Career Options Beyond Sport

Success in businessJust this week I was chatting to a former professional athlete about career options.  He had already retired from sport for many years and had pursued a second career and now it was time for change again.  Time to find a career that fueled his passion and drive.

I asked him what he was good at….. what where his strengths.  He realized that he hadn’t even considered this, instead labeling his abilities and career prospects by his job title and experience.

Whether one is still active in sport or retiring, it’s never too early to think about what’s next beyond sport.

You probably chose your sport (or your sport chose you) because of your strengths, skills as well as what you liked to do.  Apply this same logic to your second or third career.

Some questions to consider and answer:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I find easy to do?
  • What do I know?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • What would I do, even if I wasn’t paid for it?

Come up with 3 to 5 responses for each to help you decide where you are best focusing on in your future.  These answers can also shape your resume, your marketing and how you sell yourself in interviews and more.

You will also want to consider whether you are cut out for a career in another company, or starting your own business.  Do you have entrepreneurial qualities?

Here’s an interesting read I came across several years ago on athletes that have started their own business while still competing.   These athletes, bound for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games were able to balance their time and make things happen.  The athletes admit it being tough, but the rewards make it worthwhile.

Not everybody is suited to owning their own business.  It takes self-drive, creativity and a willingness to take risks.

The trick is to find what suits your natural traits and ability.  When you do, then opportunities and success flows more naturally and easily just as they do when you are playing in the Zone in your particular sport.

An athlete that takes an active role in their sports career, engineering their own success and managing their own time will be able to easily translate these skills to business.  This mindset includes a commitment to getting things done, a narrow focus and a ‘play to win’ attitude.

Add to this an ability to work around obstacles and overcoming failure, an athlete has a blueprint for success.

Knowing the end goal helps one do the hard stuff – the long hours, the planning, the training or further education.  Don’t wait for one career to end before starting to do the work for the next. Make some time for  planning ahead.

Whether you are still competing or getting ready to retire, consider your strengths and how you can best use them in a new career.  Think about what you love to do (other than sport) and figure out how you can get paid for that.

Want some help with your next career?  A coach/mentor will guide you with an action plan for success.  Learn more.

Annette Lynch is an Olympian, Inspirational Speaker, Author, NLP Practitioner and Athlete Transition specialist - she has coached, taught and inspired audiences world-wide with her Olympic dream, the champion mindset and her recipe for success. "Success beyond Sport' is her 8-Step guide to redesigning life in a 2nd career, combining Annette's experience with her studies and qualifications as a Master Results Coach and NLP Practitioner. Her book is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

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