Should I Take a Job Outside of Sports? Work In Sports Podcast

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

Big week this week! 

Coming up on Wednesday is my interview with Raleigh Anne Gray -- Raleigh is incredibly impressive -- having worked at ESPN, Twitter, The Players Tribune and currently at Wasserman.

Get this -  at Wasserman, she is the senior director of athlete exchange -- which means, she works directly with the athletes Wasserman represents to help them build their brand and audience. 

Dream job.

And as if that wasn’t enough -- she also launched Must Love Sports a sports company dedicated to helping people in the sports industry connect and learn from one another. During the corona quarantine, she said to herself… how can I help? She identified students aren’t able to complete their internship requirements to graduate, so she created a virtual internship session, utilizing all of her industry contacts to put together a curriculum and program to help students… for free. 

355 students enrolled. 

Can you tell I’m a big fan of Raliegh… stay tuned for that on Wednesday. 

Also, later today I’m interviewing Mlissa Silberman, Director of Partnership Activation for the Atlanta Hawks, and leter this week I’m bringing back returning champion Joan Lynch from Working nation to discuss how sportsindustry employment will change in the near future.

For those of you who are long time listeners, Joan was on the show last year and was one of our most popular guests. She knows employment, and as one of the main people behind the 30 for 30 series on ESPN, she knows sports. 

I’ve also booked some other really cool guests in the coming weeks so make sure to stay tuned, subscribe, all that good stuff. 

Also, if you are a professor listening, it’s time for you to check out our sports career game plan -- we have an online curriculum that will knock your socks off. Perfect for the online world we are migrating towards. 120 pages of carer changing content, over 3 hours of videos, downloadable worksheets and checklists, quizzes, assignments and more. 

It is a living textbook - growing with your students and preparing them to enter the sports world. If I just piqued your interest… email me, and I’ll show you the goods.

And for the rest of you who aren’t professors… tell your professors about it. 

And for the rest of you that aren’t in school -- well, tell someone. 

Alright let’s get into today’s question -- Oh one quick note, every once in a while Apple podcasts will send me all the most recent reviews of the show. Thankfully, we have 194 ratings and a 4.9 average --  so you guys and gals like the content -- thank you.

But I found one review quite funny --

Headline: A Not Annoying Podcast 

“Brian has great information, great guests and a great show. He also speaks at a normal speed which is so much better than those slow-talking podcasters speaking in soft tones. I want good info given to me in a normal conversational tone and speed.”

 Cheers to fast talking!

Alright today’s question comes from Nick S who it looks like just finished getting his MBA at Jacksonville State University -- Congrats Nick:

Nick writes in --

Hey Brian!

Just finished the newest Gap Year episode. I took my gap year before grad school, and just graduated in May with my MBA. Perfect timing right? I obviously want to work in sports, but I feel the need to get a job as soon as possible. Do you think that it would be viable to accept a position in a business, and be able to switch to the sports industry down the road? I have no idea what to do if I were to receive, say, a marketing offer from a business company rather than a sports team. 

Great question Nick -- let’s get into it. 

I obviously have feelings on this and I will share them shortly, but no joke immediately after you sent me this, I was on Twitter and I saw friend of the show Dior Ginyard post a response to your question. 

For those of you that haven’t listened, Dior is a senior player manager for the NFLPA, and one of our great past guests. Love Dior. 

And he said:

I am 100% in agreement with this, but I have more than 280 characters to express my feelings, so I’ll go into greater depth than Dior. But the headline Nick, and everyone listening, is hell yeah -  expand, take the opportunity, always think about the skills you are learning and how they eventually will translate back to sports. 

Last year I spoke with W. David Livingston, who at the time was the President of the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football. No need to get into the AAF, other than to say the AAF seems like it was a decade ago… and it was like a year ago. 

I swear 2020 is a drag. 

Anyway, David’s resume is incredibly impressive. Cleveland Cavaliers, IMG, Spectra -- do you know where his first job was after getting his MBA? Brand Management with Procter and Gamble - nowhere near the sports industry. 

After two years at P&G hee transitioned directly to sports. 

I could tell you 100 more stories like this, working in sport does not require starting in sports. It requires skill development that will make you impactful in the industry, and that can be learned almost anywhere. 

Look, I am a hound for the big names, I love having CNN/Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports on my resume because it immediately gives me credibility, but it also taught me industry bet practices I learned organization, business structure, accountability -- I observed top leaders and creators, I was immersed in the best technology and approaches.  

My advice -- do not wait for a job in sports if you have other opportunities. Or even more so, don’t be afraid to actively look outside of sports. And this is coming from someone who works for a sports job board - so you know I am being honest!

1: Look for the best opportunity to improve in the right ways.

2: learn skills that are in demand - know what is needed for your ultimate return to sports

3: Employers look for outside vision and knowledge

4: you are so much better off =on your resume to have consistent employment, than long layoffs. Take the good gig, set a plan to get back into sports after learning and growing. 

Hope that helps Nick! 

Everyone tune in on Wednesday for my friend Raleigh Ann Gray!

By Brian Clapp | July 13, 2020
Sign In or Register to access all articles and insider tips for help in your job search.

Search for Sports Jobs