The expert advice on a career in the sports industry
Do you want to work in the sports industry? From choosing the right job, over tips for applying for a job, and advice on your first days of work: The Sportyjob team has got your back! The blogs in this category completely turn around giving you advice, tips & tricks for your career entry in the sports business. We’ll show you how to write a successful CV or which questions and answers in a job interview you have to know about.
Need insider tips from a recruiter? Keep an eye on the blogs from Andy Gugenheimer who has been working as a headhunter and consulter for sports brands for more than 10 years. He’s happy to share his experience on which criteria are relevant for your CV and what makes you stand out from other candidates in an interview.
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." - Henry Ford
Do you know what makes successful people? To never stop learning. Always be curious about the world, new fields, and ways to improve your skills.
To get you even more motivated: Keeping your brain working will keep it healthy, preventing a bad memory or even Dementia.
So, how can we gain new skills? For some of us, we are lucky enough to have an employer who is interested in developing talents. It’s companies who are willing to spend on further education of their employees, for them to make a better job and bring in new ideas. But the reality is, that most people need to care for their own education. Not all of us have the time to enroll in university for some extra lectures or pay for further education on our own.
Luckily, web 2.0, the interactive web, offers great chances for online courses and tutorials to learn new skills all by ourselves! Of course, it’s not only limited to hard skills, you could even learn about fields you were always interested in. Art, History, Biology, Psychology, there's no limit on knowledge.
Here are 5 platforms to get your brain working - completely for free:
Udacity’s platform is directly related to gaining skills for your dream job. With courses about programming, web design, or data science, they offer nano degrees which are accepted as official references.
Instead of lecturing, they believe in practical learning.
Together with companies like Google, Salesforce, and Facebook, they develop interactive courses for beginners, advanced levels, and professionals. However, not all courses are free, so you have to filter in advance.
Some courses we really like:
- Android Development for Beginners (in Collaboration with Google): This course teaches you the basics of Android and Java programming to become an Android developer.
- Intro to Psychology (in Collaboration with San Jose State University): "Go on a journey through psychological concepts and principles to enable you to gain a more in-depth understanding of human thought and behavior.“
- Problem-Solving with Advanced Analytics (in Collaboration with Alteryx): „Learn a scientific approach to solving problems with data, a foundational skill for anyone interested in making data-driven decisions in a business context.“
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, short MIT, is known as one of the high-class universities of the world. Mostly, it’s known for engineering and physical sciences, but their graduate programs offer a wide range of courses. In their OpenCourseWare, MIT made their content from different courses available for everyone, sharing it online for free.
In the course overview, you can filter by topics and departments, for example, Business, Fine Arts, Engineering, etc., getting the possibility to access the course online or download the materials. Furthermore, most of them contain video and audio lectures as well as assignments.
So you have to do your homework! To be honest, it’s hard to follow an online lecture without having the possibility to ask for more details, so we’d recommend it mostly for humanities, psychology, and fine arts.
Here are 3 courses we love:
(not all of them might be important for your work but could interest you on a personal level as well. Just learn, the benefits are yours!):
- Ethics in Your Life: Being, Thinking, Doing (or Not?): A guide to ongoing reflection and action regarding our everyday ethical issues.
- Engineering Innovation and Design: „Learn to produce great designs, be a more effective engineer, and communicate with high emotional and intellectual impact“
- Introduction to Photography: A course on practical instruction in black and white photography, digital and analog, camera operation, etc. Also, it's a critical view on the effect of photos in our culture.
Not only did the MIT provide their own content, but they also collaborated with Harvard to found edX in 2012. The portal offers courses from universities around the world, so you can enroll in courses from home and in your own time. Most of them are for free, and for a little charge, you can even get a certificate if you need it for your job or a future application. It’s open-source and non-profit. The courses come together from all fields of study, like architecture, law, communication, business, etc.
So feel free to feed all your interest!
Our favorite courses are:
- Becoming a successful leader (Inclusive leadership training): With one hour per week for 4 weeks, you’ll learn what it needs to be a successful leader nowadays.
- Online Marketing Strategies: An introduction to the possible marketing uses of the internet.
- Get Beyond Work-Life Balance: „Do you ever struggle to manage work and the rest of your life? You are not alone. Men and women all over the world are trying to figure out the impossible work-life “balance” and instead achieve success in all parts of their lives“
"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan
The Digital Garage
A platform by Google about Online Marketing? That’s got to be a guarantee for digital skills! And it is. The digital garage’s online courses guide you through the function of search engines, social media, analytics, and more. It’s a great way to spice up your CV and score a career entry in Online Marketing.
We recommend taking all courses, one after another, to get into the field of Online Marketing.
Iversity is a special online platform that focuses on higher education for professional purposes. Their courses are provided by business experts who formed courses in their professional's fields for you to learn. Like most platforms, it offers free courses as well as paid ones. For the free ones, filter for „MOOCs“ in the course catalog.
Three of our favorites are:
- Discover yourself: Build a Career and make an impact: A course about self-discovery and self-improvement for a successful career.
- New Business Models: Working Together on Value Creation: "Learn how to build your own sustainable New Business Model, based on your own ideas."
- Social Innovation: „Social Innovations change the rules by which people live together. Learn what social innovations are and how they can be developed. Because the way we live, work and do business could actually be quite different!“
Other posts you might like:
Whether you want to change companies or start in a new field: If you decide to land a new career outside of your network, you are dependent on external sources. The plenty of ads in newspapers to the world-wide web, ranging from social media platforms to job boards and company pages, might prevent us from seeing the wood for the trees. Thus, making the job search quite overwhelming when we get lost in the flood of options.
Luckily, there exist some methods to help you find your way through.
Here’s our advice on making your job search more effective.
Narrow the job down as much as possible
No matter which task in your life you look at: You always need to start with a plan of what you want to achieve to be successful. In this case, the start is knowing
- what kind of job you are looking for
- which industry fits your lifestyle & interest
- where you want to work (anywhere / countrywide / region / city)
- what kind of company (enterprise / middle-class / small business / start-up / agency)
Knowing exactly which career suits your needs, helps you target the right job.
The easy way would be already working in a field that you like. Job changes here mostly result from unhappiness with the employer, moving to a new region, the desire for a new challenge or a better salary. To make long story short: If you already have work experience in a career that you like, you can look for a similar position in a different company.
If you actually don’t have a clue, focus on your skills, education and interest to narrow it down on a specific field, for example Marketing, Management or Engineering. Most online job boards allow you to filter for a department, so that’s a start.
Specify your search
If you are able to narrow your interest down on an industry, concentrate your search on a niche job-board. For example, if you are looking for an employment in the sports industry, it’ll be more effective looking at less ads at Sportyjob than looking at thousands of ads on general job boards. In the end, your employer is as important for a satisfying work life as the mission field itself.
Same goes for regional offers: If you’d like to work in your home town, you might want to browse your regional newspaper first. Especially traditional & small business tend to advertise there. Nowadays, most newspapers also publish their jobs in their own online portal, so you can easily take a look on your phone or computer.
Let automation do your work
Have you heard of alerts? It helps you automate your search. Just like a notification of your favorite mobile apps, these alarm you when a new ad was published that suits your search.
Just take a look at our own job alert:
Since you have narrowed down the job profile in the beginning of your search, you can easily automate your search. You define the
- job description or field
- keywords (i.e. specific skills, tools, buzz words like „small team“)
- frequency (when the job is published / a summary once per day, week, …)
Once set up you will receive an e-mail in your defined frequency which contains all fitting positions. Let us do the work for you!
Pre-sets: Preparation is key
Another automated process is the application itself. A good job board offers the setup of a digital CV or upload of a document which allows you to apply with just one click the moment you found a fitting ad.
Take your time in advance to create a well-formatted CV - it will save you the time later and actually increase your effectiveness the most.
An alternative would be an extensive LinkedIn profile. A lot of companies extended their recruitment to the social media platform where you can apply directly. Furthermore, LinkedIn has a feature to print your CV out of your online profile.
Need advice on the perfect CV? Here's some thoughts for your CV of professional headhunter Andy Gugenheimer for help.
Make a schedule
Actively looking for a job is time-consuming and can be quite a pain-in-the-ass. It’s actually very similar to learning something new or growing a new habit. The key to being more effective is consistency. Scheduling a time slot for your job search daily or at least, regularly, increases your productivity and also makes the search itself less tiring. Create a weekly schedule which defines a time frame for your search. Also: If you decide on an hour daily, stick to it - but also don’t overrun.
Set goals: Job search +
The other half of actually making progress is defining goals that you want to achieve. Else, your job search will quickly turn intro scrolling through websites and wasting time. Define your task as „job search +“:
1 hour of job search = 30 minutes of research + filling out x application(s)
Activate your personal network
Let your friends and acquaintances know that you’re looking for a job. There’s a reason that collective intelligence exists - have it work for your advantage. They might have heard about an offer in their own company that suits your needs. Especially for jobs on the hidden labor market, this is absolute gold! Often, employer try to fill a position internally, so it won’t be published outside of the company. Knowing of one of those through a friend will enable you to send an unsolicited application.
Big plus: There won’t be many applicants and you will stand out as a proactive and motivated candidate.
We know the job search can be tough and the application and interview process afterwards entails another set of barriers to break down. But: With these hints, at least the first steps to achieve a new career, will be made a lot easier and more productive. We wish you good luck!
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 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!
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.
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?
- "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?
- "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.
"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.
Everyone makes mistakes. Especially in a career, no matter if you're a freshman or have been a professional in your job for years. The only important part is on focusing how to improve through them. Well, here's the thing: Most of us already trip on step one - recognizing them. Seeing our own mistakes is always harder than noticing them in others. That's why we want to share some of the crucial mistakes that we made during our career. You might have made or are making some of them yourselves right now - or can prevent yourself from doing so by following our advice. Here's our 6 career mistakes and how to avoid them.
What to do with a mistake: 1. Recognize it. 2. Admit it. 3. Learn from it. 4. Forget it.
- Dean Smith
Being idleIf you want to be successful, you have to work on yourself - always. Don’t get lazy, but try to always stay up to date on the innovations of the sports business and your job. Because it might also happen that your position and learned skills become outdated, through digitization or other reasons. You can start reading books, attend seminars (which is often supported by your employer), visit events and fairs, do (online) courses. Not only will you be an expert on your field, but training your brain and gaining knowledge is actually very satisfying.
Lack of confidence and over-confidenceNot believing in yourself or feeling like the superlative of your field? No, thanks. Your level of self-confidence plays an important role in the development of your career. As a fact, success in sports begins in the mind in at least 80 percent of cases. The same goes for your career. If you don’t trust in yourself and your abilities to handle your tasks, then no one else will either. When picking up a project, you need to show confidence, but just the right level. The moment you feel overconfident is the moment you will stop developing yourself - and fail.
Not taking any risksYou might fear to fail or receive negative feedback. But actually, both of these will make you better in your job. If you always play it safe and work low-key, you will probably never climb the career ladder. Dare to think outside of the box, dare to upset your boss or colleagues by voicing your opinion even if it doesn’t theirs. You might succeed and gain respect. Or you might fail and learn. Either way, it will bring you forward.
Overestimating or lying about your skillsBeing eager and passionate about your job is great. You might want to prove yourself by showing your skills, picking up projects that you don’t know much about or finishing jobs in a very tight timeframe. Just remember: The moment that you make promises, people will hold onto those. Overestimating yourself and ending up not fullfilling set goals will shed some bad light on yourself and your work. Try to gauge your abilities correctly to set realistic expectations. Even worse is lying. If you claim to bring skills or experience that you don’t have, you’ll end up seeming questionable. This will either result in missing further opportunities, or getting fired.
Doing it just for money OR purposeYou should never decide on a career that you hate because it pays well. It affects your health, your body, your mood - in the end probably the rest of your life. Funny enough, the same goes for opposite. If you are one of the lucky ones to start a career in your field of passion, or being able to realize your ideals in a job, and it doesn’t pay enough to live, it’s again not worth it. It might be satisfying during the working time, but whenever you don’t know how to pay your bills at the end of the month, this again has a negative impact on your life. Naturally, aim for a job that satisfies you AND pays enough to live comfortably. You might even add some value to your surroundings and your community.
Being a lonesome wolfIf you are always working alone and don’t reflect on your career with anyone, you might just get stuck. That's especially a problem if you work from home or self-employed. A network is important not only in the sports industry, but actually for everyone. Whether it’s people that inspire you or an expert to ask for a second opinion on your project, the people that surround you influence your career - ideally, for the better.
"Tell me about yourself"Most of the times, this is one of the first questions the interviewer will ask. Normally, you should recite your resume here , but don't just trot it out completely. The recruiter normally knows your CV and your application and probably even has a duplicate of it in front of him/her. Instead, use this moment as an opportunity to show the milestones that you feel are the most relevant for you and the job. It shows your personal focus and is a great way to highlight your qualities for the position.
"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"Whether you're a person who is planing ahead or prefer being spontaneous and see where life is taking you, your answer should be honest. You don't need a concrete plan to answer. What they'd like to find out about you is if you're ambitious and possibily a loyal employee, you should also reword the question for yourself to "If you're still in this company, where do you see yourself in 5 years?". It could be something around the lines of: "I like the idea to have proven myself in this company and advanced my career by offering added value through the years."
"What’s your biggest weakness?"The most cliché answer we have heard? Probably "I am a perfectionist". It proves that you didn't understand the purpose of this question. It aims to find out the strengths of a person: Whether they're reflective and able to analyze themselves and in conclusion their surroundings. Also, if they're able to solve problems, whether it's their own or work relative. The best way to answer this interview question is to be honest about your weakness. Keep in mind though that it's supposed to be work related - you don't need to share any personal problems. Furthermore, add the way you've been dealing with your weakness in the past, showing that you're able to provide solutions.
"On a scale from 1 - 10, how would you rate yourself / how proficient are you at xxx?"
Whether it's about yourself or Word, Excel, Photoshop or any software, this tactical interview question comes up in every other interview. We’ll let you in on something of our headhunting experience: The question isn’t really about the skills, but about seeing how well you are able to evaluate yourself. Have you heard about "hiring for attitude"? The response "Clearly a 10!" is probably exaggerated in most cases. There's always room to improve yourself, train and learn new skills, but you can't change a first impression. Be honest about your skill-set, give them a clear insight by going a little into detail of your knowledge (a little is key here). But also admit in which areas you could do better. If you show that you're eager to learn and would be grateful to improve throughout your job, this shows a lot about your work attitude - and recruiters will mark it as a strength.
"Why do you want to work for this company?"This should be a no-brainer - as long as you want to work at the sports company. It might be hard to answer though when you're not really into the job. In any case, informing yourself beforehand about your future employer is the key to formulate your response. Find out what they value, which features they emphasize on their website and integrate them into your answer. Of course, you can always share your personal interest as well - maybe you have a nostalgic story with the sports brand, love their products or their services - it shows passion.
“Tell me about a time when...”Probably the most concrete question - which requires a concrete response. The interviewer wants to find out how you'd react in a special situation. A classic way to answer this, is the so called STAR format:
- What was the Situation
- What was your Task
- Which Action did you take
- What was the Result
"When you have been let go and they ask about it"This is actually not a common question and only comes up rarely, but as we know it's one of the hardest to answer, we wanted to integrate it in our post anyway. Whatever reason there was, that you have been let go, there's two rules to follow when answering:
- Don't badmouth your former employer
- Focus on the positive and the opportunities that came out of it
"Do you have any questions?"Yes! The answer to this one is always yes. It shows you care, that you're interested in your employer and the job. Possible questions could be:
- What has someone else in this position done to succeed in their role?
- Which advancement opportunities has this position in the next years?
- What indicates success for this company?
- Could you describe a typical day of this position?
- Can I contact you if I think of anymore question?
Of course, a job interview it not only about the questions, but also about your body language and your appearance. We also prepared advice for this in our blog How to score in a job interview for a follow-up and the best way to win your interviewer over.
Where do you find your network?Apart from finding connections in your personal environment, the internet never ceases to create ways for connecting with people. Especially for the professional network, social platforms like Xing and LinkedIn have the main purpose of connecting professionals. There’s no getting around setting up a profile in the long run. BUT: We know that - without prior expertise and being a rookie in the sports industry - it might feel a little awkward using social media to contact people you’ve never met before. Then, how do you make the acquaintance of business professionals in the „real world“? You could join a meeting of local groups of experts - or, when the awkwardness strikes again, visit one of the events dedicated to networking or recruitment which are more anonymous at first. With their fairs and events, the sports industry hosts plenty of great platforms to meet the right people in an environment which is made for connecting. The most common and definitely a must-attend for everyone interested in sport professions, is the ISPO Munich and its counterparts throughout the world and year. It’s where the who is who of the industry meets up.
Upcoming events to build your networkWe’d recommend visiting one of these three events in 2018 which are perfect for career enterers and young professionals: ISPO Digitize Summit:
- What: Information summit about the future of the sports industry in regards of digital transformation
- When: 28th - 29th of June 2018
- Where: Messe Munich, Germany
- What: A career fair for young career enterers and students who are interested in the sports business with info booths from companies & a unique Speed Dating interview format to take part
- When: 13th of June 2018
- Where: Paris - Stade Jean Bouin
- What: Sports conferences and seminars for 2 days as well as a grande Exhibition of 6,000 sqm to ensure business and networking.
- When: December 5-6, 2018
- Where: Palexpo - Geneva, Switzerland
How to build my network?You’ve made it to the event, and you’re now ready to meet as many people as possible! That’s when you should stop in your tracks right away.
1. Find out who to talk toIt’s a general known wisdom that quality is better than quantity. That also applies to networking. Before you just storm off in whichever direction, find out who’s at the event and which connections to make. Companies you favor, important recruiters - focus on meeting those. Again, Xing and LinkedIn will help you gathering needed information in advance. For example, when you attend ISPO Munich, you might have read that Sportyjob has a booth. If you looked closely, you probably know that Andy Gugenheimer, Sportyjob’s CEO is there. If you checked his LinkedIn profile in advance, you’ll know that he is also the CEO of AG Sport Consulting, a leading headhunting agency in the sports industry. That’s a worthwhile connection.
2. Be curious and interestedYou might want to network to score a job. If this is your solemn purpose in networking, you won’t come far. Just asking for favors or expecting help will push your connections away. A network relationship, like any relationship, is supposed to be mutual. You might think that you’ve nothing to offer as a rookie, but that’s not true. Asking about their own career path or their company and plainly showing interest is also a giving approach. It shows that you value the work they’re doing. Also offering your opinion on relevant topics in a dedicated conversation can be helpful. For example, when meeting up with Andy, you could let him know what you liked about Sportyjob - and also what you were missing. (Constructive of course). Feel free to assume that companies would like to improve their services and products - it’s a fact in at least 90% of companies.
3. Provide your contact dataWe won’t recommend you printing your business cards. If it’s not a striking, unique design, it will probably be lost in the bunch of cards people receive at events. Have you phone close by and exchange numbers or straight away connect through a social network. When the event has passed, send them a message appreciating the acquaintance. Even when plenty of time passes before your next message, they’ll always see that you’ve been in contact before.
The aftermath: Don’t forget to take care of your networkSo you managed to make a few contacts but what do you do afterwards? If you just let them slip, it’s a lost cause. Like in every relationship, even a professional network needs attention and care. It’s essential to stay in touch with the connections you made. It might be on a personal level like having a lunch meeting (in case that you get along on a personal level). A more professional approach would be meeting up at events that you both share an interest in. A simple information like „Hey, I will be at the ISPO in January - and it would be great to meet up“. On the other hand, keep up through Social Networks or E-Mail. Just asking for an opinion on a professional topic or sharing interesting content - because never forget that the foundation of a business network is your profession. So even if shared memes might be fun once in a while, don’t overdo it.
The story of Mrs. DoubthireEven though we all watched Robin Williams become a lovely older lady to see his kids after divorce, almost no one understood the true message of this marvelous movie. You probably naively believed this made-up story about separation and its effects on the family, too. Well, you’ve been fooled for years! In reality, it addresses a great way how to get the job you really want: with a petite (enormous) white lie! If your qualifications aren’t enough for the position you apply for, just change the details a little bit. Normally, it’s enough to copy the requirements straight away from the job ad and add 3-5 years of experience in the chosen field. If you’re a career enterer, don’t forget to also change your date of birth accordingly. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have a brother who is a talented make-up artist, a new face-design probably helps a lot, too. Just don’t stick to closely to the movie - an attractive face is more likely to get you the job than the fat-suit and wrinkled mask of a scottish granny.
Another story of Mrs. DoubthireSo, hopefully this blog made you watch Mrs. Doubtfire again, because there’s another lesson that you could learn from the movie. Maybe you know that Robin was also hired because there was almost no one else who applied. Do you remember why? Right: He altered the job ad to scare possible competitors away. Luckily, most companies nowadays publish their free positions online, so all you need to do is hack their website! Depending on your own hacking skills (guessing your own password right is not considered hacking), you might need help to bring their website, or at least the ad, down. In times of deep web and bitcoins an easy venture. In case, you found the ad online in our sports jobs, we politely ask you to refrain from hacking Sportyjob.
Stick out of the massTrue to the old adage „In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king“, you only need to make sure that every other candidate is a worse choice than you are. „But that’s impossible!“, you say? It definitely isn’t. Just fill out hundredth of applications from made up people and send them over! You’ll rise and shine in between this big pile of s…pam like the holy messiah - a proven tactic well known in politics throughout the world. By the way, this hack works best in combination with Mrs Doubthire II.
„I will call you!“How experienced are you in dating strategies? You probably heard about the „3 days rule“ claiming that to not appear desperate, you need to wait three days to call your dating partner. Sounds reasonable, right? So, here’s how we do it to score your desired job: Personally submit your application in the HR department, tell them how great it was to meet them and promise to call them in 3 days. Wait three days. Don’t call. Call one day later. Even though they actually didn’t like you at the beginning, they do now and are probably sitting next to their phone, waiting urgently. Congratulations, you are now hired.
Be the (evil) ray of hope on the horizonLast but not least, the most effective strategy to be hired even when you’re not qualified. It takes a lot of time and effort, but for the ones who desire their dream career more than anything else, this is the leading way to success. First of all, you have to found your own business in the same field as your employer with the same pear group. Put in all your energy and money to be successful until your are the leader of the industry. After that, steal all their clients and lure a big part of their team away by offering more benefits and a better work environment than they do. At the same time, start a dirty press campaign to discredit them so that all remaining clients and employees also leave. By now, the company should be almost ruined - your moment to be the savior. Apply for your dream career again and you’ll be hired. At least, for the last couple of years before you retire.
Your To Do list is full or even getting longer every day. You're acting under full power all day, forget to take your lunch break or stay late hours. It doesn't matter if it's daily tasks or your current project - sometimes our sport job leaves us stressed and overwhelmed.
It might be that you are not able to get through all the work, because it's too much or very demanding. You end up not having time for anything else - even your friends and family haven't heard from you for days or weeks. Of course, nowadays a lot of people feel that they have to be stressed to prove they are hard working - it shows that you give a 110 %. But not taking your time afterwards to relax, will take its toll on anybody. You might end up feeling impatient, exhausted and depressed. Or even worse, get ill.
If that's not enough of a reason, this should be: Reduced stress levels will eventually lead to more productivity and creativity in your sport job. Which translates as: You'll get done more in a slower pace with being more content.
Sounds good to you? Let's work on achieving it! To maintain a healthy life and the so called work-life-balance, you will have to start at the beginning of the problem. Here are a few tips how you can avoid stress in a sport job:
Unplug after workDid you know that one of the main aspects affecting the well being of people are smartphones and tablets? The Stress is America 2017 survey focused especially on the impact of technology - and made clear that it does have a negative impact on our stress levels. Why? The poll found out that 8 of 10 people tend to overly check their texts, calls and e-mails. Even when not at work, this means you stay attached to your job even in your free time. This way, you'll never get a chance to relax throughout the day. We advise: If you can't do it at work, at least turn off your phone after getting home, in your holiday and on the weekends. (Same for your notebook, just in case, you thought you found a loophole).
Improve your time managementIt's a vicious circle – at first you just postpone a few things, then it is getting more and more and after all you are staying day and night at work trying to manage the entire mop. Your privacy and health will suffer and soon you will start to hate your sport job a bit more every day. But what comes next? Dismissal? Burn Out? To deal with the chaos you need to find a proper system. For some all it takes is simply writing down the tasks in the morning or using the Outlook calendar. But there are a lot of people that need more than this. Those should consider using a time management program, which shows how much time you have already used for a project. This helps not to get bogged down and makes sure that you can work off all the projects in a systematic way.
Handover what you don't have to do yourself
This is also something you have to learn sooner or later. Some employees may be better in some things than you. So bring yourself to ask a colleague if he/she can help you with some tasks – in the end it will only take them a few minutes.
Do not postpone anything important. Sounds quite easy, but it is not. Of course, you are allowed to postpone tasks with low priority but especially important tasks should always be done immediately - even if they are a pain in the a... uhm, neck.
Feel free to say noThis may be the most important point to consider. Saying no is not easy, especially as it is somehow connected to weakness in a sport job and no one wants to confess that he is absolutely unable to cope with all the work. But, on the other hand, a confused, tired and nervous employee won’t provide good results. So be strong and say no if your boss asks you to take over even more projects.
If you can successfully implement these points in your daily working routine, your sport job will soon be the best job in the world – a relaxed sport job with a perfect work/ leisure time ratio which will allow you to spend a lot of time with your friends and family.