Sunday, August 9, 2009

How Badly Do You Want to Work in Sports, part 2

The job market for sports has generally always been tough. Now, as with the general job market, it's so much worse. Honestly, how hard are you searching for your job or how hard are you willing to search? Are you graduating in May and planning on waiting to start until January (bad idea) to start your job search? If you don't find a job immediately, are you going to take something else outside of sports and continue looking? Or are you willing to take an internship? Or are you going to sue your school for not helping you find placement and sue because of the stress you've had to go through for a whopping three month job search (see article)?

Here's the reality. The sports job market, hell, even the market for sports internships, flat out sucks right now! I have a friend who is a facility manager in Colorado. He had an open coordinator position (entry level) last month. He was getting resumes for this job from people who had been managers and directors and lost their jobs. One of the interviewees for the my book (A Career in Sports: Advice from Sports Business Leaders) is now CEO of a major sports franchise. He talks about how he interned at Madison Square Garden after grad school and thought he was on this way, then couldn't find a job for eight months after that internship. He sent out over 400 resumes (pre-email) during that time. He took two jobs not in sports so he could pay his bills, but he never stopped looking for a job in sports. I don't think most people now would send out 400 resumes via email today, but that's the type of commitment that made him an NHL team president by the time he was 40 years old. A story I've told many times, and even written about here, my classmate, Kevin Abrams, is the assistant general manager for the New York Giants. After grad school, Kevin worked internships for two years with four different organizations at about $500/month before he was hired as a salary cap analyst by the Giants. Not many people have that kind of persistence.

There are opportunities for people who are persistent. In regards to the student suing her university, I think it's a cop out, personally. I don't care what a college tells anyone, it's not their responsibility to find graduates a job. Maybe a technical school, maybe, but not a college or university. A college education is similar to a hunting license. It provides you an opportunity to bag an alligator (for the Floridians) or a deer or whatever, but it doesn't guarantee you one. Education should be for the sake of knowledge. There are things you can learn to help you increase your likelihood of snagging that gator, but no one is going to find it for you, show you where it is, prepare the capture method, snag it for you, and let you walk away with the proverbial prize. They'll teach you how and give you the opportunity, but the rest is up to you. If you give up after the first or second or third or fourth (or more) attempt, you really didn't want it that badly anyway.

No comments: