Students who participate in athletics are constantly balancing practice, conditioning, travel time to away games, missed classes, and sometimes recovery or therapy resulting from injuries. Despite these complicating factors, student-athletes have a unique skillset that they can provide to employers. Student athletes are both achievement oriented and resilient – when faced with obstacles and challenges, their dedication and work ethic learned through years of playing experiences often helps them to find and identify solutions.
In addition to being strong team players, student athletes, in many cases, standout as strong communicators as well. Having worked for a “boss” or a coach, and addressing issues with teammates on and off the field has equipped athletes with the ability to communicate effectively. Identifying both your athletic as well as your academic talent as strengths will help you to be successful, giving you the knowledge to leverage your athletic experience and the skills you have developed in a variety of ways to help you prepare for and transition into a successful career.
What do I know about myself?
Many employers find that hiring student athletes is very wise; however, there is often a disconnect between employer and student perception of these qualifications. While students develop a multitude of transferable skills through their athletic experience, many often struggle when it comes to recognizing the value of their time as a student athlete. If you are a student athlete preparing to enter the job market, it is important to remember that the skills and values you have gained over a lifetime of competing and mastering a sport is extremely valuable in your search for a career. Some of the transferable skills student athletes have developed through athletic participation include:
|leadership||execution of tasks|
|ethics and proper conduct||goal-setting|
What are my options?
Particularly as upperclassmen, student athletes often face scheduling challenges due to commitments, such as practice and games, which are typically not faced by their non-athlete peers.
Meeting with a career counselor may be helpful to you for a number of reasons, including:
- Understanding what you bring to the table as a Student Athlete - as you consider your athletic and academic accomplishments, we suggest reviewing them with others as well to consider:
- What skills and experiences do I have that best overlap with what employers are seeking?
- If I want to demonstrate my value to a company or organization, what can or do I highlight from my experience?
- How can I list or describe my experience in a way that will mean something to a hiring manager who has little experience with hiring and managing student athletes?
- What has playing sports at the collegiate level taught me about myself and how have I grown because of it?
- What does being a student athlete say about me as a job candidate?
- Find a mentor
- When you are faced with the pressures of being a student athlete, it can often be most helpful to speak with someone who understands your experience. Career Development or the Athletics Department on campus may be able to help connect you to a mentor. A mentor will be able to offer useful advice regarding the ways in which they were able to prioritize their own career development during their time in college.
- Student athletes may have fewer options for immersive experiences
Developing a Plan
· Making Connections
o As a student athlete, it is hard to find time to be able to attend career fairs and information sessions. In order to stand out to employers, reach out to them and introduce yourself. Make sure to demonstrate to employers your interest in the company and, most importantly, the skills that you have learned through your commitment to athletics. Employers are often very receptive when a student takes the initiative to introduce him or herself and goes out of his or her way to show interest in a position.
o You can communicate with employers about the extent of your time commitments as a student athlete. Most of the time, you will find that employers are excited to hire student athletes.
Laws and Policies
Questions you may want to ask an employer
When talking with employers, you must effectively package and market yourself in a way that demonstrates all of the soft skills that you have developed throughout your experience as a student athlete. Use your athletic participation as a way to set yourself apart from your peers.
· Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC)
o SAAC Members serve as student athlete mentors for their team concerning student athlete affairs, including Academic Excellence, Athletic Excellence, Personal Development, Career Development and Community Service. They are dedicated to representing the interests of our fellow student-athletes for the betterment of athletics at LVC.
Career Development, Job Search, and Networking Resources
This site, specifically for student-athletes, provides job postings for athletics (approx. 99%) and non-athletics (approx. 1%), as well as content geared toward assisting student athletes.
While this page specifies that it is for non-athletes, this could be a valuable resource for student athletes that could assist them in getting careers related to their sport (that aren’t playing careers). The information serves as excellent cursory information to these fields, and provides a thorough list of resources in addition.
Online career network built by athletes for athletes.