The Sports Industry – A Job, Career or Calling?

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Getting a job in the sports industry can be difficult at times. For some, working in sports is just a job, but for others it’s more of a career or even a calling. When you look at the coaches in the Final Four this coming weekend, being a basketball coach is their calling. For others in the industry it’s just their job. But what’s the difference?

For many people, working in the sports industry is just a job. A job is where you conduct the tasks and skills associated with your employment and is a means to generate income so you are able to meet your financial obligations and obtain material rewards. With a job, you receive no real satisfaction from your employment and your passions and interests are pursued outside of your work.

However, many people who pursue sports as their means for employment pursue it with a career in mind. A career is where you pursue your employment as a lifelong profession. The jobs you hold, the titles you earn, and the accolades you accomplish are typically all within the same industry. You get meaning from your work and you seek recognition, prestige and advancement from a job well done.

But for some, coaching and sports administration is a calling. A calling is where you are motivated by the sense of purpose your employment provides. You are intrinsically motivated by the rewards it provides and the people you serve.

So how do you view yourself within the sports industry? Is your employment a job, a career, or a calling? Regardless of how you view your employment status, make sure you work hard, have a positive attitude, are loyal, and strive to improve your skills.


Howard Gauthier is an Associate Professor of Athletic Administration at Idaho State University.  He is a former collegiate athletic director and collegiate basketball coach.  He is also an author of 9 books.  Check out his book, Getting Hired In College Sports – 2nd Edition at, or his new book, Execute for Success at


#1 Sports Careers Development Book

2nd edition Image

Proven Resume and Interviewing Strategies that will separate you from your competition.  Getting Hired In College Sports will give you the edge you need to compete in the job search process. Get the job of your dreams in college sports with this step-by-step job search process from former Division I athletics director, Dr. Howard Gauthier, who has over 25 years of experience in college athletics.

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“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”
-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University


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