three sports companies who bring a nap break from work to the next level.

Adidas

adidas in Herzogenauch more or less „killed“ the regular working space when they developed their „MyArena“ concept in 2015. Instead of working in your office, adidas employees in the „Pitch“-building have a free desk choice every day, a game room, 360 degree brain storming rooms and all the other fun stuff that creates an inspiring working atmosphere. Apart from the possibility to work in a free environment, they also realized the importance of resting in between working hours: „Using short breaks to revitalize actively helps to stay focussed and creative“. That’s why their recreation area has a room equipped with massage chairs to take a quick nap and recover in between a busy working day.
 

Nike

Where there’s adidas, Nike’s never far away. According to Forbes, Nike is the number one employer of the sports industry in the US. Their employees are satisfied with the working atmosphere and the benefits. A big part of it sure is their attitude towards well rested employees: In their headquarters in Oregon, they provide cozy resting areas for their staff. In quiet rooms with comfortable couches and chill music, it is allowed to nap and rest to gain new energy for ongoing projects.

Puma

Puma structured their benefits into 4 main piles to guarantee their team’s satisfaction. „We cannot perform well unless we feel comfortable in our work environment, and companies wishing to retain their employees over the long term must be aware of this fact.“ Apart from social and structural benefits, Puma focuses a lot on the mental and physical health, offering sport and leisure activities as well as massages and physiotherapy to reduce stress. Their „mental wellbeing“ pile, however, uses an extraordinary approach to relax the mind’s of their team even away from the job: By offering special trainings on how to manage stress or achieve a better work-life balance, they actively support the ability to rest after work and sleep better at night.

Do I have to be sportive to apply for a sport job?

Sport jobs are currently high on demand: The fitness sector is booming and so new positions are frequently advertised. But a sport job, even when called this way, does not necessarily have to be physically demanding. Most of the offers at Sportyjob, for example, are actually in administative or creative departments.

So there's the question popping up: Do I have to be athletic to work in sports? A classic yes-but-no-situation.

Your own interests in sports decide how you do your work

Careers in online marketing, sponsoring management, sportswear designer or brand manager (...) are mainly office-based sport jobs. Truth be told: There's a lot of sitting involved - so you probably even like your little workout at the end of the day. Nevertheless, being athletic is not necessarily important to get hired or to do a good job. Here's the big BUT - You should still bring along some sport-affinity. The named careers all have one thing in common: You need to know what your peer group wants and needs. This means you should be able to put yourself into the position of an athlete and have detailed knowledge about the discipline your sport job is all about. Of course, being a big fan of it without executing can still give you a lot of expert knowledge, but the little details - that's something you figure out when you get active yourself.

You can choose to get active to do a better job

We learned that you don't have to challenge yourself, as long as you do an intensive examination of the regarding discipline. Anyway, the time you spend reading (or watching) about it would also be a great chance to actually try it instead. Through this active preoccupation with your the field of your sport job, you will probably end up way more motivated, creative and authentic. A product designer for snowboards will achieve no credibility if he doesn’t know how to ride snowboards.

The sports industry wants experts in their fields

The industry has a similar opinion on this. Often, you will find former professional athletes in the office careers of Red Bull Media, adidas & co. As they bring a huge amount of sport-specific knowledge along, they are also perfect contributors for business development (Sales, Product Development, Marketing - every department). Even though an event manager for sport competitions may not compete anymore, thanks to his experiences he will have the perfect concept for the event. No need to run the New York Marathon next year, but if you go running every couple of days, developing a communication plan for the social media channels of runtastic gets a lot easier, don't you think?

Calling passionate non-athletes: Please apply anyway

Don't feel the pressure to become a professional athlete now. Sports companies are looking for the same hard and soft skills as any other companies. So if you are not an active person, this doesn't mean you can't apply for a sport job. If you are intested in the company, the job and bring knowledge, skills or hidden talents, there's almost no employer who wouldn't like to get to know you. What we tried to make clear in this post, is that the only thing really essential for a job in the sports industry is passion. You see: the group of friends kicking a ball on the street, the boy playing a match every weekend with his amateur team, his family cheering on the side of the field, the soccer fan watching every single match of their favorite team live or on TV, Cristiano Ronaldo being a professional football player - they all have one thing in common. And that's the passion for a sports. A sport job you have no affinity for, no connection to or at least a relation on a mental level won’t be an ideal career for you.

 

How to do a Video Resume – Your 3 minutes to shine

How about extending your application to another channel? A video resume is a great chance to stand out and not only show your skills, but also your personality. Especially in modern times, it's a no-brainer to use the possibilities technology & the web offers for getting the job you want.  A paper or electronic CV (PDF or form), of course, is still required by almost every sports company. However, it's a one dimensional medium and limits your communication to the written word and a little design to express your character. A moving video, on the other hand, adds depth to your profile. Use it to introduce yourself, your communication skills, your confidence, maybe even your humour - precious soft skills that a lot of jobs ask for.

It might take some time to prepare, film and edit it. But: Your effort will definitely pay off for your job search!

If you want to give it a try: This is how to make a video resume.

The technology

What do you need for a video resumé? First, you'll need a video camera with a good resolution, 1080px or more. You don't want to send out a blurry video of yourself which distorts your face (in rare cases it might improve the situation, but don't count yourself as one of them).  New smartphones and notebooks actually do great videos, so you could even use a handheld device. Be sure to check the settings and adjustment before, so you film it in high quality. If you own a camcorder or can borrow one from a friend, this might be easier. Nowadays, most of them have a turnable screen, so you can watch yourself while filming. To get a steady picture, please use a tripod. After filming, you will need an editing program for your Notebook. To keep it easy, you'll probably need it mostly for cropping the video, so Windows Movie Maker or iMovie suffice. Since the file will be BIG, you can't just send it over via e-mail. The best way is actually to upload it to a video portal, Youtube for example, and add the video link to your application. Watch your username though - an application for a sport management job by user "ifarted69" might not be taken seriously.
Here's an example by Laura Harris who does a great job in introducing herself in only 2 minutes:

The setting

Try to choose a nice setting, no matter if just a white wall or sandy beaches - everything is possible. One of our candidates once placed her  video interview in front of a wall-sized window facing the alps with snow covered mountains behind her, right after coming back from Snowboarding. That definitely left an impression - especially as she was applying for a well-known winter sports company! Most suitable is a background that matches your personality and somehow sparks interest in watching your video. In any case try to avoid recording other people and better don't do your clip outside, unless you find a quiet place with good light.

Preparation

Dress up accordingly to the job you want to apply for Pay attention to all the factors that you are also considering when having a real job interview - a good overall impression. This doesn't mean to dress up - a video CV is a medium to express yourself.  Dress like you normally would - this could be formal or sporty, depending on the position. Remember the candidate in the alps? Her fresh-out-of-the-snow look wasn't all tidied up, but fit the character of the company, showed her passion and love for outdoor sports and created an easy-going atmosphere for the introduction. That's one of the advantages of the video CV - you can really express who you are and what makes you special. Dare to be yourself and show it.

Wrinkles? No worries!

Who is concerned regarding discrimination - no worries, there has been a conference of the commission of employment law in 2010, with the outcome that video resumes have to be judged by the same, objective criteria as the written ones. That means you won't have any trouble with your holiday pounds or grey hair.

 

The content

When it comes to the content of your speech you really need to kick ass in these few minutes to get your dream management or marketing sportjob. This is going to be tough. To be honest, I tried endless times to make the perfect video. In the end I had to accept that there is none. Still, no one is flawless and your video will still be able to impress when done right. So, according to my own tests, here's some hints what to look out for: Make a plan Let's start! And stop! After 10 "ehm" in the first 30 seconds, because I wasn't sure what to say, I can tell you: Starting to talk without any plan does not work. Unless you're a natural free speaker, then just go ahead! Work out a script, a red thread to follow.  Your video won't convince anyone if you stutter or jump from one topic to the next and back. Keep it short Now fully planned, my agenda will tell you step by step what to do: Introduction – What makes you special – Why are you the perfect choice for this sport job. If, after 10 minutes of recording, you are still talking about your former experiences - that's too long. Set a time for the whole interview and each part. Less than 3 minutes will suffice to shine. The video is supposed to give the company a glimpse of who you are and make them curious enough that they want to get to know you. It's similar to a good presentation: Keep a clock in hand sight and decide how much time you want to use for each topic.  This way, you won't loose track. Control your body language After your first recording, re-watch the material. Even when your language is optimized, you'll probably realise that your body language might be a little off. For example: Whilst watching my results, I am noticing that my eyes wander around the room, and after 1 minute I get a little too comfortable in my seat. Also, I am horribly waving my arms around at one point. A lot of people that try to be convincing are flailing horribly with their arms. There is no problem about that if you are having a face to face conversation, but if you only have a small display window to present yourself, it is better to be a bit reserved. Also, sit straight and smile, that shows confidence, you can even lean in a little - and look into the camera. When your future employer watches the video, it will seem as if you keep eye contact. That's great! Retry until it's perfect Probably one of the biggest advantages about this kind of resumé: You can try and try and try…

Taken as a whole, generating a video CV doesn't sound that complicated. Everyone is able to mumble for about 2 minutes into his webcam. Not having to rack your brains about phrases for your sportjob cover letter is nice as well. But unfortunately, it is not that easy.  Keep in mind that the situation is similar to a real job interview, your potential job employer virtually sits right in front you. Following this tips, take your time and put in a little effort to make a creative video resume. Good luck!

Try out video CV tool

Do you want to practice? We set up a video CV tool online for you to test. Our life coach Stéphane is guiding you through the process, asking you some questions - if you like, take these as a reference when filming your own CV. Let's practice: Visit our CV Box