Most athletes know that sports are about so much more than winning. When you participate in athletics, you acquire essential life skills and build relationships that last a lifetime. Being an athlete is part of who you are long after you are actively involved in a sport. However, have you ever considered how it can help you land a job? These are three areas in which having an athletic background can actually give you a huge advantage:
Your athletic background is a great way to meet people that can help advance your career. Often, it allows you to find common ground when connecting with others. You can network with professionals that played sports in college, whether that’s the same sport or different. Additionally, you can find an even deeper connection if you both played sports for the same university. Typically, in this situation, people will feel a deeper level of familiarity and relatability because they understand what it’s like to compete for the same team. They have been in your shoes, literally and figuratively! Find these networks by exploring the large number of groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that are made just for former and current athletes.
Participating in athletics requires many of the same skills that apply to the professional world. There is a great deal of cross over between the soft skills of athletes and the soft skills that hiring managers are looking for in candidates. Some applicable workplace skills that are acquired by being an athlete include:
- Time Management
Due to your athletic background, you are bound to have plenty of stories of failure and success. These anecdotes can be a great way to demonstrate your growth and education. Focus on examples of your leadership and team-building skills when thinking of sports-related stories you can leverage to answer any interview question. Arrive at your interview armed with examples of persevering against all the odds, performance under pressure, and long-term commitments to which you stayed true.
Your athletic experience can be a great selling point for you as a candidate. Utilize your background and lessons learned to connect with hiring managers, impress during your interview, and show your true self throughout the hiring process.