Connecting...

How playing sport can help your career

19 Dec 12:00 by Not Going to Uni

W1siziisijiwmtkvmtivmtkvmtivmjyvmzivnjixl0njtv9kb2jzx0hvd19wbgf5aw5nx3nwb3j0x2nhbl9ozwxwx3lvdxjfy2fyzwvyxzgwmhg0ntbbmv0uanbnil0swyjwiiwidgh1bwiilci4mdb4nduwiyjdxq

Whatever sport you play, there will be highs and lows: triumphs to be shared and trickier periods that require hard work, togetherness and self-belief to get through them. Some sports might be played by individuals, but at heart every sport is a team sport, because all sportspeople have coaches, parents, mentors and friends on their side. Each of these people can give you positives to take from a match or training session, as well as highlighting areas to work on.

Sport is transferable

Sport is not the only context in which we join a team with a shared purpose. The skills we learn from sport are transferable: they can be applied to other arenas where a group of people come together in pursuit of a common goal – such as the workplace.

The similarities between sport and work run deep. As you share the successes and tribulations of people who want the same things as you, strong bonds – and friendships – can be formed in the workplace just as they are on the sports field. The Tuckman Model explains this idea in more detail but, essentially, as you become a proper team, you start to work more efficiently towards your shared goal.

Whatever sport you play, there will be highs and lows: triumphs to be shared and trickier periods that require hard work, togetherness and self-belief to get through them. Some sports might be played by individuals, but at heart every sport is a team sport, because all sportspeople have coaches, parents, mentors and friends on their side. Each of these people can give you positives to take from a match or training session, as well as highlighting areas to work on.

But don't forget to adapt

However, it is important to note that, although the skills we have mentioned are transferable, the methods for achieving shared goals that you learnt in the heat of sporting battle might not be the most appropriate in the workplace. In the excitement of a close football game, you can probably get away with saying a lot more than you can in an externally calmer environment like an office. In the workplace, a more methodical approach is best – and there will even be occasions when you have to bite your tongue or take something on the chin and move on.

In short, the skills you probably didn’t even notice you had mastered during years of playing sport can serve you very well as you set out on a new career path. Like sport, that path won’t always be smooth – it might contain some hurdles. If you have not been making the progress you would like, go back to basics. Ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What do I like doing?
  • What sector of work would suit me best?
  • What sort of environment do I want to be in?
  • Who do I work best with?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What do I want to achieve?

Once you have considered and answered those questions, you can start to explore different options: a degree, an apprenticeship, full-time work or maybe even a degree apprenticeship. Weigh up the pros and cons of each of them, and then work with your ‘team’ (friends, family, mentors, careers advisers) to make an informed decision.

Look to the trending sectors

Remember that there are hundreds of sectors, with hundreds of roles in each, and this means that there are hundreds of ways round and over those hurdles. Look in particular at trending sectors, such as marketing, which is enjoying a social media-fuelled boom. Most importantly, though, don’t rush – and don’t panic! Identify what you’re interested in and eventually you will find a role you enjoy – on a team you like.

For any apprenticeship information, visit NotGoingToUni.co.uk.

If you're ready for your next job role, visit our jobs site today.