Why recruit an Athlete?
With Rio 2016 just around the corner with some athletes making their dreams come true and some deciding to culminate their careers, I decided to give us, athletes, a little boost to remind everyone that being good on the pitch (or on the water for that matter) also produces results off the pitch. From personal experience I know that it is nearly impossible to find a job that will enable you to train full time as well as develop professionally. Majority of jobs do not offer required flexibility. In order to work on your own terms you would have to become an employer, an entrepreneur perhaps.
We get plenty of opportunities to volunteer, which is especially welcomed in our given sport however the minute we 'hang our boots (oars)', we are left with a large experience gap on our C.V's, while experience is always needed. How can we, athletes, compete with someone who worked on a number of jobs while we trained day and night to fulfil our dream of a magnificent sporting career?
Well, there are some qualities that are highly valued and recognized, as well as necessary to perform as an athlete but also as an employee.
I'm sure that all sportspeople will tick majority if not all of the boxes. First comes the unshakable persistence and determination. Yes, exactly, we never quit. We practice a skill day in day out to make it perfect. We have a strong worth ethic, training becomes a habit; we can tolerate high levels of pain and push ourselves outside of our comfort zone.
We always strive for more, hence challenges are welcomed. Second is the ability to manage time well. Athletes are organised and rarely waste time.
Their days are optimised and they seek balance. Third is the ability to change and acquire new skills. Sports people are exposed to new exercises, practices, environment, coaches and team members. Change is often necessary but yet again it is perceived as a challenge, which is seen as a natural occurrence. Fourth is a laser focus and being achievement/ goal oriented.
Athletes are used to failure which motivates them to try harder rather than discourage them. Sports people possess an iron will to win as stated by Forbes (2013).
It is well recognised that people engaging in sport are resilient and keep moving forward no matter what. Fifth, athletes must be strong communicators. They are team players and deal with different individuals on a daily basis.
They also have to be able to take, as well as give, a constructive criticism and be open minded. Being a part of the team requires them to adopt different roles/ positions which again illustrates adoptability. Lastly, individuals involved in sport can work and perform under pressure. Hence they can deliver under any circumstances, and are able to learn from their mistakes and can be a great asset to any business.
It is clear to see that individuals who engage in sport have several qualities that would benefit any organisation.
Bringing these individuals into a business can be the difference between an average and a well performing organisation. In order to gain an advantage over your competitors it is key to create something unique which is hard to replicate. Businesses often focus on technology or a product to gain competitive advantage however this can be easily imitated by other businesses.
Employees on the other hand can be a key ingredient in securing future of an organisation. To conclude, choose your employees wisely.
Professional experience does not necessarily mean that a person will be a good fit for an organisation. Skills can be easily acquired, personal traits on the other hand not.