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 you career entry in the sports business. We’ll show you how to write a succesful 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 sport 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.
You successfully survived the first few weeks of your new sport job and soon will leave the probationary period behind. Actually everything is perfect, but unfortunately there is still missing the common touch with your colleagues…
The happiness factor of sport job stands and falls with the team. And this means that it doesn’t matter if your boss likes you. If you don’t feel integrated in the team after a few weeks, you seriously should think about looking for a new job. But maybe you just had a bad start. We have racked our brains and thought about some traps you should avoid and things that will make your colleagues absolutely fall in love with you.
Gossip is a no go
Well, we don’t need to deceive ourselves: in every company there are the ones that are only happy when they are able to bitch about others. If you want to integrate and get friends with the other (nice and honest) colleagues, you really should stay away from these persons. Even if the collective backbiting conveys a kind of togetherness, you should be really careful, since these persons will definitely gossip viciously as well about you behind your back. Another taboo is to commit something to a member of this group. No matter if you just ended your relationship, don’t like your current project or had a bad hangover the last weekend – within only a few seconds the whole company will know.
You are working in an action sports company and can’t spare your suit just like Barney Stinson? No surprise it doesn’t work out with the colleagues! Sad but true: clothes make people. And if everyone looks at you like you are from another galaxy, you really should consider changing your style, since birds of a feather flock together…so grab your old skateboard clothes and find new friends!
The cake case
Jep – the case with the cake! Again an unspoke rule, but to be honest: Everyone loves colleagues with cake (of course loads of yummi cake). Absolute no one can resist awesome cake – this is the perfect trick to win the team over to your side
Give your colleagues the feeling to be needed
Everybody likes the feeling to be needed and so do your new sport job colleagues. So just ask them, if you have any questions. But be careful: don’t ask stupid stuff, otherwise everyone will think that you are a bit dumb. But now and then asking them for advice will provide closeness and thereby friendship.
You know any other tips how to gain the trust of your colleagues? We are happy to hear about them in our comment section!
Now that we already dealt with the first day of a new sport job and the various pitfalls you can meet there in our sport job blog, we are going one step further today and dedicate this new blog to the probationary period and how to rock it properly.
Probationary period? Excuse me?
First of all, everyone must keep in mind that the probationary period doesn’t mean a horrific time full of pressure and proving oneself – in fact it is more like a date, where you learn a lot about the company itself, your boss, the team and the whole sport job working environment. And if the chemistry isn’t right you just turn this date down without any problems and/or duties. Seen in this way it sounds quite okay, right? Well, we have to admit, having almost no days offs sucks, but on the other hand longer interruptions during the first few months are quite bad for the training effect as well. Concerning the duration, a time period of a maximum of six months is pretty common for the probationary period. Furthermore employees are actually allowed to take days off during the probationary period, but the experience shows that longer vacations are not possible or undesired by the employer.
Help! I need to get out of here!
To be happy and satisfied in a sport job, many factors have to match. In case you notice that you never ever will get warm with your colleagues and also your boss is rather, uhm, bossy you should seize the opportunity to pull the ripcord before you will be lost in an endless circle of stomach pain and demotivation. Since during the probationary period there usually is a period of notice of only 14 days, you can easily quit if you don’t like your new sport job. But, even if the company no longer is particularly interesting for you, try not to make a big fuss about it. Especially in the sports industry everyone knows know each other and a cooperative behaviour is greatly appreciated.
I want to stay! But how?
Whoever finds his/her dream sport job during the probationary period, of course should do anything to sign the “real” working contract after these six months of trial. To achieve this goal, we collected some advice for you:
- Socializing: Try to build a network, be part of leisure time activities like basketball or yoga classes and actively make proposes for other conjoint adventures.
- Teamwork: Try to stay modest at work in the beginning – no one likes pipsqueaks and braggers :) If you have questions, ask the others for advice.
- Unspoken rules: Usually there are a lot of unuttered processes and structures in a sport job which need to be identified, since they are often like unspoken rules that should not be broken. As well workflows might seem a bit strange to you in the beginning – in that case, first ask why they are organized in this way, before you criticize.
Criticism: Ask your boss regularly for feedback and try to take it openly and convert it into motivation.
Again and again you are reading your cover letter, reviewing your CV and checking if the size of the PDF really is less than 3MB. Then you choose a subject, click on send and….breathe. The hardest part of the application is done – but after four weeks of waiting nervously and checking your inbox hourly you still haven’t got an answer. So, what next?
First of all: calm down. Usually one is hoping to receive a reply within two weeks, but in reality it often takes a lot longer. After all the applications are collected they are being revised thoroughly and discussed by a lot of people of the specific department and maybe even shared with other departments. This will take quite some time, especially if we are referring to bigger players. If in addition there has been a closing date for the sport job applications, it is assumed that the first examination of the applications will take place after that closing date.
Not even an arrival notice?
Of course it is annoying if there isn’t at least an arrival notice for your sport job application. If you just applied for a sport job at a smaller company feel free to send a request after two weeks. In case it is a huge corporate group you rather wait a few weeks more since personnel managers are likely to have hundreds of applications on their desks over there - then your call will only mean an unwelcome expenditure of work for them. That is why, although plenty of outmoded job guidebooks tell you to just call the HR department if you have any questions, we are rather advising against that – unless you really have a good cause to do so. By the way: the average time for sending out rejections is more or less two weeks, so a longer process time is not always a bad sign :)
Time has come!
When time has come to request the status of your application it is always a good thing to forward your first email (in case you didn’t apply via a special platform), so the HR people are in picture who you are. Who, in spite of this, is more likely to grab a phone, please make sure to prepare very well and don’t use those cliché sentences like “I just wanted to ask if my application arrived”. Just be humble, honest and calm and ask how your chances to be invited to a sport job interview are and when they expect to send out the answers. Sometimes a well conducted telephone talk can also be a big plus in the process of applying.
In summary this whole digging deeper thing is a bit critical – a few sport job companies are virtually waiting for you to call and others are really annoyed by that. Depending on the sector, company size and corporate identity you should be able to evaluate if a request will be cool or not. In the end it is always good to follow your gut instinct, just like always :)
Yeah – after endless nerve-racking days of waiting, hoping and doubting you finally get the most important call of your life so far: You just landed your dream sport job! Well, now you can just lean back, be happy and relax. But unfortunately the hard part isn’t over – you still need to survive the first sport job day, which can be seriously tricky, since there never is a second chance for a first impression.
Dress to impress
Jep, here we go again with the dressing-thing. We know it is more than annoying, but clothing always needs to be considered thoroughly, especially during the first contacts with your boss(es) and coworkers in a sport job. If your sport job interview took place in the company’s rooms, then you might already have a feeling how chic or casual the sport job dress code is, but if you got recruited for your sport job somewhere else or via Skype things start getting tricky. In this case it is always a good choice to dress nearly as neat as you would have done for a sport job interview. But just nearly, don’t exaggerate.
In times where everyone has a social media appearance and easily can be found via Google, you can prepare yourself for your first sport job day in collecting some information about your boss and future colleagues. Don’t worry – that kind of stalking is totally fine, since you wouldn’t be able to see that information if these persons wouldn’t want it to be openly accessible. This will help a lot to remember names (which is really important if you don’t want to appear douchebag-ish) and also it is always nice to already have some hints what to talk about at lunch break, right?
This directly guides us to a critical point at the first sport job day. This always feels a bit like back in the old school days, where during lunch breaks there were two groups: cool kids and uhm, not-so-cool-kids. To prevent yourself from being excluded or by mistake sitting at the CEO’s table at the first sport job day, just ask one of your colleagues right in the morning how everything works out at lunch. Don’t worry - they will understand your concerns. Everyone went through this.
That nasty circular email
In a lot of sport job companies there unfortunately is this unwritten rule that at your first sport job day you “may” introduce yourself to the whole company by sending out a circular email (wohoo). To make things even worse they might ask you to include a picture as well. Here is the deal: Just try to keep things as simple as possible, 1-2 sentences are totally fine and if there is any opportunity just try to get out of that picture thing. For example by promising to bring muffins the next day and by that getting them to know all sport job coworkers in personal. Oh and by the way: bringing a cake/muffins…might also be an unwritten rule :)
What else? The details
Be punctual (but not too punctual, this is nerdy :)), smile, try to be attentive, don’t be bossy (especially if you have a senior position) and try to settle misunderstandings asap. Also be like a sponge and watch how people do things – where and how often do they have coffee? Who cleans the dishes? Which fridge to use? And most of all: Ask if anything is not clear (and there will be a lot of confusing things due to sensory overload!).
Well, there it is – after long weeks of writing applications, sport job interviews and rejections you finally got the first confirmation that you got the sport job. Yay, what a great feeling! But wait a second; is it really the best choice? Shouldn’t you wait for other companies to reply or even contact more employers before signing the contract?
This choice definitely isn’t an easy one, especially when your potential sport job employer would love to have an answer asap and all the other sport job companies haven’t got back to you yet. But what to do now? Just sign the contract and be safe or wait and push your luck to get a better sport job offer from another company?
When deciding for a sport job in our opinion there are four crucial criteria: content of the sport job, the company itself, location and payment. Concerning these points everyone needs to rank them on the basis of his/her own preferences and decide, what is most important and where it is possible to lower one’s sights.
Sport job content
Of course you wouldn’t land a sport job if you wouldn’t be qualified and suitable enough for the sport job. But sometimes one is desperate enough to apply for sport jobs that are not the real deal. At this point you need to ask yourself, if you will be happy and satisfied in future in this position. Are there attractive further education options? Are the contents exciting enough to keep you attached? Does it provide all the responsibility, creativity and room for development you wish for?
CompanyThis criterion is all about asking yourself if you back the company, its mission, vision, philosophy and products. Are you able to defend the conditions of productions? How was the first impression during the sport job interview? How seems the working climate to be like? Are you able to identify with the company? Of course you only apply at companies that seem to be trustworthy employers, but at times you are already noticing during the job talk that this idea was wrong.
Well, this might sound a bit banal, but the sport job location indeed is an important factor. Of course, you can make every place in the world your home, but in the end you will spend plenty of lifetime over there (even if it is only 1 year – life is too short to waste it). So think about what you need to be happy: friends and family being close? Which language you prefer? Want to work in foreign countries? How is the infrastructre? What about the cultural scene? Any leisure opportunities you need to be happy?
The fourth criterion is the sport job payment. Is it above your absolute limit or below? Are there other outstanding aspects like a perfect location that will make you accept less or is this the one point you can’t lower your expectations?
Of course the mentioned criteria are only examples – everyone needs to decide on his own what he/she needs and what is essential. According to personal preferences there also could be other or more criteria to consider. At the end of the day (yes – we know, this is a spoiler) you should go with your gut. But since nowadays we tend to think twice (thrice, quadruply…) about our career options, today’s sport job blog can be considered as a little decision support for you.
Are you still on the sport job search and interested in further information? Check out our series on how to find the right sport job:How to find the right sport job – part 3: what kind of jobs do companies in the sports industry offer? How to find the right sport job - part 4: where there's a will, there's a way.
During the search for the perfect sport job you scanned plenty of job boards, but you couldn’t find any sport job ads matching your education and experience? This is hardly surprising, since often companies are asking for impossibilities in sport job ads. Today’s sport job blog deals with the causes for this and explains how to decode sport job ads:
“For the job as Marketing Assistant we are looking for a young, creative, committed and confident individual with a completed university degree in Economics, Marketing and Informatics, at least 2-5 years of experience in a similar role and a broad social network in the sports industry. To fit the bill the perfect candidate should speak English, German and Spanish operational and have proven knowledge in SAP, Illustrator, Photoshop, HTML, SEO, SEA, Social Media, XYZ, ETC. Excellent analytical skills, communication skills, determination and a high creativity level are essential. We offer you a good working atmosphere, flat hierarchies, a young team as well as an attractive and performance-driven compensation.”
Although we might have exaggerated a bit in this sport job ad, sport job ads like this one ad could likely be real ones. What counts is not the detailed listing of sport job tasks in job ads, it is rather about fulfilling the ideal of the company or describing the profile of a dropped out employee. In sport job ads by bigger companies it often occurs that quality requirements of CVs are purposely very high since these companies want to keep the amount of applications submitted by inadequate candidates low.
Please don’t take empty phrases in sport job ads too serious. Usually there is a high chance to get invited to a job interview if you have around 75% of the attributes mentioned in sport job ads. Unfortunately there is no trick to decode sport job ads, but normally you can assume that the most important preconditions are mentioned in the first few sentences of the sport job ad. Furthermore concrete phrases have been established in sport job ads like it is already done in employment reference letters. Since these phrases are likely to whitewash bad working conditions, we decoded the most important phrases in sport job ads for you:
Good working atmosphere: needless phrase, since this is really subjective – the question is why a company that is known for a good atmosphere needs to particularly state this in sport job ads?
Flat hierarchies: be careful – this does not mean an opportunity of fast advancement but rather the fast takeover of responsibility.
Young team: just indicates a high fluctuation.
Attractive compensation: unfortunately this is a euphemism for a below-average remuneration – attractive only for the employer.
Performance-driven compensation: even worse than the attractive compensation, since most of times this indicates a basic salary with benefit scheme.
To sum it all up we just want to make clear that you shouldn’t take the phrases in sport job ads too seriously. Of course there might be a few black sheep amongst the sport job employers, which are using euphemisms to downplay grievances, but this fortunately isn’t the rule. If you spot sport job ads that fit your profile, then you always have the opportunity to search the internet for employer information and ask ex-employees on Xing or LinkedIn about their experiences with the sport job company. At the end of the day the only thing that counts in job ads and sport jobs is your gut feeling.The Guardian and Forbes Magazine are providing further information about this topic if you want to dig in a bit deeper.
You are longing to establish yourself in the sport industry, but still don’t know in which area you want to land a sport job? Then a sport job internship is the perfect choice. Through that you will get to know the branch, socialize a lot and maybe will be offered a sport job - a lot of sport industry careers have started with internships. But often internships are preceded by their bad reputation, that is why today we are discussing the 3 most common clichés:
1. An internship is just a waste of time!
Well, when sending out applications for a sport job you surely will recognize how important sport industry internships are. Even though an internship is not a proper sport job it still helps to gather experience, which is worth a mint in your CV. Times where interns had to care about the post and coffee are over, in the meantime interns are an essential part of every sport job company. An internship in the sport industry nowadays means exciting projects, a lot of responsibility and a steep learning curve. Of course it might be that your internship will let you recognize that this sport job is not the right one, but this is not a bad thing – actually this is what internships are there for.
2. I need to go on even if I don’t like it
No, you don’t. Of course you can quit. No one is forced to face an internship that daily causes stomach cramps. Like at a real sport job, the cancellation period is agreed in a internship contract, but the best thing to do is speak to your boss and try to find new tasks in your sport job. By the way: you should also seek talks if you are overwhelmed or unchallenged with the amounts of tasks, since there is nothing more frustrating than a super stressful or boring sport job internship! No matter if the internship confirms your idea of a career in the sport industry or not, one thing is for sure – it will enrich your CV, you will gather important information and very likely meet important persons, which might help you finding a sport job later on.
3. I’m just a cheap temp!
If you break down the monthly internship salary to an hourly basis, the payment of an internship might make you pull a wry face. But you should always keep in mind, why you are doing this sport job internship: for none less than yourself. And after all there are almost no unpaid internships in the sport industry anymore. That means since most interns are still students, they will get by with the usual amount of payment. If you might have the feeling that you are not learning enough in your internship and are exploited, then you should have a talk to the HR. Purpose of an sport job internship is to acquire practical skills and experience. If this is not the case, the employer is guilty of an offense because internships are regulated by law.
Since we know, how important a sport job internship in the sports industry can be for students and young professionals, we created an own category for sport job internships on Sportyjob: https://www.sportyjob.com/sport-jobs/sport-internships. There you can find almost 30 sport jobs at both, known companies like Adidas, Quiksilver and Nike, and newcomers like Sportshop.fr or Someride. Just pass by and find the perfect internship in the sports industry!
You just found the perfect sport job, applied and got invited to an assessment centre, which in first hand just totally stresses you out. But what exactly is it, how can you shine in there and why do companies keep annoying us with it?
Never heard about assessment centres? Then it is definitely time to catch up, since they are increasingly common in all kind of sport job companies. Assesment centres are places, usually the company’s office, where potential employees have to show their hard and soft skills during a variety of tests, such as role plays, group exercises, interviews and many more. During those tests candidates have to prove themselves and show that they fit well into the company. Assessment centres are especially made to see how you cope under pressure and which role you will have in a group full of strangers.
Instrument of torture?
Firstly, an assessment centre is not meant to torture us, even if it really seems like that. Okay, admittedly, it will be nerve-wracking and at times you might be close to tears, but you need to see it as a chance. There won’t be so many days where you first found a company, then arrange a whole sales and branding plan and in the end pitch your marketing concept, so keep calm and try to have fun. It is not about life or death, only about a job.
How to deal with it?
Try to focus and think about how you would approach the tasks if you really were in the job. Prepare thoroughly before the assessment centre and try to figure out what kind of skills you need to have to fit the bill. Is it a management position? Then take responsibility and be the leader of the group. Is it an assistant role? Then try to help out and be a good teamworker. But most important: don’t dissimulate and be yourself. And if you want to use an unconventional approach just do it – companies love to see creative candidates.
And if it won’t work out with the sport job don’t be demoralized. Best thing is to be brave and ask, why the company didn’t choose you for the sport job and on this basis improve your performance in the next assessment centre.
We wish you good luck!