With the variety of jobs in the sports industry now, it’s no wonder young men and women around the world are pursuing a career in this field. Sports jobs are projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
As the sports industry continues to expand, so do the career options. Teams need managers. Sports television channels need reporters and journalists. Marketing and social media management positions are available as well. However, it can still be difficult to land one of these jobs in sports.
So how do you get your foot in the door in 2019?
How to prepare for a career in sports
Here are seven ways of preparing yourself to land the sports job of your dreams.
1. Know what you’re aiming for
This is a vital step both in the sports industry and in life. If you don’t know what you’re shooting for, you won’t know what steps you need to take. Before you commit to anything, think about the kind of career you’re pursuing. Sure, you want to work in the sports industry, but do you want to get into sports management? Journalism? Maybe you’re interested in graphic design or marketing.
Whatever you decide, you’ll have a much easier time pursuing that coveted job in sports when you know exactly where you’re going.
2. Get the right education
This falls in line with knowing what you’re aiming for. There are many degrees you can earn that will give better odds to find your way into the sports industry. However, you should focus on making the most of your time in school learning as much as possible in the field of work you’re pursuing.
If you’re into law and being close to players, a law degree would steer you in the right direction to become a sports agent. For the marketing guru, a sports marketing degree would be the way to go. There are many degree options available, so make sure the one you choose aligns with your goal for a career in sports.
- Manager, Asset & Inventory Management
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Northeast Region
- Assistant A.D., Event Management
Marketing/Events/Promotions - Southeast Region
- Assistant Director of Event Management
Administration/Management - Southeast Region
- Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information, Marketing & Event Management
Administration/Management - Central Region
3. Get organized
Traditionally, a business doesn’t start without first creating a strategy or business plan. This same concept should be applied toward your career journey. Create a roadmap or step-by-step checklist (on paper instead of mentally) that lists every step you must take to land the sports job of your dreams.
Getting organized will give you clarity on exactly what actions you must take. When you complete a task, check it off your list and move on to the next one. Seeing this progress on paper can give you the encouragement you need to push forward.
4. Develop your personal skills
Whether you’re a reporter, coach, or a social media manager, it’s likely you’ll be in a position where it’s important to make a great first impression and build a positive reputation. Before you get there, pay attention to how you relate to people. No matter how personable you may think you are, practice being more genuine, friendly, and helpful.
These traits, in addition to your skills and experience you’ll gain throughout the years, will make you an asset to any company – hopefully, the one that hires you for the sports job of your dreams!
5. Get your hands dirty
In many cases, having already done something can give you the competitive edge you need. Just ask Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers, the focus of a fun controversy of the 2017/2018 NBA season. Many fans suggested Simmons shouldn’t have won the award since 2016/2017 was his first year in the league (missed due to injury). Who’s to say Simmons didn’t win because of a year of NBA experience already under his belt?
Instead of only learning in school, try to get some first-hand experience in the sports industry. Volunteer at sports events, get a few sports internships under your belt, contribute to a newspaper or online blog. Not only will hands-on experience look great on paper – it will help prepare you for a career in sports.
6. Be social
The sports industry is a social realm. It’s not uncommon for people who landed the sports job of their dreams to have gotten there because they know someone. Of course, your skills and experience count, but knowing the right people can help propel you ahead of other qualified candidates.
Here are several ways to network in the sports industry:
- Make a point of meeting at least one new person in the sports industry every week, and the more the better.
- Talk to local news sports reporters, people already working your desired job in sports, and even executive-level managers.
- Connect with people on LinkedIn.
- Volunteer for local sports events.
- Find a mentor in the industry to ask for advice along your journey.
7. Develop a “never quit” mentality
Most good things in life don’t come easy, and professional sports jobs are no exception. You’ll be faced with rejection, self-doubt, and exhaustion. Much like what you’d see in pep talks in sports movies like Hoosiers, Friday Night Lights, and Any Given Sunday, you must have a winning mentality and never be willing to quit, regardless of the obstacles in your way. Adopt this mentality will give you the true mentality of successful professionals in the sports industry.
If you’re ready to begin a career in sports, start pursuing your dream today. Jobs In Sports offers the most up-to-date sports job board available with sports internships, entry-level sports jobs, and much more to get you started. Make your dream a reality and being applying today!