True or false, athletes make extraordinary employees? TRUE! Why do athletes make great employees? Athletes are known to have strong character traits that make them desirable to employers. Your challenge as a former athlete is to make it clear to your future employer how the skills you acquired as a professional athlete transfer to your new position.
Here are a few traits that can make you an extraordinary employee:
- Motivation to Succeed – Athletes possess the motivation to push themselves until they succeed through pain, exhaustion, etc. How many sick days did you take as a football player? For employers, having a strong work ethic is a desirable trait. As you remember, waking up early in the morning for practice then going to class or studying on the bus to a game; that takes motivation. Motivation is not a trait that employers can teach employees, you either have the motivation to succeed or you do not.
- Goal Oriented – As with any company, employers want an employee who can focus on a goal and grow. Go back to practice, if you could not achieve your goal, you then found another route to take. Even if you fail, what happens? You go back to your practice plan, reevaluate and you keep going to achieve your end goal because success begins with failure.
- Teamwork – You have worked on teams since day one of your career. You know that if you want to win games, you must learn to work with others. In the workforce, it is the same way. You will meet many different types of people and work on projects to obtain a goal. Reaching back from years of working with teams, it will be easier to find a common ground while working with others.
- Work-Life Balance – Remember back in college, starting your day with an early morning workout, then class, next the weight room, then practice. But what about your social life? The workplace is no different, you have to find the balance between work and social life. Just as you did with practice and class, block off time to spend with family and friends. Yes, employers want people who like to work, but there is something to be said about those who know how to balance their time.
- Developing New Skills – Development of new skills is essential on the field and in the workplace. In either setting, you arrive with skills, but you have to learn new ones to perfect your performance. Employers need people who grow over time, adding more value to their team. You could read industry specific books, articles or listen to podcasts to help develop yourself. Take it upon yourself to learn, just as you did on the field!