By Dr. Howard Gauthier
As a professor in Sports Management, having been a college athletics director, and having written a book about getting a job in college sports, I’m asked all of the time, “What’s the best way to get a job in college sports?” The formula is relatively simple. Whether you’re a veteran in the industry, or just starting out, the process for getting a job in college sports is to follow your passion, develop your skills, gain experience, and build a strong network.
Follow Your Passion – When you follow your passion, you tend to work hard because you enjoy what you do. Your work is not a job; it is an enjoyable pursuit. In a recent article about finding your passion, John Maxwell suggests that you need to listen to yourself in order to find your true passion. He asks the questions, what excites you? What do you dream about? What do you want in life? Once you can truthfully answer these questions, you can begin your journey toward meshing your passion of sports with your work life.
Develop Your Skills – Maxwell went on to share that passion is important, but if you don’t have the proper skills, you won’t be able to turn your passion into a career. Therefore, you need to develop the skills of your trade, so an employer will want to hire you.
Gain Experience – Whether you are currently pursuing your degree in sports management, or you are already working in the profession, gaining experience is a key toward securing your next job. If you are currently a student, you need to gain experience in the profession (while going to school) so you can list it on your resume. If you’re already in the industry, you need to enhance your experiences, strengthen your skills, and build a strong personal brand. Regardless of your current situation, enhancing your experiences will take time and sacrifice. Because of this time and sacrifice, I recommend that you begin to develop a plan for personal develop today. You can’t afford to put your experiences off for the future. The sooner you gain experience and develop your skills, the sooner you’ll be in a position to secure your next job in college sports.
Build a Strong Network – People want to hire people they know, or someone a trusted friend knows. This is because, when the hiring manager knows the person, he/she knows that the person is a hard worker, skilled at their craft, loyal, and a good fit for the organization. And one of the only ways to assure that the employee possesses these qualities is to hire someone you know and trust. Therefore, the larger and stronger your network is, the more likely you’ll have an “in” with an athletics department, and the more likely it is that you will get hired for the job you want.
So, “what’s the best way to get a job in college sports? It is a relatively simple process, you just have to follow your passion, develop your skills, gain experience, and build a strong network. Life is a journey that needs to be enjoyed along the way. Follow your passion, work hard, and enjoy your journey!
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.
Helping You Get A Job In Sports
In Getting Hired In College Sports you will discover:
- 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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“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators. A must read for anyone whom has a goal of working in athletic administration”
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University