I’m fond of saying, “While I haven’t seen it all yet, I’m getting pretty close.” Seems like a flippant comment during these troubling times, but it does provide a bit of a reminder.
We can’t lose sight that there are many days ahead of us and, if we are fortunate to live long, there will be things we experience that are expected, surreal, pleasantly surprising, dumbfounding, and outlandish. We will see a great deal and the adventure will take decades to unfold and the notable moments will take years to reveal themselves.
Having been fired three times in my career, I’m empathetic about what many sports administrative professionals are going through these days. Given that two of my dismissals happened before the age of 30, I keep a vigil for those future stars who, at a critical time in their journeys, are being washed with a full range of emotions.
During your sports life, there are (what I believe to be) 10 action items to consider when hunting for the next great opportunity. Much like restaurant reviews on Yelp, my opinion about this menu may be much different than someone else’s.
Here we go:
1) Resume Reconstruction – My guess is you’ve massaged your document several times over the past few weeks. Do it again, but this time, craft a story about your time in the industry in a way that it is truly a representation of your personality and experience. Not sure what I mean? Stare at your resume for a while, and then compare it to another’s and then ask yourself, “Is this authentic and is it compelling?”
2) Social Media Audit – Once again, I’ll lean on the word “personality.” Do your social posts accurately reflect your style, your identity, and your character? While I don’t want paranoia to set in, be remined that those who receive your resume will mine your social accounts for insights. Take inventory of all your posts and decide what should stay and what should be deleted.
3) Feedback from Friends – If you’ve not gathered a group of trusted friends to be your council of advisors, consider bringing some folks together who can tell you like it is. To be direct, assemble five or six people to tell you who they see when they think of you. From time-to-time, touch base with them to get a check up on you.
4) Reflections on Strategy – Conduct your own status check, quietly, to ensure you’ve given quality thought to the steps you’ve taken and the plan you have moving forward. Ask yourself, “Was the last search all that I wanted it to be? Am I repeating some of the same elements during this search?” Whether you crushed it last time or took an ill-advised step, give yourself a lesson from the younger you to help the candidate you want to be today.
5) Identify Landmines – Survey the landscape, map where the traps are, and openly discuss with your council of advisors the don’ts that you recognize. If you believe there are things you shouldn’t do or say during your search, bounce them off others to make sure they agree with your discoveries.
6) Develop a Contact Philosophy – This is like a communications or marketing plan for your own life. Once again, ask yourself to consider, “What is my approach in staying in touch with hiring managers, colleagues, and those who may have a level of influence?” Understanding your philosophy of how and when you communicate, as well as the touch points you will convey at designed intervals is key (and the importance of this cannot be overstated)!
7) Navigate the Course and Don’t Worry About Other Players – Although we hear this golf analogy often, I love it when it comes to the job search. There is only one candidate/one player you need to worry with, and that person is you. Focus on the clubs in your bag and the plan you’ve put into place and don’t waste energy thinking about how others choose to approach a particular job opening.
8) “Are You Pursuing a Job or a Lifestyle?” – Some years ago, I developed the question and began asking it to those who are examining their next move. Every one of us are at a different place in our sports lives, and there are certain things that we are willing to do and not willing to sacrifice. I feel that you must answer the question of pursuit as you pursue your future.
9) If You Can, Run to a Job and Not Away from Unemployment – Not being employed sucks. Being in a job in which you are miserable sucks even more.
10) Be Calculated, Be Bold – Know the benefits and consequences of your actions in a search while exhibiting a confidence that you know stirs within you. You got this!
If you want to take a deeper dive about how you will go about securing that next great opportunity in your sports life, let’s set time for a video call. The best way to get that conversation started is by dropping me a note inside the calendar widget at 2dconsultingllc.com/career-coaching/.
The 2D “W.I.N. Coaching” service was launched through a partnership with CoSIDA and the service is open to all college and professional sports administrators, at all levels and disciplines (marketing, communications, development, facilities management, etc).