The idea for this post came to me as three of my closest Georgetown friends and I decided to travel from Washington, DC to New York for Game 5 of the American League Division Series this past Thursday. The decision to go was very spontaneous, as we purchased game and bus tickets after the Yankees won Game 4 only two days earlier. Although we all had schoolwork and other commitments to attend to, we made the trip happen. It will be an experience that the four of us will never forget.
Over the span of a couple of days, we engaged in a process that I like to refer as “rolling the dice.” Its basic meaning is taking a risk with the hope and confidence that everything will work out fine regardless of the outcome. Like a craps player at a casino, you are gambling on your chances of succeeding at something. I can thank one of my favorite TV shows, Entourage, for introducing me to such a valuable life philosophy at a time when I really need it. The main character and star actor in the show, Vincent Chase, often “rolls the dice” when facing difficult decisions about which movie roles he should pursue. Even though things work out for Vince and his entourage most of the time, the system is not foolproof. The boys suffer setbacks but move forward with a positive attitude that makes “rolling the dice” all the worthwhile.
If you want to work in the sports industry, you are going to have “roll the dice” to get your foot in the door. This might sound scary to those of you who have been handed everything as a kid and have shied away from risk. I am no stranger to this myself, but I have turned over a new leaf over the past couple of years. It is time for you to break out of this mold and start taking some chances with your career. This will require getting out of your comfort zone. How else do you think you are going to separate yourself from the thousands of other candidates out there who are looking to beat you out for a job?
I cannot stress enough the importance of trusting your intuition as you look to “roll the dice” and launch a successful sports career. You are going to have a lot of voices whispering in your ear and trying to dictate your career path. This includes the voices of parents, friends, other family members, mentors, etc. Pay attention to their words of wisdom, but try to steer clear from any negativity that might make you second-guess your desire to “roll the dice.” At the end of the day, you have to go with your gut and heart when deciding how you move forward with your sports career.
Here are some suggestions for how you can start “rolling the dice”:
1. Contact 3 people you admire in the industry for career advice. Use one of the following mediums: handwritten note, email, LinkedIn, or Twitter. The higher up their position, the better.
2. Take an internship with a sports company in a department you do not necessarily see yourself working in. You may be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities presented to you.
3. Take an internship with a non-sports company in a department where you can develop a skill-set that is directly transferable to the sports industry. This may not seem ideal, but this is what “rolling the dice” is all about!