5 Ways Athletes Can Prepare For A Post Sports Career
Being a professional athlete is a dream job! It’s one of the most exciting, fulfilling and rewarding careers one can have. However, it doesn’t last forever, in fact it’s very short. The average career of a professional athlete lasts 5-7 years. Most athletes live in the moment and focus on their next game or race and hardly ever focus on a career after sport.
Here are 5 ways athletes can set them selves up for a successful career after sport:
- Education: Studying a part time course whilst playing is a great way to build other skills and start discovering passions outside of sport. Pro athletes have already developed certain skills or are better at then others in – time management, extreme discipline, elite dedication, working in a team, determination and resilience – adding an educational course to this resume looks advantageous to potential employers but more importantly teaches you new skills. If you’re unsure where to start, googling “part time study,” gives you plenty of options. If you’re unsure what course to take – communication studies or business administration is a great start to build business acumen and general confidence.
- Media interviews: During their career athletes appear in the media numerous of times. Whether it’s in interviews, articles, TV shows or documentaries, being the public eye is a common occurrence for an athlete. Portraying yourself in the most professional manner, whilst also expressing your personality can be a huge advantage in setting up a successful transition into a post sports career. As you never know who is watching – potential future employer, sponsor, investor etc – showing sound communication skills, intelligence and carrying yourself professionally & with utmost maturity looks impressive. This is why a public speaking class is a great idea!
- Create a LinkedIn account: These days, a LinkedIn account is your professional resume. If you don’t have a LinkedIn, some employers won’t even look at you! The good news is that athletes have a great reason to start a LinkedIn page and it’s very easy to set up. Most people use LinkedIn to connect professionally, grow their network, show off their resume and most importantly read motivational and self improvement tips. Who better to teach about motivation and self improvement then an athlete!! As less then 1% make it professionally in their respective sports, it takes some serious determination, hard work and discipline to achieve “professional athlete” status. People want to hear your story and learn your routines and habits in how you achieved success. Posting motivational and self improvement content on LinkedIn is a great way to grow a following and potentially discover a career after pro sports.
- Networking: The saying “it’s not what you know but who you know,” is often said for a reason. Developing relationships with as many business minded people as possible gives you an advantage in being set up for a career after sports. The best way to develop relationships with business owners, investors, CEO’s and entrepreneurs is by attending networking events. Whether it’s a sponsor’s event, club or sporting organisation, community or local council chamber of commerce, the bigger your network the more opportunities come your way post sports. Inviting a local business owner or entrepreneur to a game, race or sporting event (if you are allowed ticket allocation for friends and family) also goes a long way in opening up opportunities for a post sports career.
- Starting a side gig: With technology and the internet, it’s now easier then ever to start your own business. In fact, more then 40 million people in the U.S. alone have a side business along with their full time work. Whether it’s an online retail business through shopify or a face to face consulting business, with patience, hard work and time management it’s all possible. As athletes, growing your brand and getting your business name out there can be done through your social media streams and network of fans. With a side gig, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. At the very least, it will be a massive learning curve and give you business experience. For ideas and “how to” on side gigs check out these podcasts.