Rebranding Yourself to Switch Into a Career in Sports
You may have worked in another field for years or even decades, earning experience in that particular field along the way, but now you’re ready to switch things up. However, you worry about whether a hiring manager will consider you when your resume doesn't show any relevant experience in sports.
The problem isn’t your experience. The problem is your branding.
As Phil Rosenberg points out, “Most job seekers brand themselves based on their past job title, rather than their anticipated job title.” That is a huge mistake. He adds, “Your resume isn’t a timesheet, a diary, or an autobiography … it’s a marketing tool to convince your reader that you’re the best candidate for the job.”
That is not to say that you have to lie; whether you realize it or not, your previous work probably gave you experience beyond your title. For example, if your title was a writer, you didn’t just gain experience in writing; you may have also gained editing, marketing, and publishing skills.
Therefore, if you want to switch your career focus from writing to content publishing, don’t call yourself a writer – call yourself a content publisher. Even better if you have a website with sample work showing your wide array of experience and highlighting your expertise.
Keep in mind that you can create new work to highlight your skills.
If you’re an artist looking to dive into sports marketing, create a new logo for some of your favorite teams or ideas on how to update their current advertising schemes.
If you want to become a scout or scouting reporter, start a blog on the up-and-comers you’re following.
Coach hopefuls should be prepared with smart, strategic playbooks as well as ideas on improving each area of play, fan involvement, and team cohesion.
Be ready to show your work and get excited to talk about it. The more you can show your genuine enthusiasm, the better!
Turn your Experience into an Asset
Forbes says you can rebrand your previous roles to having relevant experience in almost any field. Think about the various duties you’ve had throughout your career and how they are not only relevant to a job in sports, but pertinent.
Maybe you’ve never done any formal sports broadcasting, but you regularly gave presentations that required you to engage and excite your audience — that’s valuable public speaking experience.
If you’re looking to become an agent, think about the kinds of business deals you’ve had to make and crises you’ve handled (even personal ones) on the fly, and brand yourself as an experienced, quick-thinking problem solver.
Present yourself as a marketing coordinator if you've been doing marketing-type work as a regular part of your current (or former) job. As Forbes points out, “no one will see the relevance until you see it first and call it out in your resume.”
Since you’re changing careers, the traditional job-search methods are not your best bet, notes Career Shifters. Take advantage of job sites and be consistent with submitting applications — claiming your new title, of course!
Be sure to network, as well.
Networking means reaching out to people who can help you, and then asking them who else they know that you could talk to. It’s like a domino effect.
- Broadcast your intentions because people can't help you switch careers if they don't know you're trying to do it
- Talk to strangers
- Utilize Meetup, a great way to find new and interesting people in your area
- Get accountable by getting a friend to hold you to your weekly goals
- Write a letter to a business or a charity that inspires you, and then see what happens
You’re also building a team of supporters who will be in your corner throughout your venture. Building a support network is a crucial part of making a successful career switch.
I Know I Want to Work in Sports, but Where?
If you only know that you’re miserable at your current job, but you have no idea exactly which sports career to switch to, that’s fine. Some suggest you should imagine what you would do with your time if you were able to take an entire year off work.
Once you have a list of what you would do, ask yourself, “What part of this most excites me?” Then think of all the different careers that could give you some of the part that excites you. For example, if you want to write a book, what part of writing a book inspires you? If it’s expressing yourself, maybe you want to become a sports columnist. If it’s arguing for an important idea, maybe a career in sports management or advertising is right for you.
Making a career shift may be a scary life change, but staying in a field that doesn’t give you enjoyment or fulfillment in life is far scarier.
Have patience that the right opportunity will come up, and don’t be discouraged if you get passed over for a job. Learn from each experience, and in time you just might find yourself in the sports career you’ve dreamed of!
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.