Thursday, August 1, 2013

Post-Career Career Advice

Summer '09 -- Huntington Beach

  Word to athletes -- professional, collegiate, or otherwise: intern!

  We all know, we can't play forever, so there's no time like the present to start preparing for the 'after-life'.

  Whenever your off-season may be, for me it was the summer time, make it a point to do what I didn't do -- get some work experience!

  Interning provides a great opportunity to learn a few tricks to the trade, make some quality connections, and bolster your resume. And if you can't find an internship that works with your off-season calendar, volunteer!

  During my time as a college athlete at Colorado, and my 10-year career in Europe, I never interned. And right now, I'm asking myself why. Instead of already having an understanding of how the job market works, and true work experience under my belt, I'm playing catch up. And trying to learn everything all at once.

  Sure I volunteered, worked at various camps, and then eventually ran my own clinics. But I'm learning that employers want proof you can handle yourself in an office setting, problem solve, and maybe most-importantly, hit the ground running when hired.

Time = Opportunity
  We do love our off-seasons: free time, family, friends. I loved mine. It allowed me to reset the batteries, see the people I had missed all season while I was gone, and train for the upcoming season.

  But how about doing something to invest in the not-too-distant future?

Ice Hotel -- Sweden. Winter '09.
  We have nothing but time during the off-season. Yes, workouts take up a lot of time and energy. If you're a pro, think back to those college days where we somehow mustered up the energy to go to school full time and hold it down in our athletic arena.

   See, we already know how to manage our time and energy! It will be time very well spent.

  Interning, or volunteering, will give you the one thing that employers seem to want: people with work experience. No matter how we chalk it up, being a successful athlete isn't the only thing they're looking for. So we've got to give them what they want.

  Here are your choices: put in some work during the off-season, or try to make up for lost time when the ball stops bouncing.

  Take it from me; take a summer (or two, or three) before your playing career comes to a close, and intern!

  If you've been thinking about it, do it! You'll thank me later.


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