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Why Athletes Need Their Own Career Network

A sobering study by Deloitte shows that 80% of people dislike their job. On top of that, it is estimated that a person will spend 90,000 hours of their life at their job. Can this really be true? How can the overwhelming majority of people spend the majority of their life in a job/career they dislike? Is it a lack of preparation, networking, or just settling for anything that pays the bills? These are the obvious challenges, but the real challenge is logistics!

I am not talking about travel logistics; I am talking about navigating the logistics of getting to the right person at the right company who can help put you in the right job! Over the last decade, over one million athletes have gone through our career education programing at Athlete Network, and I am convinced the key to ensuring athletes are happy and successful in their post-playing career is setting them up for success on the right career path. Competitive athletes are busy and do not have the time to prepare for a career while pursing greatness in their athletic career. However, they have all the traits that will make them successful in life.

With athletes having so much to leverage from their experience in competition, what’s the key to ensuring athletes don’t become part of the 80% of the workforce that dislikes their job? The key is their own network with career resources and services.

At the end of the day, whether it is on Indeed, LinkedIn, or Handshake, a job posting is just a job posting. Think about what would happen if a high school athlete is wanting to play in college and there were only agnostic application portals where all athletes regardless of sport or skill were mixed in with general college admission applications. Coaches who wanted athletes would have to sort through thousands of applications hoping to uncover an athlete, then hoping to see if they were a cultural fit for their team. This would create terrible inefficiency and frustration for both the athlete and the coach.

To a degree, that is what we are doing when we send our athletes to job boards. These jobs boards send applications to employers, who then spend a lot of money on application tracking software to try and sort all the different applications out, but the reality is they are getting so infiltrated with resumes, a lot gets lost in the mix.

The value of athletes having their own network is not about the job postings, it is where and who their information is sent to from that job posting. By creating an athlete career network, you are creating a natural filtration system for employers who want to hire athletes based on all of their traits. Employers can dedicate recruiters who understand the value of an athlete's experience and how athletes cross pollinate their experiences to the organization's goals. This connectivity turns a cold interview into a warm interview allowing both the athlete and employer to quickly identify if there is a cultural fit and career path fit. The end result is a much better match, which helps the athlete be placed in the right career path and the employer find the right fit for their opening.

Peyton Stovall, Assistant AD for Student-Athlete Development at Purdue Athletics

With advancements in technology, it is more cost and time effective than ever to launch your own athlete network with a built-in career portal and mentorship program. Athlete Network is the leader in providing networks to collegiate athletics departments and would love to provide you a no cost demo on how our UNITE software can help you launch your own athlete network!


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