Hi everybody I'm Brian Clapp, Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast!
Let's jump into today's question from Wyatt Phillips:
I hope this message finds you well and ready to start your day after completing your morning meditation and listening to your hype-up playlist (proof I'm staying up-to-date on the show).
I've been passionate about pursuing a career in sports for about a year now. When I first started out, my professors and other mentors told me I needed to conduct informational interviews with accomplished professionals, volunteer where I could, and obtain a full-time internship for the summer. I'm thrilled to share I've accomplished all of those things. However, it seems that many other people in my position have as well.
What can I do in addition to all of this to make myself appealing to an employer in the future? Although I'm very proud of what I've achieved thus far, I feel all of that has been expected of me. Is there something I can do that would go above and beyond what employers are looking for to separate myself from the competition?
Wyatt great question, and since my youngest son is also named Wyatt, I feel it is my moral imperative to answer your question. My Wyatt is 6 years old and entering 1st grade so other than your names you have nothing in common.
He’s also currently running around my house talking about how his dinosaur is misbehaving and needs to go to time out…but hey it’s summer vacation and he’s 6 so he can’t get a job or an internship yet. So instead if you listen closely you may hear him in the background.
Anyway, I digress.
What else? Isn’t that the big question?
First things first, I don’t want you to discount the fact you have conducted informational interviews, volunteered and interned. That’s big, and it puts you ahead of about 50 percent of the people out there.
I know your instinct is saying I feel like that is what everyone is already doing and in a way you are right, the best are.
The top notch people you will be competing with for the best jobs are doing these things. There are also thousands of people who want to work in sports who are doing next to nothing except watching Sportscenter and expecting magic to happen.
You are way ahead of them.
Before we get into new ideas, let’s go a little deeper on the old ones.
Resist the temptation to view suggestions as things on your to do list.
Professor told me to do informational interviews – check
Internships – check!
Volunteer – check!
All done, what’s next.
I don’t want to assume you aren’t, but just as a reminder to everyone, you want to do all these things thoroughly and completely.
Here’s what I mean. When you do an informational interview, this is step one of building a relationship with someone in the industry. Step 1.
You need to build off of this interaction. Send a hand written thank you card, if you find an article related to their industry send it to them within an email saying hey I was just reading this and it reminded me of some of the subject we spoke about in our conversation – hope all is well.
Set up a google alert for their name or their business, and be aware of what is happening with them – be ready with congrats, or just saw this news that is so awesome! Stuff like that. Start a dialogue, not by asking for things but by providing them.
If they are the right people, they will be firmly entrenched in your network, and that is much better than spending just 30 minutes with them one time over coffee.
Same with internships – while you are on the internship are you taking the time to get to know the people at all levels of the organization, are you following up with them, are you taking on extra tasks, are you building your professional reputation?
Are you still talking to the people you have met at your internship? If not, you are just going through the motions which is not enough.
Don’t just volunteer at an event, get to know people, follow up with them, keep in touch. It’s not about the tasks you complete, it’s about the relationships you build.
That’s the truth. Go the extra mile in all of these steps.
But let’s talk about some additional strategies, assuming you did all the other task thoroughly.
Listen to the podcast episode to learn all the other strategies to land your dream job in sports!