As a sports management professional, you know that competition can be as fierce as it is for athletes on the field. To climb to the position you want, you’ll have to be good at networking. First though, you’ll have to know where to market yourself. Professionals who network have a greater chance of finding their dream job down the road. You could have a huge advantage over others vying for the same job if you know someone in a position of authority. Networking can even lead to random opportunities that you might not expect.
These events don’t have to be ones you dread. Instead, they’re a chance to meet others and talk sports. What could be more exciting than that? You’ll never know who is hiring, so don’t be afraid to ask as you mingle. If you’re looking for a new job or new clients, don’t be pushy or too aggressive. You don’t want to look desperate. Casual is the word of the day at industry events where you want to get to know others and make a good impression.
There are plenty of conferences each year like the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference or the Sports, Events, Marketing and Entertainment Conference. These events are not free, but they’re an opportunity to meet the right people who have the power to do any hiring for the company. At industry meetings, you’re cultivating relationships for the future that might result in work. These conferences are specifically focused on hiring. The Business of Sports is another great conference that is free to attend. Understand the rules of the specific conference before you attend. For example, Business of Sports has a no-resume rule.
Intern While in School
When you intern, you’re meeting those in the industry who will often hire interns for their firms. It’s almost the same process as lawyers where the place that has you work as an intern is the one likely to hire you after school is done. If you don’t have a job after finishing school, you could volunteer or intern at a company that will allow you to be in the right place when a position opens up in the company. At the very least, it’s great experience to add to the resume.
Join Professional Organizations
One of the best way to meet others in the industry is to become part of professional organizations. You’ll be able to meet people during their social events. The Sport Marketing Association, Sport Lawyers Association and North American Society for Sport Management are just a few that focus on providing professionals a place to learn and network with each other. At the very least, you’ll be keeping yourself in the loop of the industry and be able to say you’re part of the organization, which is impressive to those who understand that you are invested in your industry.
Take a Workshop
Workshops are a place where industry professionals go to learn certain skills or information like the latest news and information on safety issues in sports or a sports photography summit where a photographer might land a coveted position with a major news organization. While jobs are not guaranteed at these workshops, they’re a place to network. You’ll show that you care about your profession enough to keep yourself updated on trends and new information in the field.
Networking in any field can be difficult, but in a competitive industry, it can be almost impossible to get yourself noticed if you’re not out meeting other professionals in your field.