Professional and elite athletes spend so much of their lives training and competing that life and career after sport is just a distant thought in the background. However far off it may seem, the sooner athletes recognize that time will eventually come and equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to plan accordingly, the more prepared they will be for the transition. In fact, a lot of the legwork can be done while still competing without even knowing it.
- Recognize Your Work Experience: Skills you build and situations you deal with as an athlete can translate to extremely valuable and unique skills in the workforce. Take time to recognize those skills and build upon them.
- Use Your Sports Network: Talk to teammates, coaches, role models in the sport, etc. who are going through or have gone through the transition. Lean on each other for help!
- Expand Beyond Sport: Take every opportunity to build connections with mentors and role models outside of the sports world. You’ve worked hard to earn status as an athlete – use it to your advantage to network with those in other industries. You’re most likely already connected to many of those people without knowing it.
- Take Career Assessments: Identify your other skills and interests before leaving competition.
- Practice Translating Your Skills: You’ve built so many skills playing sport that translate to the working world. Take the time to practice talking about and articulating how they translate and how you’ll use them in your next role.
- Write It Down: What would you want to achieve in the next 10 years if you knew you could not fail? Write it down. On this day in 2027, write exactly what the entire day looks like – where you live, what you’re doing, down to the details and without fear of failure or limitations. Write it down and look at it every year.