You did it! Congratulations! You literally beat out the tens of thousands of people applying for jobs in the sports industry. Most people would jump at the opportunity and sign-on immediately. But not you. You're smarter than that. Let me tell you why...
Not all jobs in sports are created equal. For that matter, not all jobs with the same exact title and responsibilities are created equal either - and it is this concept that I want to focus on in this entry.
During the early stages of my full-time career search after college, I received a job offer to join a company. At first I was ecstatic. Then I became cautious. Then I second guessed the whole thing, which caused me to reach out to friends throughout the industry who helped me with some key pieces of advice that I'm going to pass your way and how it relates to looking for a job in the sports industry.
1) Consider the area around you.
Lets be honest, a Billings, Montana is not a New York City. And although there really is only one New York City, there are a lot of cities in the United States that offer similar types of opportunities. The very real truth is that 36 of our 50 states have at least two professional sports teams from either the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, or NHL. Since networking in the sports world never ends, a city with multiple sports teams, agencies, networks, etc will make life easier for you when it comes to expanding your network.
2) Consider your upward mobility.
Are you going to be in a position to eventually earn a promotion? There are a lot of seemingly dead end jobs in the sports industry. Think about the type of role you're going to have, who you're going to have exposure to, and whether or not there is going to be a need for you in 6 months, a year, etc. I'm just saying, I've seen a lot of job postings that have either no upward mobility or are temporary positions that assist an already full department.
3) Consider who you're reporting to.
Now this can be pretty difficult to figure out, but is important that you do your best to determine. Are you going to be reporting to someone that is going to be your advocate and help you get promoted or bring you with them on their promotions? Just be sure to have your manager or boss be someone working with you and not against you.
4) Consider who you'll have access to.
Beyond your manager, what other parts of the business are you going to be able to learn about? Learning your particular job is important, but understanding how all of the moving parts of an organization work together in unison could be equally important for your development and advancement. If you're working in finance but will also have the opportunity to talk to people and learn about the marketing department or ticket sales and how each of those departments function, you'll be in a great spot. Try to understand the big picture.
5) Consider the brand you'll be working for.
Brand isn't everything, but it is something. I hate to say it because it's them, but working for the New York Yankees is going to open more doors than having worked for the Baby Blue Rams of Sanctuary Hill - see what I did there ;) . In all seriousness, consider the power of the brand you'll be working for, whether it's a team, agency, network, etc. Although probably not a deal breaker either way, have an understanding of how it could work in your favor.
6) Consider the length of the commitment.
Apparently I'm super old fashioned when it comes to job commitment. My father and mother (and probably yours for that matter) are from a generation in which it was not uncommon to work for only one, maybe two companies for their entire career. I am of the generation in which it probably won't be uncommon to work for six or seven different organizations by retirement. However, although I may be of this six or seven different organizations generation, I am attracted to the idea of working for one organization for a long period of time so long as it is the right fit and challenges me. Different folks, different strokes no doubt, but also consider how long you want to be somewhere and whether or not you'd be burning a bridge if you leave too quickly.
7) Consider the opportunity for personal growth.
Without going into my own personal philosophy on life and what it's all about and what we should all try to take away from it, take a minute to consider the personal growth opportunity that a position offers you. Are you going to be able to learn and grow as a person and employee? Are you going to be more valuable coming out of a position as you were going into it? If you're going to be running around as a glorified coffee boy, what value are you really obtaining? There is something to be said about "earning your stripes", but just be certain that you are going to grow and learn in the position you are in, or else it's just a flat waste of your time.
All I have to go on are my observations and the encounters that I have had. I would be interested to hear from other people about what they think and what else they would include that I may have missed.
Oh and if you actually did get an offer, congrats!