Changing Careers Late In The Game

A career as a professional athlete is often riddled with uncertainty. Thanks to trades and free agency, it is often difficult for an athlete to know where he or she will be in the future. One of the guarantees in an athlete’s career is that it will eventually come to an end, whether he or she likes it or not. Due to the nature of sports, these things are often out of the athlete’s control, but with proper planning the transition can be made easier.

In most cases, athletes will need to find a career after sports in order to make ends meet. For every big-name athlete with tons of endorsements who likely never has to work again in their life, there are plenty of athletes who need a second career in order to live comfortably. As a result, they will be entering the work force later than the average entry-level candidate.

It is no secret that the transition to life after the game can be a very difficult time period in an athlete’s life. Finding a career after sports is challenging enough, let alone competing against others who have more professional experience and who have been in the work force longer. Members of the Forbes Coaches Council were asked how to deal with a career change late in one’s professional life and we thought some of the advice was applicable to both those looking to make a career change and professional athletes looking to find a new career. You can read the full article on Forbes here.

See This As A New Beginning – Anjali Chugh, Cosmique Global Inc.

For athletes looking to make the transition from playing to second career, this is certainly a new beginning. As has been mentioned in the past, a good starting point for athletes to is figure out what they value and are passionate about outside of sports. While it can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that your playing career has come to an end, being able to see this as the close of one chapter and the start of a new one is key.

If you’ve been progressing along your career and realized that it is time for a change, it is not the end of the world! Realizing that you’re ready for a career change is the first step towards making it happen. This is a great opportunity to do what you have always wanted.

Disconnect Your Identity From Your Profession – Debra Russell, Debra Russell Coaching, LLC

This tip comes from our own VIKTRE Career Services Partner Debra Russell!

One of the biggest issues when it comes to an athlete’s career transition is that of self-identity. After working on their craft (sport) for likely the majority of his or her life, it is challenging to transition to a life without it. Russell says, “If you base your self-worth and self-definition on your title, transitions can quickly lead to depression. Your value is intrinsic to your humanity, not your job.”

For both athletes and non-athletes alike, it is key to not let your job title define who you are. This is especially true when transitioning to a new career. While your title is likely to change over the course of your career, the one constant that will remain is who you are as a person.

Embrace The Unknown – Maresa Friedman, Executive Cat Herder

The unknown can be a pretty scary place for a lot of people. The popular phrase, “life begins at the end of your comfort zone” rings true, especially when it comes to a career change. For athletes, life without their sport is a daunting thought. For business professionals, figuring out a new routine and learning the ins and outs of a new business/industry can be daunting as well.

However, this is a time to get comfortable being uncomfortable and tackle this new challenge. It all goes back to figuring out what you value and are passionate about. Once you do this, you can set goals for your new career and figure out how to accomplish them. As Friedman states, “It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.”

While the career transition stories of professional athletes to life after sports and business professionals differ, they are also similar in many ways. Athletes usually transition to new careers while still relatively young in age, but lack the experience of their peers. When someone who is already in the work force decides to change careers, they go through a similar process. By taking the advice of these professionals, that transition doesn’t have to be as daunting! You can read the rest of the advice here.

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