By Chris McKinney
By Chris McKinney
By Chris McKinney
If you want to work in sports, and I think most of you do, I have a question for you: What do you plan on doing (career-wise) in the sports industry?
What company, if they hired you, would be a dream come true? The New York Yankees? Pittsburgh Steelers? How about Adidas? Or Under Armour?
Well, I’ve got some good news. And some bad news.
Good News First
The reason I say this is because every one of those companies hire recent college grads every year. So do thousands of other sports-related companies. And if you’re a seasoned veteran, sports companies across the country are hiring at the C-level as well.
The question is, will YOU be one of the chosen ones?
Now the Bad News
Landing your first job in sports is a huge challenge. The demand forsports jobs is incredibly high. The opportunities are limited. And the competition is fierce.
According to SportsBusiness Journal there are 24,000 college students majoring in Sport Management today. Not to mention the thousands of Business majors, Journalism, PR, Marketing, Advertising, Communications and Finance majors that share the same dream.
It seems everyone wants to work in sports!
AND… to make things even tougher, this is one of the toughest job markets in U.S. history.
What are you going to do?
You Need a Game Plan
1. Which companies do I really want to work for?
2. What job (or jobs) can I do better than anyone else?
3. Who are the executives that hire for those positions?
4. How do I get my foot on the door?
5. How do I stand out from the competition?
6. How do I position myself as the best candidate?
7. How do I network effectively?
8. How do I write a cover letter and resume that gets me the interview?
9. How do I prepare for the interview?
10. And most importantly: How do I knock it out of the park?
The only person responsible for your sports career is you. Not your friends. Not your parents. Not even your professors. It’s you. You control your own destiny.
Listen. There are two types of people breaking into sports today:
1) Those who hustle
2) Those with relatives in the business
Do yourself a favor. Take a look at your last name and figure out which one you are. Most of us have to hustle. You don’t accidently land a job with the Yankees. You don’t accidently end up working for Under Armour. And you don’t accidently break into Adidas.
Like I’ve said before, landing a job in sports happens on purpose.
The way you get over that hurdle is by taking action. Taking action is the key to a successful career launch. Anyone can say they’re passionate about sports. But not everyone can turn that passion into a profession. (Except you, of course!)
You must be proactive. President Lincoln said it best, “Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
It’s time to hustle.
ACTION ITEM: Get a spiral notebook and write this down: “My Goal is to Land a Job in Sports in 2011.” Next, I want you to write down those 10 Questions. Give each question it’s own page. That’s it for now.
(Note: Follow this blog and I will help you answer all those questions and more.)
Chris McKinney is the president of SPORTS LAUNCH™, a career development firm dedicated to helping college students and career-changers launch sports careers. www.sportslaunch.net
If your goal for 2011 is to break into the sports industry, there are three things that will guarantee your success. (And it won’t cost you a dime!)
1. Write Down Your Goal
Hall of Fame running back, Emmitt Smith, said it like this: “It’s only a dream until you write it down, then it becomes a goal.” Emmitt didn’t accidently become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. He did it by starting with the simple act of writing.
Personal development expert, Brian Tracy says, “You can’t hit your target if you can’t see what you’re aiming for.” Written goals bring clarity and focus.
2. Establish a Time and a Place
The biggest reason people fail to reach their goals is because they don’t establish a time and a place to work on them. They think setting the goal is the key, but it’s not. That’s only the beginning.
Just like a college football player establishes a time and place to prepare for the NFL Combine, you must do the same thing. You don’t haphazardly go into the Combine. You work up to it. Likewise, you don’t haphazardly pursue a job with ESPN, or Nike. You train for it.
But instead of a weight room, your training ground is at the kitchen table. Or a coffee shop. Or the library. Anywhere you can turn off your phone and get locked in on what you’re trying to accomplish – that’s where you need to be. Same place. Same time. Each and every week.
3. Make a Promise to Yourself
In your quest to break into sports, you will face challenges. Doors will slam in your face. You will hear the word “No.” And your insecure friends might even make fun of you for pursuing such a lofty goal.
So, how do you prepare for such harsh reality? You become resilient! You develop fortitude. Mental toughness begins by making a promise to yourself that you will not give up, no matter what.
Successful people have mastered this mindset. When things get difficult, they don’t quit. They simply hang on just a few minutes longer than everyone else. Making a promise to yourself will give you the inner strength to persevere.
CHRIS’ KEYS: Guaranteed success comes from your unbroken promise. Anticipate the challenges. Stay focused. And finish.
Chris McKinney is the president of SPORTS LAUNCH™, a career development firm dedicated to helping college students and career-changers launch sports careers. www.SportsLaunch.net