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    The aspiration of a career in the sports industry is undeniable. However, the journey to securing your chosen job or career path can sometimes feel unobtainable. While job boards and career sites like Global Sports Jobs offer a valuable and accessible way to find and apply for opportunities, the 'hidden jobs market' is said to account for a significant portion of the workforce hires in sport. 

    Here we outline the  key considerations for navigating the hidden job market and maximising your potential for securing a fulfilling career within the dynamic world of sports.

    What is the 'hidden jobs market'? 

    They are the jobs that organisations want or need to fill but not publicly posted or advertised on jobs boards, the companies career pages or related channels. They are the jobs that are typically filled through internal candidates, referrals and word of mouth.  The concept exemplifies the old adage of 'It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that counts’ - but don't worry, in today's connected world, there are many ways to build your connections, irrespective of what stage you are in your career. 

    Shifting Your Focus

    The hidden job market thrives on established professional relationships and for this you need to be proactive. Unlike traditional jobs advertised, success is less likely attributed to submitting a resume but more about nurturing your network within your chosen sports industry niche. You will need to be active in your job search - engaging in networking events, joining professional groups, and connecting with industry insiders will all really help as will digital tools like LinkedIn. 

    Defining Your Ideal Role

    Before starting to network, it's crucial to possess a clear vision of your desired role. Map out your career path by setting clear, actionable milestones. This includes identifying key individuals and organisations to connect with, setting up informational interviews, and regularly revisiting and refining your career goals based on the insights you gather. This proactive approach ensures that every networking effort moves you closer to your ideal role.

    By possessing a well-defined career objective, you can tailor your networking efforts and interactions towards individuals and organisations most aligned with your aspirations. During these interactions, articulate your specific goals and inquire about potential hidden opportunities within their organisation.

    The Role of Job Boards

    Job boards like Global Sports Jobs are a vital component of any sports industry job search, offering transparent access to a wider range of 'live' opportunities, making it easier to identify and pursue career openings.

    Job boards are a great way to identify who’s hiring, which companies appeal to you, and define the types of roles that you aspire to. From here you will be able to find the people you should be speaking to to tap into the hidden jobs market.

    To maximise your potential, it's probable you will also need explore the hidden job market. By combining the use of job boards with a proactive networking and engagement approach, you will uncover the additional career opportunities that are not publicly advertised.

    Grow your connections

    Leverage professional platforms like LinkedIn to connect with individuals in the specific areas of sports that you are passionate about. Personalise your connection requests to show genuine interest in their work, and nurture these relationships over time through meaningful interactions and informational interviews. 

    By finding potential opportunities through jobs boards and related channels, identify contacts within these organisations that could be beneficial and  reach out to company contacts, hiring managers, and industry leaders to build a relationship. Join groups and follow hashtags on social networks for areas of sport that are connected to your career path and you will identity more like minded contacts to build connections with. 

    Additionally, actively participate in industry conferences, workshops, and networking events. These platforms allow you to engage with established professionals, attend insightful presentations, and build valuable connections. Before attending events, research key speakers and attendees, prepare discussion points, and follow up with new contacts. Use these opportunities to gain industry knowledge, seek mentorship, and identify potential career opportunities that may not be advertised. 


    The Power of Informational Interviews

    Following successful connections with professionals in your target area, consider requesting informational interviews. These focused conversations (typically 30-60 minutes) offer an opportunity to gain valuable insights into their career paths, company culture, and, most importantly, the hidden job market within their organisation.

    Informational interviews not only serve as a knowledge-gathering exercise but also solidify relationships with established professionals within the sports industry. 

    By actively cultivating professional relationships, clearly defining your career aspirations, and leveraging the power of informational interviews, you can gain a significant advantage in the competitive world of sports careers. 

    The benefits to your future career 

    The hidden jobs market is all about your own personal network and by having meaningful conversations, offering help where possible, and keeping others informed of your career progress will prove invaluable for your career in sport. Even if some of the connections you make don't lead to job opportunities right now, keeping connected will provide ongoing benefit to your future career, helping you discover future opportunities and broaden you perspective. 

    This approach will give you a powerful access to companies and their hiring managers allowing you make personal introductions and in doing so be one step ahead of the competition. Even if the jobs become publicly advertised and you need to apply through the standard application process, you will already be know in a candidate list of unknowns. 

    Find more great articles to prepare for your new role in sport on our Prepare Page.

     

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