5 Career Questions Commonly Asked by Student-Athletes

As athletes, your schedule frequently consists of long hours of practice, competition, and constant collaboration amongst teammates and coaches. While in college, that leaves little to no room for internships, networking, and other jobs. By the end of your collegiate career, you might have a chance to compete at the next level in your sport, but eventually, you must move on to a new profession. Moving to your life after athletics is the most common issue among student-athletes, below you will find 5 questions frequently asked with explanations to help you move forward.

1. What can I do with little to no experience?

Student-athletes frequently struggle to find time to gain work experience. Their schedules, especially in season, prevent them from working on anything other than their sport and studies. This makes an internship or “real” job unattainable for the majority of their college careers. Though this may feel like a hindrance to your ability to find a job after school, you actually have an advantage. Being an athlete, you have gained all the traits that employers search for through the lessons you learn playing sports. These traits include competitive nature, teamwork skills, leadership, great work ethic, time management, and collaboration. Demonstrating these traits to your future employer is key to landing and maintaining a position. Look for companies that frequently hire student-athletes and use your athletic experiences as evidence that you are the right person for the job.

2. How can I gain experience?

If you are in a position where you are able/need to gain working experience, an internship is where you should look first. Internship opportunities can become available at any time. Take advantage of the available time that you may have, and start looking for an opening in a field that you are interested in. If you need help finding an opportunity, utilize your college career readiness program. In most cases, they will already have connections to companies and be able to set you up with an internship in the field you desire.

3. How do I network?

You network daily and may not realize it. In general, networking is all about who you know, and who they can connect you with. Social media, especially LinkedIn, can be a great tool to help you build your network in an effective and efficient manner. The most effective way to network however is by contacting people you know personally to ask about opportunities. You will find that these connections will lead to opportunities that may not be known to the public and give you the upper hand in landing a position.

4. What type of career is right for me?

To properly answer this question, you must look inward and ask yourself, what is most important to me? A good place to start is to envision the type of lifestyle you will be happy living and what you value most in life. Once you have identified your key values, research jobs that would align with those values. Start by looking for opportunities in a field you are interested in, your major, and a location that you would like to live in. More than likely, your first job will not be your last job. Be open-minded and choose something that will start you on a path toward happiness and fulfillment.

5. Which jobs should I apply for?

Apply for positions that you are qualified for. At this point in your life, you will probably need to be looking more for entry-level positions in a field that you are interested in. Read the qualifications and requirements on the job posting and be sure that your resume is at least 80% compatible with the specific posting. Align and tailor your resume to the job listing you desire. Use your experiences from your athletic career as evidence that you have the necessary skills for this position.

Finding your career can be stressful but you have the skills and traits desirable in the “real world.” Stay confident, open-minded, and hungry. You will find the right fit for you!

About Game Plan

Game Plan’s comprehensive software platform integrates mobile-first eLearning as well as virtual mentorship and career services, uniquely designed for athletic organizations. Game Plan works with 875+ athletic departments and organizations with over 240,000 courses completed yearly. Our eLearning courses provide student-athletes ultimate access and flexibility while equipping both athletics departments and the conference office management tools and insight to ensure outstanding experiences and outcomes. To learn more about Game Plan, please visit wearegameplan.com.