Relationships, genuine ones built on time, space, and mutual respect, is the most important ingredient to happiness. From happiness we can obtain success because we are willing to work harder for something that we are passionate. Furthermore, those around us that may have the ability to influence our lives and careers see it too and may want to provide opportunities to us to help us succeed.
The Sports, Entertainment, and any “industry” all work the same. Yes, life can be and is oftentimes unfair. However, the biggest regret is the chances we do not take. For this author, it would be better to have tried and lost, be humiliated, and to try again than to never try at all.
Over the course of a life and career, several things have become known through tried and true ways. It is the age-old thing that creates wisdom and gives us solace and direction. It is called experience.
Experience has shown us that there are three ways to land a job in the Sports Industry and really to begin a career in any setting. Understand, however, that these observations should not be read in a vacuum. Sometimes all three happen, sometimes one, and sometimes none. The following three ways to land a job in the Sports Industry should serve as a guide based on personal experiences whereas yours or others experiences may be completely different.
Passion: Being a Student of the Game You Love
Passion is palpable. It is so real that you can taste it. Passion is also so energetic that it is contagious, often being transferred from one person to another and from one generation to another. Passion cannot be faked or contrived.
Think about the happiest and most successful people you know. What traits do you see in them? More likely than not, it is passion that pervades their soul.
Passion for the game they love. It could be baseball, fashion, building something, serving someone, really anything. You must have passion if you are to have anything.
Cross-Referencing: Working in a Job that is Complementary to the Industry You Want to Join
Instead of explaining the meaning and importance of this section, we will start with two stories:
A lawyer working for a major law firm is the senior counsel on a matter that involves the buying and selling of a professional sports franchise. The lawyer does not have any real interest in working in sports, but would be ready if called because he had the skills necessary to perform as a lawyer regardless of his employer. The client (e.g., the team owner) liked the lawyer so much and appreciated his skills that he hired him as general counsel to the baseball team once the purchase was completed.
An anti-trust lawyer working in Manhattan loved baseball and would travel to different baseball stadiums around the Country to experience the game and the atmosphere. This lawyer was a student enough of the game that he would recognize certain people in baseball organizations that possibly others would overlook because they were focused on the talent on the field. He approached the owner of said team and introduced himself. A year later he was the general manager of said team.
Now, understand, you must read past the basic facts to absorb the above scenarios. It was not because these people were lawyers that they landed jobs in the Sports Industry. We tell those stories because they are personal experiences.
Alternatively, it was because the lawyers worked hard to become great lawyers in their fields that were complementary to the Sports Industry that they landed a job therein. They had stacked the cards in their favor so that opportunity would of course come knocking even if they did not know the type of opportunity.
By the way, the person in the first scenario is Erik Greupner, the now Chief Operations Officer of the San Diego Padres, number two behind the owner. The second is Stan Kasten, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Preparation: Being Ready When Called
Understanding life is to understand that nothing just happens. It is our decisions that lead to consequences. Owning those decisions and consequences is what defines us in life.
As the saying goes, “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity,” by Roman Philosopher Seneca. The above scenarios are no different. When you are called, do not wince. Grab the opportunity and run with it. It is your preparation as a lawyer or whatever your passion and profession is that allows you to be ready to run. Simply, you must know what you are taking about when the opportunity knocks and that takes preparation. Some people call this luck.
Landing a J-O-B begins with relationships. It continues with consistency in relationships and your work ethic. It has been said many times before, and in many ways, but consistency is underrated.
Incidentally, if you want to be your own boss, the same above observations apply. Except that your focus is initially on your clientele. You are working to help your clients in comparison to landing a job with an employer that you can help your clientele through the third party medium.