A Foot in the Door

“I’m willing to work anywhere doing anything in sports, I just want to get my foot in the door.”

I cringe when I inevitably hear this from prospective hires or from students during informationals. The reason is because it tells me you haven’t really thought about why you want to work in sports, what it is you really want to do, and that you don’t really value your time or worth to an organization. Certainly there will be times throughout your career where you’ll have to do odd jobs or things you don’t find the most stimulating or exciting. But why would you potentially put yourself in a position to do something day in an day out that you hate? Here are something things I would think you should be asking yourself if you have ever uttered anything close to the sentence above.

Question 1 – Why do you want to work in sports?

My hope is that there is more to it than “I think sports is cool” or “I love sports”. Working in sports is just like working in any other industry at the end of the day. Yes, it’s a “sexy” sounding industry to work in and there are certain aspects and perks that make working in sports fun. However, having more substance in your answer to this beyond “I love sports” is important – for both you and your future employer.

Question 2 – What do you like to do?

I’ve always said that marrying something that you love to do (function) with an industry you find interesting and engaging goes a very long way in being happy in your job. As such, you should ask yourself what it is you like to do. Are you a math geek who like working with data? How about working within the community? Are you the next big brand marketing Rockstar?

Question 3 – How does the opportunity help you personally or professionally?

You’re not always going to hit a home-run on the job(s) you land – it’s just the way it works sometimes. If you can though, think about how the opportunity in front of you helps you progress either personally or professionally. In turn, how does this progression set you up for future success?

Of course there are other factors that may mitigate some of the above. Sometimes you might have to take one job over another due to financial reasons. If you’re an international student, you may be forced into accepting a position due to visa restrictions, etc. But asking yourself the questions above will hopefully help you