How to Build Your Professional Network in the Sports Industry
Competition is especially high for jobs in the sports industry. Whether you want to market, promote, coach, commentate, or become an athlete yourself, you’re going to have to fly past a long line of people to make your way to the top.
Networking can increase your chances of success. Sometimes, it’s not what you know – it’s who you know.
Building a reliable, strong network in the industry can open the door to the career of your dreams; and in order to make this happen you need to approach the matter in the correct way!
Here are five tips to help you build your professional network.
Take College Courses
Taking college courses related to athletics, such as sports management, can help you find other individuals with goals that are similar to yours. You aren’t the only one who needs to network, and you’d be surprised to find how often college ties will become meaningful opportunities.
As classmates eventually graduate and enter the workforce in various parts of the country and industry, you now have a built-in network of friends and peers.
Attend Industry Events and Expos
You’ll probably enjoy yourself at industry events and expos, so nobody will need to pull your leg to get you to come out and socialize.
While you’re having fun, you’ll be able to meet a decent number of professionals who have already established themselves in the industry. You never know who is hiring, and it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just don’t push yourself onto people – take a casual approach to these social interactions, allowing your knowledge and expertise to shine.
Many sports specific career conferences will allow you to rub elbows with important people in the industry, while also being surrounded by like-minded individuals who you can learn from and share information with.
Start a Sports Blog
There’s a blog for everything. Starting one is easy, and maintaining one only takes a small amount of time out of your day.
It’s especially easy to write on subjects you’re passionate about, and you might find that you enjoy being a sports writer.
Regularly updating a useful sports blog can create a multitude of opportunities for you. You may find yourself in a position to meet and interview individuals who are more successful than you are. You can also exchange guest posts with other sports bloggers to grow your audience and provide you with the opportunity to make more connections.
Become a Guest Author For Sports Sites
Look at me!
With this article, I'm officially a guest author for WorkinSports.com now, and from doing this I'll expand my network to include all the people that read this article. If you have a sports blog, as we suggest above, guest writing is a great way to reach a bigger audience than you currently have.
Most sites love to get guest authors because new material provides a different point of view. Plus, you'll often get a link back to your twitter profile and/or sports blog which helps build your brand in the industry you choose.
Complete an Internship
Internships and volunteering won’t pay the bills, but they will give you meaningful experience that looks good on a resume.
Being able to work for a company you admire can help you perfect your skills. You may even find that there are certain aspects of the industry that speak better to your personal talents, causing you to deviate from your original goal. Use these opportunities to explore your strengths. If you do a good enough job, the people who matter will notice.
You never know when a paying job is going to pop up, so it helps to be in the right place at the right time.
Good things come to those who wait, and in order to secure a thriving career in the sports industry, you’re going to have to exercise a great deal of patience. If you’re dedicated enough and consistent in your approach, you’ll see that your hard work pays off in the end.
It may feel discouraging at times, but don’t give up. After all, quitters never win!
Guest author Zoe Anderson is an employee at StudySelect. She’s keen on learning about new branding strategies and digital marketing tools. She’s also interested in the eLearning trends.
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