My Career Change: How Jayna Hefford is Transitioning From Hockey
When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to drive interaction between athletes and their fans, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”
In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed Gold Medal Women’s Canadian Hockey Player, Jayna Hefford. Most know Hefford from her days at the University of Toronto and with Team Canada, but what some do not know is that she has recently retired and is making her transition from hockey to her career after hockey.
What sport did you play?
National Women’s Team – Hockey Canada 1997-2014
5 Olympic Games – 1998 (silver), 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 (4 gold medals)
12 world Championships (7 Gold, 5 Silver)
University of Toronto – Varsity Blues 1996-1997
What industry did you change careers to?
I have transitioned into coaching (University of Toronto) the last few years. I also have an interest in moving toward business strategy/marketing in a sport-focused company – or corporation that has an athletic dimension to their business.
How did you get into your new career?
The transition to coaching was fairly natural – working under a former teammate and good friend as the head coach. Over the last few years of my playing career, I started to take some business courses to work toward a business management certificate at the University of Toronto in continuing studies (I completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in PHE in 2004). I completed the business certificate last fall.
What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?
I’m still in the transition phase. I think the biggest challenge remains trying to find something that I’m passionate about. I’m cautious not to jump into something too quickly (although the feeling is there given that I have postponed this phase of my career for so long while I competed).
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?
I think completing my business management certificate is my biggest accomplishment. I’m very happy I did some of it while I was still competing and very proud that I completed it after I retired – along with having two young kids at home.
What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?
My advice would be to think about what you can do while you are still competing. Even if it’s just a few classes. It will give you a different focus and allow you to try and narrow down your vision for what you may want to transition into.
How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?
Currently, I’m coaching at the University of Toronto and running my own summer camps for young hockey players. I’m also a part of the RBC Olympians program and a keynote speaker. You can also follow Jayna and interact with her on VIKTRE by following her here. Word on the street is there is a camp coming up that still has a few openings in the month of July.