By Bob Hamer
Over the last month, thousands of students have graduated from college and are preparing to enter the workforce. My wish for all of you recent grads and young professionals, is that you find something you’re passionate about doing, because if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.
For me, my love was always sports and business. I thought if I could find a job that combined them both, it’d be perfect for me, a dream scenario. I was lucky to accomplish that goal of working in sports, and now I spend my time giving back and helping those interested in pursuing a career in sports accomplish that same goal.
If you’re one of those people here are some tips on how YOU can get a job working in sports:
- Research – There are hundreds of open sports jobs posted online at any given time. Take a look at the job descriptions and learn more about what you do in those roles. Start to think about the type of work that interests you most.
- Connect with industry professionals – Conduct informational interviews. Find people who do similar work to what you want to do. Ask how they got their start, what they do, and what advice they have for you. Start with your warm connections first such as people in your athletic department, alumni of your school or fraternity/sorority, family members, friends, etc. Then move on to local teams or organizations in your market. The more contacts you make the better.
- Get experience – Whether it’s a formal internship, part time position, research project or job shadow, there are a lot of things you can do to get some sports work experience onto your resume. Do whatever you can to gain some experience. Don’t get too caught up on the hours or pay, the experience you get will make it all worth it in the end. College sports, pro sports or minor league are all good. The business of sports is very similar even though the sports themselves are different. Don’t discriminate and be open minded about any chance you can get.
- Narrow your focus – After your research, industry conversations, and actual work experience you should now have a good idea of the type of work you’d like to do. Narrow your focus to those jobs. If possible, showcase the experiences you’ve gained and the skills you’ve developed in that line of work and aim to show in your resume and cover letter that you’re qualified for those roles. When you go after jobs that you know you want and are qualified to do, that passion and confidence will come through naturally and your chances of getting the job will increase exponentially.
- Leverage your network – When doing informational interviews and getting work experience you’ll come in contact with lots of industry professionals. Make it your goal to develop as many relationships as possible. Always get business cards, follow up with thank you emails and cards, and find reasons to stay in contact with people you meet. If you have good relationships built, circle back with them when the time is right and ask if they’re hiring or if they can direct you to anyone that is. If you have good relationships, they’ll be glad to assist. Having that warm introduction could get you an interview.
- Apply for your job – Once you know the type of jobs you like, focus all your efforts on securing one of those positions, but be flexible and cast a wide net. For example, if it’s sales, be open to all teams, leagues, sports and markets. The more you limit yourself the tougher it’ll be to get in.
Hopefully this action plan can be a blueprint for anyone interested in pursuing a career working in sports. Hope it helps you in your career. Good luck!
Feature image via Hensel Phelps
Bob Hamer President – After working for eight years in the Pheonix Suns organisation and rising to the level of Vice President, Bob Hamer resigned his position and founded Sports Business Solutions, LLC. His commitment at the helm of SBS is to give back and invest in people looking to achieve success in sports and help them accomplish their goals. His passion has always been and always will be the people, and he’s looking forward to helping develop the next generation of sports industry leaders.
You can contact him at email@example.com