To Succeed In Your Career, You Need To Develop Your Skills

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Today’s blog is the final article in a series of four blogs on “The competition for jobs in the sports industry is stiff, therefore you need to prepare accordingly.” The first article discussed the need for mentoring in order to advance your career, the second was on effective networking, and the third blog was on the importance of gaining experience. In this article I am sharing with you the importance of gaining and improving your skills.

To be successful in your career you need to know the basic fundamental skills of your profession, and you need to be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy. Whether it’s coaching or athletic administration, the first step toward effective skill development is for you to learn how to properly perform the tasks of your job.

So what are the basic fundamentals of your job? As a coach you need to know the skills, strategies, techniques, and schemes that you will teach to your players and team. You also need to understand human behavior, motivation, and recruiting. As an administrator, you need to understand the basics of your endeavor. For example if you are in marketing you need to know the skills associated with product development, pricing strategies, supply and demand theory, promotional techniques, customer service, techniques for effective selling, and social media.

But understanding these skills and tasks is just the beginning. It takes more than just learning a new concept at a coaches clinic or at a marketing seminar in order to be great at what you do. According to the book “Execute for Success”, researchers have identified three stages of skills acquisition – the cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage. To be the best in your industry, you need to develop your skills so they are automated. But how do you develop your knowledge and skills to the point of automation? How do you become outstanding in your profession? You first need to understand the difference between these three stages of skills development.

In the cognitive stage, you begin to learn a skill by memorizing the facts that are relevant for that particular skill. As you enhance your understanding of the skill, and improve upon your performance, you enter into the associative stage of skill development.

During the associative stage, you refine the performance of your skill, and the decisions you make, through practice and by learning from the errors you make and the successes you experience. The outcome attained is improved performance on a consistent basis. As you continue to practice and improve your skill, you will enter the autonomous stage. In this stage, your skills become more automated, rapid, and you make fewer mistakes. You are able to perform your skills automatically and without thought, and make quality decisions based upon your experience.

So I ask you again, what are the basic fundamentals of your job? You need to identify these tasks, learn how to properly perform these skills, practice them (or study the concepts), and become proficient in your industry. Somebody has to be the best in the industry, why shouldn’t this be 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.ThePositiveLeader.org.  

*******

The #1 Careers Book in Sports

2nd edition Image

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

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“I have recommended this book to many aspiring sports administrators.  This is a must read for anyone who wants to work in college athletics”

-Bill Fusco
Director of Athletics
Sonoma State University

 

 


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To Succeed In Your Career, You Need To Develop Your Skills

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

To be successful in your career you need to know the basic fundamental skills of your profession, and be able to perform these skills with great precision and accuracy. Whether it’s coaching or athletic administration, the first step toward effective skill development is for you to learn how to properly perform the tasks of your job.

So what are the basic fundamentals of your job? As a coach you need to know the skills, strategies, techniques, and schemes that you will teach to your players and team. You also need to understand human behavior, motivation, and recruiting. As an administrator, you need to understand the basics of your endeavor. For example if you are in marketing you need to know the skills associated with product development, pricing strategies, supply and demand theory, promotional techniques, customer service, techniques for effective selling, and social media.

But understanding these skills and tasks is just the beginning. It takes more than just learning a new concept at a coaches clinic or at a marketing seminar in order to be great at what you do. According to the book “Execute for Success”, researchers have identified three stages of skills acquisition – the cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage. To be the best in your industry, you need to develop your skills so they are automated. But how do you develop your knowledge and skills to the point of automation? How do you become outstanding in your profession? You first need to understand the difference between these three stages of skills development.

In the cognitive stage, you begin to learn a skill by memorizing the facts that are relevant for that particular skill. As you enhance your understanding of the skill, and improve upon your performance, you enter into the associative stage of skill development.

During the associative stage, you refine the performance of your skill, and the decisions you make, through practice and by learning from the errors you make and the successes you experience. The outcome attained is improved performance on a consistent basis. As you continue to practice and improve your skill, you will enter the autonomous stage. In this stage, your skills become more automated, rapid, and you make fewer mistakes. You are able to perform your skills automatically and without thought, and make quality decisions based upon your experience.

So I ask you again, what are the basic fundamentals of your job? Identify these tasks, learn how to properly perform them, practice them (or study the concepts), and become proficient in your industry. Somebody has to be the best in the industry, why not 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.

*******

Helping You Get A Job In Sports

2nd edition Image

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

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“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

 

 


Your Job Search: How Hungry Are You?

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

How bad do you want to work in the sports industry? If you truly want to make it in the sports field, you have to be hungry, hungry to achieve your goal.

Hunger is an extreme desire to achieve your goals and objectives. When you’re hungry, nothing will stand in your way. You will make the necessary sacrifices, you will work hard, and you will stay focused on your goal. It doesn’t mean that you will operate with a “win at all cost” attitude that will hurt others just so you can get what you want, quite the opposite. When you’re hungry you will become the ultimate professional. You will dress for your next job, you will work hard to learn the necessary skills, and you will look to build strong relationships.

In my book, Execute for Success, I outline eight elements that will help you to achieve your goals and objectives. If you want to succeed in the sports industry, you will want to:

  1. Find your passion by becoming engaged in your activities and adopt an optimistic attitude toward these activities.
  2. Establish outcome goals and performance goals that are clear, challenging, and in writing. Use the SMART system to organize and target the outcomes you want to achieve.
  3. Maintain unwavering resolve and determination to accomplish your career goals.
  4. Learn the fundamental skills of your craft or activity.
  5. Develop and improve your skills through proper training programs and deliberately practice these skills.
  6. Exercise both disciplined thought and disciplined action.
  7. Stay focused on your job and eliminate distractions.
  8. Anticipate changes within the industry, adjust quickly, and re-establish your goals.

These eight elements are outlined in my book and are shown to help people achieve success. Take a moment to reflect on each of these elements and see how they might apply to where you are in your profession and your job search. By applying these elements to your goal of working in the sports industry, you will be taking a large step towards feeding your hunger, your hunger of working in the world of sports. So again I ask you, how hungry are you?

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

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

2nd edition Image

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

Only $23.95 Click Here To Purchase 

.
“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

 

 


Finding Passion in Your Current Job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

The alarm clock sounded again as Adam hit the snooze button for a second time.  This was a daily routine that would start his day each and every morning.  But today could be different.  Today Adam was attending a seminar on executing for success.

Adam was going through the motions at work.  His passion is college sports and he has been trying to land a job in a college athletic department since his graduation last spring.  He has not been able to find the job of his dreams and he is beginning to become withdrawn, and a bit depressed over his inability to pursue a career in a field he is passionate about.

But as the speaker began his keynote, something the speaker said touched a chord with Adam.  He started out by saying that most people aren’t able to work in a field that is aligned with their passion.  The example the speaker presented was fly-fishing.  Many people love to go fly-fishing but very few people are able to pursue this as their career.  The speaker presented a different view.  He spoke of becoming more passionate for your current job while pursuing your passions on the weekend.  He would go on to state that this strategy is important for two reasons – first, you need to enjoy each and every day, and secondly, nobody wants to hire somebody who is grumpy and depressed.  But Adam has these nagging negative thoughts that he just can’t shake.  His self-talk is negative and he keeps thinking thoughts like “I’m not good enough” and “but someone else will get the job”.

As the speaker continued, he asked the audience – “so how do you find your passion?”  He went on to define passion as a strong enthusiasm or affection toward your activity.   And an abundance of research has shown that passion leads to high levels of performance.  So how do you become more passionate for what you are currently doing?  The speaker shared that passion is an outgrowth of engagement, which includes being both engaged with your activity and having an optimistic and positive disposition.

The speaker continued by stating that to become more passionate, you need to become more engaged in your activity.  He shared that working hard at building relationships and becoming more engaged isn’t enough, you also need to be able to positively frame your thoughts and your outlook on life.  You need to dispute negative thoughts with strong arguments and evidence that reframes your thoughts in a positive nature.

Many people are looking to pursue their passions in life.  A large portion of these people will not have an opportunity to follow their passion.  But each and every one of us has an opportunity to become passionate for what we do.  In order to become more passionate for your current job you need to become more engaged in the job, the other staff members, and the customers; and you need to become more positive in your thoughts.  This includes filling your mind with positive thoughts, reading and listening to positive information, and disputing any negative thoughts you might have.  By becoming more engaged and optimistic, you will become more passionate for what you’re doing.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is best prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

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.

Gaining Clarity In Your Job Search

Using SMART Goals to provide a clear path to your next job

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

In 1981, George T. Doran, introduced to the business world the concept of S.M.A.R.T. objectives.  Since then, others have used this acronym to define the process of how to effectively and efficiently achieve goals.  This same process can be used to help provide you with clarity within the job search process.  S.M.A.R.T. goals and objectives need to be:

Specific – Goals should be precise about what you want to achieve.

Measurable – You must establish criteria for measuring your goals and objectives.

Attainable – Your goals must be challenging, yet they must also be within reach.

Relevant – Your goals need to be aligned with your personal mission or needs.

Time-Based – Your goals need to have time frames attached to them for when you will complete the goal.

Goal setting is a process for targeting the outcomes you want to achieve.  Through this process, you gain clarity on what you want to achieve, how you will achieve it, and when it will be achieved.

An example of a job search goal that’s too broad is to have the goal of getting a job in college sports.  A SMART goal would be much more specific and would follow the five steps that comprise the SMART goal process.  A SMART goal could be – “By January 20th I will create a professional looking resume and a cover letter that follows the proper format established by a career development professional.”

In this goal you have created a very specific objective – to create a resume and cover letter, using the guidance of a career development professional.  This goal would be measurable in that you either wrote the resume and cover letter, or you didn’t.  That you consulted the guidance of a career developmental professional (or read a career development book), and that you completed the project by a specific date.  The goal is attainable in that you are able to contact a career professional (or read a career development book), and you have access to a computer where you can write the resume and cover letter.  The goal is relevant in that by writing a professional resume and cover letter it will help you to get hired in college sports.  Finally your goal is time-based in that it has a specific date attached to when it needs to be accomplished.

By writing your goals and following this five-step process, you will be able to set goals and objectives that are clear, realistic, and attainable.  This process can be used for each aspect of your job search process – indentifying the type of position you are seeking, writing a resume, writing a cover letter, creating your sales pitch, writing out answers to interview questions, learning the interview process, knowing who to target in your search, who to target in your networking, how to properly follow-up, and more.  The key is to outline each goal and obtain good information that will allow you to achieve each goal using the SMART process.  This process will help provide clarity that will help you to stay focused on your career goals, and will help you to move closer to getting a job in college sports.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

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.  Remember to Like Sports Careers Institute on Facebook.

Optimism and Your Job Search

By Dr. Howard Gauthier

Last year Daniel was “downsized” when his contract was not renewed after five years as the athletic director at a small college in the Northeast.  The college had hired a new president and the president wanted his own person in this position.  At first Daniel was confident he would get another job relatively quickly since he has the reputation of being a hard worker and being a quality administrator.  But the new job never came.

Daniel had interviewed for several other jobs, but the outcome was always the same – he didn’t get the job.  After six months of unemployment his attitude became negative and he started becoming depressed.  It was at this point that he sought the advice from a well-respected colleague.  In their discussion, the colleague recommended that Daniel research the best methods for developing his job search skills, and search for strategies for attaining a more positive attitude.

Daniel purchased a book on career development in college sports, and as he read about the proper techniques he should be using during the interview process, he was surprised at how much he needed to learn in order to be competitive in the job search process.  He then found a blog on the Internet by Brian Tracy that discussed the need for being an optimist.  In his blog, entitled “Be an Optimist at All Times”, Tracy discussed the need for mental fitness so you can feel good about yourself and your situation.  Tracy outlined seven items a person should focus on in order to develop a positive attitude.  These seven items are listed below and include the lessons Daniel took away from each item.

  • Control Your Reactions and Responses – You need to be aware of how you react and respond to your situation.  People like to be around positive people, and your attitude will affect your relationship with the members of the search committee.  Therefore, you need to have a positive and optimistic attitude.
  • Isolate the Incident – Stay positive and know that each interview is an isolated event.  In other words, your next interview is disconnected from your previous interviews and you need to be optimistic that your next interview will lead to a job offer.
  • See Setbacks as Temporary Events – Know that you won’t get every job you interview for and that you need to be persistent in your job search.  This is just a part of the job search process.
  • Don’t Take Failure Personally – Quite often a person doesn’t get the job because the position isn’t the right fit for you, or someone else had an “in” with the organization.  Understand this, don’t take it personally, and move on with the process.
  • Remain Calm and Objective – The job search process can be frustrating.  You need to accept this, learn along the way, and stay positive.
  • Take the Long View – Refuse to take the rejection letter personally, and know that it’s a numbers game.  The more interviews you have, the more likely you are to be hired.  It all takes time.
  • Action Exercises – Continually provide yourself with positive self-talk and remind yourself that your situation is temporary.  Stay strong and look at each job interview as not being connected with the previous interview, but recognize when things go wrong.  You will want to analyze your performance from each interview and improve your performance for your next interview.

It took Daniel another two months to land a job as an athletic director at another small college.  He credits his success in securing the job to learning the proper job search skills, and from the teachings of optimism by Brian Tracy.  Daniel is now a big believer in the power of positive thinking.

Remember, ultimately the job will go to the candidate who is prepared and who effectively executes the basics of the job interview process. In all you do, you will want to EXECUTE FOR SUCCESS!

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.