After the end of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, many athletes will retire and look for a new job. Most of the athletes do not earn living with their sports and are forced to search for other options. After years of chasing their dreams – and sometimes achieving them – it is time for them to put their acquired skills to use.
According to the 2014 Cornell University research, people who participated in high school sports “appeared to demonstrate higher level of leadership and higher-status careers.” Additionally, former student athletes earn more than those not participating in high school sports – between 5 and 15 percent more. Here are 7 reasons athletes and former athletes make the best employees and hiring managers should consider them.
1. Time Management Skills
Juggling all the balls is part of the game: studying, practice, competitions, games, travel, sometimes even work full-time work or internships. Athletes learn how to manage their time wisely so they can handle all their responsibilities. They must be highly organized, and this skill is a valued asset for their future employers.
2. Mentally Strong
Athletes have to be mentally strong to be able to deal with the pressure. The ability to stay calm and deliver results is essential for both athletes and employees. The athletic environment is challenging, high-stake, fast-pasted, competitive and often stressful. Student-athletes have honed these skills in order to be successful. Eventually, this is what will set them apart from other job applicants and “above the rest in work scenarios.”
3. Team Players and Strong Individuals
Athletes who were part of a sport team had to be good players if they wanted the team to succeed. While in the workforce, “they understand roles, and they know where they fit in.” If they competed in an individual sport, they are “comfortable taking the lead as well as providing support” for the rest of their team.
4. Good Learners
While being an athlete, they have probably failed more than they have won. But it is their willingness to keep on going in despite of adverse situations that sets them apart. This skill translates well into the workforce. Having a winning mentality and being enthusiastic, with their eyes set on the prize – or a work goal in this case, is always appreciated.
5. Goal Oriented
All employers want an employee who knows how to set goals and how to achieve them. Athletes are always striving for excellence and to be the best, and are willing to work until they achieve it. After transitioning into the workforce, they know how to stay motivated.
Most of the athletes start in their sports early, and in order to deliver results, they work hard for years – if not decades on improving their skills. They are able to stay focused and persevere. Their work and training ethics are exceptional.
7. Able to Handle Constructive Criticism
After losing and making many mistakes, athletes eventually rise and keep going. They are pros in learning from their defeats and are able to listen to constructive criticism and feedback.