Play the game to advance your career
Q: I play sport at a high level for a high-profile team. It requires huge commitment and, if I’m being honest, an odd evening when I need to leave work early to get to training or matches. I’m about to graduate with a masters and I am afraid my sports will go against me as I try to get a job. Any advice? (JJ, email).
A: In some companies, they might be delighted to have a sports star in their midst – the boss might be a fan, there could be some positive publicity for the organisation and they might see you as a role model for future graduates.
Other companies may run a mile – she’ll never be here, in a 50:50 call she’ll make a decision that suits her sport rather than her work and her slipping away early will only create tension in the office.
Concentrate on persuading that it is worth the company’s time hiring you. Address the sports issue in a positive manner: you are highly motivated in everything you do, you maintain a healthy lifestyle and you are an excellent manager of your time to date (i.e. you’ve got to the point of graduating with your masters while playing high-level sport).
If PR of having a high-profile sportsperson might appeal to a company, use that. Undertake to do whatever you can to promote the company, be that by mentioning it in media interviews or supporting in-house company events. Shine the light on the fact that you have learned to work as a member of a team and that this is a skill you can transfer to your new place of work.
Portray your sporting involvement in a positive manner, and as just one part of your overall make-up, and hope that your argument sways the recruiter.
Liam Horan is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers in Ballinrobe.
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