Your network may be your most prized yet neglected resource for finding a job in Sports.
“WHO YOU KNOW” is likely to be just as important to finding an opportunity in Sports as “WHAT YOU KNOW.”
You must first identify who defines your current network before you can develop, expand and use networks in the job search process through the use of prospecting, networking and informational interviewing techniques.
Identify Your Network
Everyone has a network in sports, whether you realize it or not. It consists of individuals you know and interact with and who influence your behavior.
Perhaps you regularly meet with 10 people on a daily basis. These individuals may constitute the most important members in your network: spouse, neighbors, boss, fellow workers, professional colleagues, friends and acquaintances.
You know their characteristics, how they behave and what degree they relate to you. Your behavior changes and your relationship differs based on the person you deal with every day. While not as important to you on a daily basis, many of these individuals may play critical roles during certain times of your life.
All should be included in your network. But what about the people you want to contact for a job and what if your current network doesn’t have any relationship to your desired Sports Career?
For those just breaking into sports, there are many problems to solve simultaneously:
1. What is your Career Objective?
2. How do you uncover the Unpublished Jobs?
3. How do you access Decision Makers and developers on all relationships?
4. How do you develop Self-marketing and Interviewing skills in order to acquire these opportunities?
Develop a Contact List
One of the best ways to identify Members in your network or identify those you want in your network is to develop a contact list. Begin by making a list of 250 people you know and a list of 250 people/organizations in Sports you don’t know but want to know.
The first list will most likely include relatives, neighbors, fellow workers, former employers, alumni, friends, acquaintances, bankers, doctors, lawyers, ministers and professional colleagues.
The second list should represent a pool of people and organizations you want in your network. Think of your Special Interest Group and area in which you are pursuing work. In order to build a pool of 250,
Follow these steps:
1. Top 50 companies/organizations you would love to work FOR
2. Top 50 individuals you would love to work WITH
3. List 50 other highly respected companies/organizations in your Special Interest Group.
4. List 50 other highly respected individuals in your Special Interest Group.
5. List 50 top employees from the above listed companies/organizations.
After developing your comprehensive lists of contacts, classify the names into four different categories:
1. Those influential positions or who have hiring authority.
2. Those with job leads.
3. Those most likely to refer you to others.
4. Those with long-distance contacts.
Select at least 50 individuals from each list for initiating your first round of contacts. Create five personal or professional links to each name for credibility.
You are now ready to begin an active prospecting and networking campaign which will enable you to expand your present network considerably by linking it to others’ networks. This campaign should lead to informational interviews, formal job interviews and job offers.