You can learn a lot about managing your job search when you look at off-season sports teams. Just like professional sports, looking for sports jobs has a cycle to it.

The job search cycle typically looks a lot like this:

  1. Search for jobs
  2. Write resumes and cover letters
  3. Submit job applications
  4. Follow up
  5. Wait
  6. Repeat until you land an interview
  7. Nail the job interview
  8. Land job offer!

Unfortunately, this cycle can take a long time for job seekers. Glassdoor’s June 2015 study found that the average overall job interview process takes 22.9 days in the U.S. That means it’s important for today’s job seeker to be patient and take their job search one step at a time.

If you feel like your sports jobs search is hitting a lull, follow these lessons from off-season sports as you search for jobs:


With the free agency market opening up, this is a good reminder that you should always consider your options. It’s also important to assess what skills and experience you have to offer and what type of roles would be a good fit.

Stay open minded to new opportunities. For example, if you’re looking for sports jobs in broadcasting, but you find positions that interest you in marketing, consider pursuing those options as well. Don’t hold yourself back from accepting a position because of a job title.

Similarly, if someone reaches out to you with an opening that isn’t exactly your dream job, don’t automatically say no. Evaluate the position and determine if it fits your career goals. For example, if the job has a lower salary but offers amazing opportunities to get your foot in the door and build a strong network, the professional development opportunities may outweigh the salary right now.


As the finals wrap up, many players are starting to take time off. This down time is key to recovering and getting focused for the next season.

Over time, job searching becomes incredibly draining and stressful for those who are unemployed. A February 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that levels of agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness decreased over time in unemployed participants.

Searching all day, every day is not productive and unsustainable. Combat stress by building time into your search for breaks and relaxation.

After a couple of hours of job searching, head to the gym, make plans to play basketball with friends or play sports at a rec league. Unwinding can help you feel refreshed and re-charged for your job search.


Career growth doesn’t stop when the season ends. With NFL preseason less than two months away, players are continuing with training and conditioning.

Get on top of your game by pursuing personal growth and professional development during your job search. Take online courses or join professional organizations. Create a plan for you to close skills gaps specific to your career. These are just a few ways you can grow your career as you search for the right job.

Let’s say you want to work as a data analyst. Brush up your skills by studying statistics and analytics. You can also shadow professionals in the field and schedule informational interviews. Expanding your skills and making connections will set you up for the right opportunity.

Giving yourself an off-season during your job search is a great way to invest in your career and set yourself up for the right opportunity. By taking time to hone in on your skills, build your network, and reflect on your career, you will be ready to hit your job search hard when it’s time to get your head back in the game again.

How are you giving yourself an off-season during your search for sports jobs?

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