I started my career coaching service for students and young professionals who are pursuing careers in sports a little over a year ago. I recently decided to survey all my current and past clients to get some ideas about how I can improve my coaching. As part of the survey, I decided to get more organized and create a spreadsheet of all my former clients, their career goals and where they are now.
Although I keep in touch with most of my former clients fairly frequently and know what they’re doing now, it wasn’t until I saw the organization names stacked down an Excel column that I realized what amazing jobs they all have now. And it has more to do with them than with me – I’ll explain why in a moment.
First, here’s a rundown of where some of my former career coaching clients work currently:
- Baltimore Ravens
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- University of Maryland
- Northern Illinois University
- Big Ten Conference
Although I feel confident I gave them valuable advice and service as a coach, I’ve also learned something about the type of people who come to me for career coaching. They’re ambitious. They’re hard workers. They’re willing to do anything to reach their goals.
I think most of them would have gotten where they were going without me. I think in some instances I made it faster, or I introduced them to connections that paved the way…but every single one of them is someone I thought would succeed in this industry after my first phone call with them.
I’ve learned that the type of person who will seek out a coach like me is the type of person who’s already on the right track. Some of them needed reassurance. Some of them needed connections. Some of them needed a sounding board. They needed some tweaks here and there with their resumes and cover letters, but they had the background – I was just helping them identify the right experience and skills to highlight and cutting their resumes down from three pages to one. More often than not, the majority of our interaction was when they needed advice – who should they reach out to, how could they keep in touch with that new connection, how did they choose between two very different job offers, would taking this job opportunity preclude a future one…that sort of thing. When I didn’t know the answer, I found them someone who did.
Starting my career coaching business has been an interesting (and highly rewarding) experience. The type of candidates who come to me are the exact opposite of what I expected. I thought I’d get the students who hadn’t gotten around to interning during their college years, or the ones who had no idea how to network. Instead, I’ve worked with incredibly capable and ambitious individuals who just need a partner in this process, and I’m happy they entrusted me with that responsiblity.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I always tell students that those who really want to work in sports (and for the right reasons) will. They naturally rise to the top. They do what has to be done to achieve their goals.
I give as much advice as I can for free here on my blog. I know you don’t all have money to spend. If you want really individualized attention and advice, however, I’d love to be your partner (and career coach) as you embark down your career path in sports!