Choosing the Right Sports Job - Work in Sports Podcast


Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp VP of Content and Engaged Learning at, and this is the Work in Sports podcast.

Let’s jump right into things...actually, I want to make one point first before I get into today’s question - which is a really good one. 

We just reached 17,000 active sports jobs on - 17,281 to be exact. I keep hearing people talk about how competitive it is in the industry right now, and they aren’t wrong… but the jobs are out there. We have them all.

And before you think to yourself, I don’t need to pay for a premium membership to - I have google! You are going to waste so much time doing google searches and you are never going to find thousands of the jobs we have because you don’t even know the employers exist.

We work with over 8,000 sports employers --- we have all the jobs. So make it easy on yourself and start with us, save time, be more efficient. AND for all of you students -- go to… the deal on there is crazy. $30 for a 6-month membership. 

That’s just $5 a month. Save time, find the best sports jobs...and match your resume against the job openings on our website. Oh yeah, it’s true. You don’t have to search through all 17,000 we’ll do th work for you -- upload your resume and we make the computers do the work for us. They look at you, and our 17,000 jobs, badda boom badda bing, you get matches.

It’s awesome.

Ok, today’s question from Joshua in Indiana, 

Hey Brian, everyone always starts out by kissing your you know what, and I guess I’m no different. Just a sincere thanks from this guy, you’ve taught me a ton.

In the last year, I’ve built my network up and been doing your heat checks every 6 months or so…it really works. If people listening don’t know what I’m talking about… you need to take Brian’s gaining the right experience course.

My question -- I have two job offers and I’d love your advice.

One is at my dream company but isn’t in my ideal role or department.

The other is a role I want, but the company is just OK. 

What would you do?

Josh -- thanks for all the kind words and nice job phrasing the question. If you had said “What should I do, I would have gone into a rant about how I can’t make decisions for you, I can only advise… but since you asked what would I do, you gave me cover to answer this in full.

First things first -- thanks for the kind words about our Work In Sports Academy courses, and I’m glad they are really working for you.

Now, what would I do… drum roll please… as long as the job being offered isn’t something way out of the realm, like janitorial work, I’d take the job at the company I really dreamed of working for.

Lots of reasons for this, let’s explain the reasons and then I’ll expand upon a very important concept…

  1. There is pride that comes from being at the company you want
  2. Role is less important at this phase of your career
  3. Resume strength moving forward
  4. You position yourself for upward moves -- explain internal hires.
  5. There is huge upside - moving on up!

Put in a year, and understand the options to move up or into a different department in the organization - find your exact role!

CNN we had people that started out as PA’s and after putting in some time, they moved to PR, on air, promotions, guest booking  etc.

So let’s expand upon this idea of moving departments within an organization. This is assuming you have taken the role at the company you love, even if it isn’t the perfect role. Now we fast forward a year and reevaluate.

1: Do you still love this company?

2: Have your objectives changed? Do you still dream of this other role?

If yes and yes, let’s talk about how. Because remember, I told you it was an advantage to be in the operation rather than at a lesser organization.

  • You have the benefit of being an internal hire - you understand the business, less time to train, more proof of concept, less unknown. You also know the company goals, the challenges it faces and competitors. You have a knowledge advantage over everyone else. 
  • Look for cross-functional opportunities
  • Network in the building
  • Participate in company workshops and training sessions
  • Attend networking events sponsored by the company

So what’s the process -- well, ideally you’ve had many one on one meetings with your manager over the past year, and you’ve expressed some long term goals. I think honesty is really important in this process, it serves you well to be straight, it shows integrity. 

No sneaking around conducting interviews without talking to your current boss first -- this always blows up in your face like a bad romance on a lifetime movie.

So when you see a role open that fits your long-term objectives within the company,  your first conversation should be with your manager, and hopefully, they aren’t all that surprised because you’ve already told them some of your long-term goals.

Now, I know what you are thinking -- if I tell them what I really want they are going to be offended, and are going to blackball me and I’ll never get anywhere.

I’m not going to tell you this never happens, there are some shitty, I mean crappy, bosses out there who are petty and juvenile, who may hold it against you. But the vast majority of employers want to see you grow in the direction you want to go AND realize it makes them look good when you go on to great things in the organization. It reflects well on them!

So, step one, have a good relationship with your manager. We always talk about relationships and how much they matter - it’s not just with your network of contacts of important people in the industry… it’s with your co-workers, managers, and supervisors too.

When you talk to your manager, make sure you frame it the right way -- it isn’t displeasure with them, or that the role you currently have stinks - it’s about your professional growth. Make sure they understand you love being in this organization, you want to keep growing, no matter what happens you are dedicated to your role and job until your status changes.

Make it positive. I know it’s a tough conversation -- handle it delicately, and hopefully the relationship you have built, and the work ethic you have shown to date will help make the whole thing a little easier.

If you’ve been a crappy employee for the first year, don’t even bother. You have to earn everything. If you have a great attitude handle things professionally and do a great job, your boss will likely want to see you succeed.

Most companies will have an internal transfer procedure, but after talking to your boss, and getting their blessing, talk to the new hiring manager, hopefully with an endorsement from your current boss, or talk to your HR rep and ask them the process. 

What if your current boss says -- NO!

Take a deep breath - don’t respond emotionally.

Can I ask why? -- you need to find out do they not think you are ready or are they just not able to let you go? If you are not ready, understand this is likely a move to help you, so ask them if they can help you become ready in the near future.

If they are just not willing to let you go - maybe they are understaffed, or the boss rally depends on you - you have reason to push back. This is for you, and you have to be a bit a respectful way.

So I’ve exanded on this concept a lot, but as you see Josh -- I’d take the job with upside, rather than just focus on the role. And then I’d set a strategy in place to advance to the role I desired, by building a relationship with my manager, being transparent and honest after the first 6 months or so of proving yourself, getting their blessing when a role came up and working through HR or the new hiring manager to get noticed for that role. 

That’s it for today -- tomorrow I am interviewing Joe Cuomo Brooklyn Nets Equipment Manager for Wednesday’s podcast -- very excited!

Talk to you all it’s time to get back to work!

By Brian Clapp | August 26, 2019
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