Finding Sports Industry Jobs Can Be a Difficult Task
So, you think you want to work in sports? First things first, you will need to network and have thick skin! No one is waiting to hire you for sports industry jobs. There is plenty of competition and those lacking gumption will be left behind. While each and every one of us have a unique skill set that we bring to the table, there are only so many seats at the table.
Whether you want to be a sports reporter, equipment manager, or scout, you need experience. The best opportunities to get the foot in the door are internships. However, once the internships are no longer available (post-graduation) you may have to look for work that is unpaid.
We all love sports because they give us a common ground with others growing up. Sports also helped us make friends and was the only thing we seemed to be naturally good at as adolescents. Whatever the case may be, you should truly ask yourself, are sports industry jobs right for me? Do I have what it takes to be told no over and over and over until a golden opportunity comes along?
Failure Is Okay
Too many times in my short pursuit of a “career,” I had been told to get out of the office or that the position was already filled or you don’t have enough experience. Regardless, whether I was the best applicant or not, I have seen friends of mine who have zero experience playing get the jobs in which I have firsthand experience or more knowledge than them in the respected category.
While I have been confused and frustrated numerous times. It has given me the opportunity to reflect why I am still in pursuit of sports industry jobs. My answer is because even if I don’t get the job, I would still be researching and studying the sport. The best opportunities I have found have been through my own research. This may sound incredibly obvious, but not many have taken the same route.
Find someone in the position that you admire and contact them through Linkedin, and email, or a phone call, asking for an informational interview. More than likely you will be ignored. However, when you get a response, ask them to lunch and tell them you will foot the bill. This has personally given me great satisfaction by meeting first-hand the people I look up to in my designated career. More than likely you will look them in the eyes and realize they aren’t some super human or have some incredible gift that you lack. Take note of the way they present themselves, the way they view you, and ask as many questions as possible.
The next resource I have found to be useful are Sports and Law symposiums. While you may not be interested in law, you are interested in the names that will be there. This will give you an opportunity to be in the same room as executives or others in position of power. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Get used to being confident in yourself and ready to learn. Don’t think of your past accomplishments, mistakes or your future goals, live in the moment and take notice of what is going on. Compliment them on something they may have said that stood out or something there wearing. Everyone, I mean everyone, enjoys a pat on the back. Don’t be the one to not speak up. You will forever be unnoticed if you don’t speak up.
The sports industry is full of confident individuals and if you plan on being in the industry you have to believe in yourself. Remember everyone started somewhere. Come off as not knowing a thing so you don’t seem to be a threat. Smile and enjoy the challenge!