Unfortunately there is no defined career path in sport. Unlike in other more mature and more structured industries, you need to be in control of your career in sport, otherwise there is a danger you will drift and not fulfil your own ambitions and expectations.
As sport carries a hugely varied set of sectors and is not helped by this lack of structure, it is absolutely critical that you identify areas of interest.
Through judgement but not necessarily right, GlobalSportsJobs identifies ten different sectors in the industry.
- Agencies and Sponsors
- Clubs and Teams
- Education and Charities
- Elite Performance and Coaching
- Federations and LOCs
- Leisure & Health
- Media, Technology & Broadcast
- Science & Medicine
- Sporting Goods
- Venues & Suppliers
You will need to think which areas are of interest to you and are aligned to your skills.
Within each sector sits another layer of sub-sectors and therefore decisions. For example, agencies and sponsors can include communications, marketing, business development etc. You will need to investigate these areas in order of priority. Make the most out of books, internet, networking and social media to:
- Read around the subject
- Read about key people in the sector already
- Look at job specifications to get a better feel for the skills required
- Learn about the organisations that make up these subsectors – what do they do, how they do it etc.
- Look at LinkedIn – people that have worked for these companies in the past – what do they do now? What has been their career path?
Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself - is this type of sector right for me? Can I see myself in this type of role? Working in sport is not all glamour. Jobs in the industry often require long hours and thankless tasks in a rapid and fast-growing industry.
- Ask yourself where you believe this job will lead you
- What career path might start to look like
- Is it right for me and am I right for it?
Just be careful – if it has sport in the title it doesn’t make it right or even perfect.
- Research is critical
- Reading around the subject and the people is key
- Applying it to your own skills and ambitions is the art
- Being honest with yourself is important to ensure you are in a position to fulfil your ambition