Take this Sports Job or Shove It? Work in Sports Podcast e155

What if you get a job offer but aren't sure it's the right fit? Here are some scenarios to consider when accepting a sports job.

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Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

I have to admit I was kind of bummed yesterday that there was no football. That’s the thing about sports, you go for months keeping up with your team, reading articles, scouring transaction wires, listening to podcasts…and then it’s done.

My team won the Super Bowl this year, but the celebration doesn’t last for the fans really… I miss being in season and getting excited or panicked over every moment. I miss the drama of the game.

It’s almost like cooking a great meal – you spend 2 hours getting it ready, and then everyone eats in 10-15 minutes. Then you clean up for an hour. The joyous part was so small in perspective.

I’m not trying to sound like a selfish, spoiled fan… I’m actually remarking how much fun the season is, and then how sad it can be when it’s over.

This will wear off – I’ll transition to NBA and NHL…maybe check some college hoops and get ready for baseball. But I always get a little out of sorts after the end of the football season. Maybe it’s the weather too – it’s nasty here in philly. I’m ready for spring.

Before I get into today’s question – did anyone watch the AAF? I know I’m talking about the end of football, and I could have chosen to watch the AAF…but I just couldn’t do it. What about you?Did you try out the new league? Any thoughts?

I’d love to hear your take – if you are a member of our private facebook group head over there and let me know if you watched any of the AAF games and what you thought. If you aren’t a member, JOIN! Head over to facebook, type in the Work in Sports podcast in the search bar, answer a few quick questions and join in the group.

Not only are there great discussions on sports careers, but there are also tons of people looking to network and learn from each other – including many of our expert guests!

Speaking of which, Wednesdays Work in Sports podcast will feature Tiara Brown, Charlotte Hornets Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility – such a growing and important sector of the sports industry, Tiara shares a ton of her experience in working with the community in Charlotte.

Alright let’s get into today’s question --- this is a subject I want to expand upon after it was brought up during our Facebook Live session on Thursday at 7:30pm EST. For those of you that haven’t joined the LIVE yet you really should.

I pick a teachable theme each week – so we’ve covered topics like how to network on social media, mastering your cover letter, and leveraging LinkedIn… I talk about that subject in a very actionable way for the first 20-30 minutes… then I open up the floor to everyone in attendance – the questions fly in and I try to handle them all. They can expand on the theme, or they can be in a totally different direction. They can be general advice on something like interning, or they could be very specific to you and your needs.

It is all fair game --- and it is a lot of fun. Again, it happens every single Thursday at 7:30pm EST on the Work in Sports facebook page – not the podcast group – that’s different – we’re doing this from our main corporate page to reach as many people as possible.

OK, so the question this past week came in from Gregory – big fan of the show and great contributor –

He asked –

Hey Brian – do you think it’s a bad idea to turn down a job if you feel it may not be the best fit, but want to keep the possibility of another job with that team?

So sounds like Gregory has an opportunity to take a job with a team that he wants to work for…but isn’t sure this exact opportunity is the right fit.


This is where we get raw and honest…I think a lot of people would tell you not to take a job if you think it’s the wrong fit, they’d tell you don’t forget how powerful you are, and that you get to make decision in this process as well, and you are deciding your future with each move so don’t take a step that won’t make you happy…

Well, all that is good…but in my mind it is naïve.

Yes, you want to be 100% happy, you want to drive towards your goals, you want to find the perfect fit and pay your bills and put money in the bank and feel great going to work every day… you want a job you can brag about to friends and feel socially validated.

All of that is great stuff…and it should be your goal, but to reach goals you have to take steps. You don’t start at the finish line… you have to chase the finish line, you have to run out of breath, you have to think about quitting and you have to push through.

Now this is not some overly masculine grit and spit and determination speech… because I hate that crap too. This is about setting your sights on a target and taking the steps to achieve it.

If you have identified an organization that represents your dream scenario – you take any opportunity you can to get inside those walls.   

Here’s why.

1: Opportunity comes from the inside out.

In a few of my previous career stops I did a lot of hiring staff, and my GM and I had a philosophy that overtime I have realized wasn’t just ours. Rather it was quite the norm.

Let’s say we had 10 job openings in a year – we would try to fill 50% of the openings with someone from the outside, and 50% of the openings with internal promotions.

Let me explain why.

We’d hire from the outside when we had a stellar candidate that came from a business and had experience we thought could help change the overall intellect of our operation. They could bring new ideas, new enthusiasm and some additional credibility to our staff. They’d change the operation in a good way.

The other 50% of the time, we’d promote from within – and this happened for a couple of reasons. We had identified someone deserving, they knew our way, our culture and our process so the ramp up time would be quick.. they’d be up and running in the role immediately… and finally and most important, it sent a message to the entire staff, if you work hard there is a career path for you here, there is growth, there is opportunity.

When I promoted someone from within, the buzz in the office was palpable. People loved it. And I made sure I made a big deal about it… it wasn’t some one day they are an Associate producer, the next day they are a producer type deal. We’d make it a big deal, I wanted everyone to know we looked far and wide and the best talent we had was right here all along.  

Why is this important in this discussion – because if you have identified an organization you really want to work for, get in the door, be that person who becomes known for their hard work, their willingness to do it all, to learn to grow and to push the role to new heights.

Every job is a long running interview. Seriously it is, every day you are proving yourself to your superiors and telling them either – I’m the person who is going to be CMO some day, or I’m the person who will probably top out at Director.

If you take this job, you have the chance t prove yourself day in and day out within the organization you’ve identified as wanting to be in.

2: Less competition for the internal promotions  -- if you take this job and you are in the building and you have proven yourself, you have narrowed the competition for yourself for the next opportunity that you really want.

I’ve already shown how important it is to be in the building because those internal promotions come knocking… and it’s much easier for a manager to promote from within. There’s less interviewing, less background checking, less relocation concerns, less training etc. Promoting from within is easy and great.  

But now think of it this way… who are you competing with for an internal promotion.. 1-2 other people? Which is better, competing with two co-workers, or the entire job marketplace? If you are on the outside looking in, you are competing with the rest of the job marketplace…and those internal people who already have a leg up on you!

3: The message it sends.

I hate to admit this, but if you turn down an opportunity with an org, it makes it less likely they’ll look your way the next time around.

Example #1 – Josh McDaniels – think teams were clamoring to hire him away from the patriots this year after he spurned the colts last year? Nope. Trust was broken. Now it’s not the same for you, as an everyday worker, but Josh is a good example. If you turn down an opportunity within an org, chances are they’ll look past you next go round.

I say take the gig – prove yourself, take your lumps a little even if it’s not the perfect fit… but crush it anyway, and get that big promotion in the future.

Alright that should cover Greg’s question – I’ll remind everyone again, Wednesday’s guest is Tierra brown Charlotte hornets Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Thursday we’ll have another great Facebook LIVE session – I know it’s Valentine’s day, but you should still tune in at 7:30pm EST, we’re going to be talking about the power of volunteering for your sports career and I have a special guest who will be joining me – so tune in then!

By Brian Clapp | February 11, 2019
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