By Dr. Howard Gauthier
So you’re looking for a job in the sports world. Like I’ve said so many times before, the sports industry is a great place to work. But not every organization is a great place to work for everyone. The key is making sure you’re the “right fit” for the organization and they are the “right fit” for you.
Researchers have shown that the happiest and most productive employees are both a good fit within their job and within the organization where they work. Conversely, quite often when a person is not a good fit for the organization, the employee becomes frustrated, miserable, and they don’t like their job. So what is a good fit and how do we measure it?
The term “fit” is somewhat subjective. It is the degree to which characteristics of the employee and the organization match. Quite a bit has been written and published regarding how employers should look to hire employees who are a good fit for their organization, but what about finding that “right fit” as an applicant? Below are four types of employment fits to consider when applying for and accepting a job.
- Occupational Fit – Do your skills and abilities fit with the tasks that are associated with the job? Does your education meet their requirements? If you aren’t qualified for the position, you will be frustrated at work and your boss will be frustrated with your performance. Apply for jobs that you are qualified for and where you can be successful.
- Personal Fit – Does the job and the organization meet your personal needs? Is the compensation at a level that meets your needs? Is there adequate and affordable housing within the community? Are there employment opportunities for your spouse? Are safety issues a concern? Do the quality of the schools meet the needs of your children?
- Organizational Fit – Are you excited and passionate about the position? Do you like the people within the organization? Can you see yourself working with them five (or seven) days per week? Is the work environment positive and uplifting? Is there the possibility for upward mobility?
- Cultural Fit – Do you fit within the culture of the organization? To fit within the culture of the organization you will want to work for a college where you share common values, beliefs, and behaviors. Someone who fits well in a public university might not be a strong fit in a private college (or vice versa). This can extend to issues such as rural vs. urban lifestyles, working at a community college vs. a major research university, or even living in a region of the country that is significantly different from you and your upbringing.
Most likely a job won’t meet 100% of the criteria listed above, but you need to ask yourself if it meets the majority of these items? Further, does the job and the organization meet the criteria that are most important to you? Don’t just take a job because it’s available. Make sure you’re a good fit for the organization and, more importantly, they are a good fit for you.
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 www.sportscareersinstitute.com or his new book Execute for Success at www.execute4success.com.
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- The types of jobs that exist in college sports
- How to plan and navigate your career
- How to create an effective job search campaign
- The proper way to create an effective resume, cover letter, and sales pitch
- How to properly brand yourself
- Techniques and strategies to prepare for your interview
- How to properly prepare yourself for the five types of interview questions
- How to properly follow-up after the interview in order to influence the decision of the hiring manager
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“This book is fantastic – it is very practical for people who want to get into (or advance) in the sports industry.”
Head Men’s Basketball Coach