You can’t deny it. Everyone’s experienced it at least once, especially when looking for work in sports.
The butterflies before the interview. The mindless scroll through job boards. The shrug when you hear back from a potential employer you’re not excited about. That knot that settles when you realize you accepted a job you hate.
This pattern of poor career management is common — and incredibly toxic. You might be making bad career decisions and struggling to find work in sports that’s meaningful because you’re missing the three C’s of career management:
When you don’t use these three C’s, you’re likely making the following mistakes:
Sticking to One Job Search Method
The cycle of just scrolling through job boards and submitting dozens of boilerplate applications must end. It’s a strategy that will give you a career that doesn’t align with your personal values or your personality.
Instead, focus on diversifying your job search strategy. Follow a more targeted approach that connects you with employers you want to work for, not who you will settle for.
Start researching the best employers in sports, then compile your Ideal Employer List. Once you have this refined, pay attention to their openings and start engaging with the company through social media.
Another great way to diversify your job search is through networking. Join professional organizations that fit your career path to meet industry thought leaders and other colleagues.
It turns out, according to our survey, 21 percent of employers say that joining professional organizations actually helps candidates stand out.
When you join one of these organizations, not only will you impress potential employers, but also you will build a network and get to know people who work in sports companies you want to join. You can even earn recommendations and land job offers from employers you love.
Settling For Less
Let’s say you’ve been looking for sports writing jobs for months. You love covering baseball farm systems, so you’re vying for an opportunity to work at a baseball publication. Instead, you get an offer from an esports blog.
You don’t know anything about esports and, quite frankly, you don’t care to. News flash: this job is not for you.
Instead of settling and dooming yourself to being an unhappy, disengaged employee, let it pass and wait for better offers that suit you.
This is where conviction comes into play. When you have a clear direction, you can confidently say yes or no to job offers. But that requires some work on your part.
Lacking A Clear Vision
With a vague sense of direction, your career will stagnate or you’ll follow a path of job hopping where you lack a feeling of purpose.
Start doing some self-reflection to truly understand your professional goals. For example, write out important life questions you have for yourself and journal about them. Questions might include:
- Why do I care about finding my passion?
- How do I prefer to spend my time?
- What opportunities excite me and why?
- What am I willing to sacrifice?
- What do I want to get really good at?
Answering these questions will give you a clear vision of your ideal career, and it will also give you an accurate perspective of who you are now.
If your values don’t match a potential employer’s core values, you won’t want to stay for long. Instead, put your energy toward finding work in sports that’s meaningful to you with a company you will thrive in.
Coming From a Place of Desperation
Employers spot desperation a mile away. If you’re bringing it into interviews, you’re going to lose out big time. Instead, recall what your value is first. Brainstorm on talking points you want to share to showcase how you will succeed in the prospective role.
Then, shift your mindset — job searching is about finding matches, not desperately trying to impress people.
Confidence plays a big role in this change in perception. You are good enough. You do bring a lot of strengths and unique traits to a company. When you’re clear about why you’re a strong candidate, you can cultivate confidence.
No more sweaty palms during job interviews or hating your job. With clarity, confidence, and conviction, you’re not just going to find work in sports — you’re going to build a sustainable, successful career you love.
Tired of feeling aimless and disengaged?
You deserve to build a sports career you love. Sign up for a membership today to get on the right path to success!