A lot is said about networking in the sports industry. Just how important is it to cultivate a network of contacts, and how would you measure it against possessing the skills and a degree in sport?
Networking is a key part of the sports industry. As a relatively small industry it pays dividends to meet people, understand who they are and what they do. Naturally skills are a very important aspect as well – no amount of networking can make up for the inability to perform. Nonetheless contacts are still an essential element of building a successful career in the sports industry and should not be taken for granted.
Are there networking ‘best practices’?
Not really… There aren’t any set do’s and don’t’s, however, it’s important to be yourself. Don’t try to be something you are not – you will eventually get found out. People also don’t like egos, they prefer credibility based on performance.
Is there still a lot of nepotism in sport? And how should the industry go about addressing this?
There certainly is still some, but pleasingly the tide is turning. There is now a recognition that, as the industry continues to grow, the importance of quality talent is increasingly necessary and high on the recruitment agenda.
GlobalSporstJobs has been working hard to address the professional structure of sport by bringing transparency to hiring processes. We believe in innovation – we want to make the sports market ever more accessible and to create opportunity by providing greater visibility for jobs. We want to ensure the industry sustains its accelerated growth by helping educate the market and inspiring a higher quality of talent to join our industry.
And for those looking for that first job in the industry, what resources should they be considering?
They should of course register at GlobalSportsJobs in the market that is most relevant to the candidate. Our multi-language platforms cater to all levels of experience, whether you are just starting out in the industry or looking to progress in your career. Signing up to the Jobs by Email is also a really useful and easy-to-use tool – you set criteria which match your career aspirations and receive job alerts whenever a vacancy that matches these requirements is advertised on our platforms.
Other resources are more specific to the individual. Understanding what you want to do and using your contacts and knowledge to research the areas of interest is paramount. Perseverance and patience are also key – probably not in equal measure, but it is competitive and having a clear and articulate view on what you want to do and what is happening in that market is decisive in demonstrating confidence, expertise and credibility.
Will Lloyd is CEO of GlobalSportsJobs