‘As elite athletes, you have a whole range of attributes that few other candidates can offer. Those attributes will open the right doors for you!’
After I retired from sport, I managed the last handball club I’d played for – GC Amicitia Zürich – for a year. I followed that up with a six-month stint at a marketing agency. Then, at the end of 2020, the position at the Sport Academy Zürich opened up.
I ended up getting that job because I’d already had the opportunity to make those all-important connections at the first Athletes Day. Dave Heiniger was one of those connections. We stayed in touch sporadically and talked about the various changes and developments going on at the Athletes Network. One day, I gave Dave a call to ask his opinion on a job I’d been offered. He shared his thoughts with me in an honest and open conversation.
It just so happened that Dave had come across the job advert for Sport Academy Zürich the very same day, so he suggested I check it out. The Athletes Network submitted my application documents to Sport Academy Zürich, and – several interviews and one assessment later, I was eventually offered the job.
I found myself facing a brand-new challenge because I’d never worked in education before; the only work experience on my CV was more in the commercial field.
And yet I managed to impress the right people during the interviews at the Sport Academy Zürich. The expertise I’d picked up from the world of work definitely helped to some extent, but my personal values and the skills I’d learnt first-hand at the sporting school of hard knocks were even more important.
Specifically, when I talk about the sporting school of hard knocks, I mean that’s where the athlete’s mindset comes from.
For me, that mindset encompasses values like commitment and passion, structure and discipline, and team spirit, which is the most important of all.
If you’re an athlete about to make the move into a career outside the world of sport, I’d recommend concentrating on the strengths and skills you’ve picked up from sport, rather than.your lack of practical experience. You have a whole range of attributes that few other candidates can offer. Those attributes will open the right doors for you!
If there are any businesses out there thinking about employing athletes, I just want to reiterate that athletes learn how to show commitment and discipline in their work, how to focus on the right things, and what it means to work effectively as part of a team – regardless of whether they played as part of a team during their sporting careers. An athlete’s mindset is unique, and it’s a valuable asset – you won’t be disappointed as an employer.