So you’ve thrown in the towel and retired your jersey, what’s next?
You’re moving on from the days of waking up bright and early to hit the gym or get to practice and you’re looking for a new career option. But before this, you’ve dedicated so much to your sport you never even stopped to consider what other career options are out there for you.
Well, no worries, we have you covered! In this article, we are going to discuss the 5 best career options for former athletes. Now, of course, these are not the only career options out there, but they are a few that will meet you skillsets best.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you’re about to read:
What You Have to Bring to the Table
First off, let’s start with talking about what you, as a former athlete have to bring to a new employer. These are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when your deciding which career path fits your skills best, and some helpful tips for interviewing.
Sports offer a number of valuable life lessons and skills that you can apply to your new career. A few of these top skills, and skills that employers look for in potential candidates include:
Strong worth ethic
Surely, you feel that your athletic career has prepared you with many, if not all of the skills. Just think how all of those skills we just listed look to a recruiter -- sounds like a jackpot to us!
As we look into each career path, we’ll point out some of these skills that will help you excel in that job role. While you read through them, it should help you to narrow in on exactly which job sounds like your next career move.
1. Sales Representative
Sales representatives are responsible for selling products or services to customers. Depending on the specific job, they could be selling directly to customers, businesses, organizations, or both.
In a sales role, you will likely hear no from potential customers -- but don’t let that deter you. Your strong work ethic, result-driven, and accountability will drive you to get back out there and make the sale. The more you turn that no into a motivator, the more commission you can make and find yourself in a good financial position.
As a sales representative, you’ll be tasked with building relationships and selling products to clients to aid in your company’s growth.
2. Franchise Owner
A franchise owner is someone who runs one division of an existing company. There are tons of franchise opportunities out there -- from restaurants to fitness centers, you can choose what fits best for you. Even more exciting for former athletes, kids sports franchises are popping up all over the place.
Your goal as a franchiser will be to follow the business plan of the company you franchise and make your location profitable. As a former athlete, you can easily do this with your coachability and learning to follow the playbook set by your coaches -- its a similar concept as the franchise instructions.
Additionally, your grit and determination are what will push you to make your location the most profitable franchise out there. If this sounds exciting, it might just be the right career path for you! If not, keep reading to find your perfect fit.
As a franchise owner, the first day you open your business to customers will be the first day of your new life journey!
3. Project Manager
A project manager is responsible for overseeing the moving parts of projects and departments within a company to ensure the job is completed on time and on budget. Nearly every company has some form of a project manager, meaning you can get involved in a variety of different industries. If you have an interest in health care, computer science, architecture, or anything in between you can find a company to work as a project manager in.
If you’re interested in becoming a project manager, here are the skills that will transfer over from your former athletic career. First, being a team player is a huge part of project management. You need to work with multiple people and departments to accomplish one goal -- does this sound familiar to you?
Another skill you will find yourself using is critical thinking and knowing how to delegate tasks. If a curveball comes up mid-project, you need to quickly come up with a solution and get your team members on board with the new steps. Delegating tasks and knowing which teammates can perform these tasks is your new job responsibility.
You’ll manage all kinds of projects and teams as a project manager. Just make sure you’re getting everything done on schedule -- but with your background, we don’t expect that to be an issue.
Now, you’re probably pretty familiar with what a teacher does. As a teacher, you’ll be responsible for helping kids, young and teens, learn and mature into an adult. Wondering why this career made our list? Think of all the teachers and coaches you had that got you to where you are now, do you want to influence students the way they influenced you?
As for the skills that make you a good candidate you have great communication skills to get through to students. Your strong worth ethic will also show through when you go above and beyond to help your students learn. Lastly, you’ve spent the last part of your career prepping for games, so you’re more than qualified to prep for the next class.
Whether you are working with kindergarteners or high school students, you’ll enjoy teaching them and watching them grow into adults.
5. Physical Therapist
Physical therapists are healthcare professionals that help patients prevent and rehabilitate sports-related injuries. Physical therapy is a great career opportunity because you have seen these all of this first hand, you were the patient at one point. This job role will also allow you to stay close to what you love -- sports.
There are physical therapists at all levels. From high school sports to pro athletes, someone needs to be available if an injury occurs.
Other than already having an athletic background, your critical thinking will also be a very helpful skill. In the moment when a physical therapist is called into action, can be a high-stress time. Staying calm and knowing what to do will make all the difference.
As a physical therapist, you’ll spend time with athletes to ensure they are proactively avoiding injuries, and you’ll be the first response when one happens.
What Career Path Will You Take?
So, did you find one of these five career options interesting? As you can see, the skills you have learned through your athletic career are in high demand for job roles across a variety of industries. Just because your athletic career is over doesn’t mean you have to stop loving what you do!
Allan Flott is a former collegiate and professional soccer player who believes in the powerful role that sports play in helping children develop confidence and a strong sense of self. After his playing career, he applied his passion for youth sports to coaching children’s soccer, but was unsatisfied with the early education programming he encountered and wanted to create something better. So in 2016, he launched The Players Sports Academy to provide “service through sports” by creating healthy, fun and organized sports programs for kids.
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