Sport is one of the most exciting occupational fields that one can pursue as a career. The prospects of sports keep on increasing as more people play and watch sports. With the growing attention to professional and college sports, there is a healthy increase in sports jobs. For an individual to advance in sports career, he must, therefore, embrace lifelong learning (Floyd & Allen, 2009). Lifelong learning begins with identifying a specific need or goal that a person wants to achieve.
Once the need has been identified, an individual should embark on professional development through education and training process. Employers value people with education as they believe they make up a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce. Continuing learning is a strategy of building expertise and also enables a person to keep abreast with the new changes. Organizational learning enhances the development of structures that generate new information.
A sports professional should embark on personal, professional development. Lifelong learning focuses on the learner rather than on the instructor. An individual should grab every new opportunity that comes their way regardless of age, prior qualifications, ability or workplace role. Learning occurs all the time, and thus, one can acquire and develop skills anywhere (Tummons & Ingleby, 2014). One must, therefore, have a positive attitude to learning for both personal and professional development. Advancing in sports career does not mean that one remains confined to sports alone.
Nothing good comes the easy way. Maintaining lifelong learning requires the initiative to put in the time fo...
r further education. Individuals who spend more time exploring books and other learning materials attain higher degrees of personal satisfaction and are in better positions to handle any situations that come along their way as they strive to grow careers. Such sports personality can work in wellness, testing, training and research.
For one to advance in career, he must develop a road map to keep on track with the professional objectives and create broad line steps of activities to be taken while embarking lifelong professionalism in sports. Creating time horizons and setting goals keeps one focused. Time should be periodically set aside to reflect on what one has accomplished and plan for the future. Adjustments should be made where necessary to allow for dynamics experienced in the field of sports.
Developing careers require one to have a set of SMART goals. The goals should be both short term and long term. Having laid down the desired objectives, one must design a plan to meet those goals. Goals lay the strategies for which one can use to climb the career ladder. The goals must be clear, and there should be targets to achieve them within allotted time frame (Miller & Cable, 2008).
An individual can gain expertise by continuing to hone his skills. One must keep an open mind to learning and offer room to flexibility. To be an expert, one must be potentially ahead of the competitors and look for more experience (Floyd & Allen, 2009). Sport is becoming an attractive career, and thus, more people are attracted to it. They are competing for attractive packages. Whenever an opportunity presents itself, an individual must
grab it and exercise his skills so as to gain more experience and consequently attain a competitive edge.
In as much as a person decides to pursue further education, he must have a clear education plan to increase marketability. A sample education plan is shown below:
- Time frame
- Educational plan
- Year 1
Pursue two career and technical diploma courses while undertaking an internship at a wellness and fitness center
· Computer programming, management and support
· Human resourced management
- Year 2
Obtain a masters in nutrition and dietetics
- Year 3
Join community development college
- Year 4
Apply for PhD
- Year 5
Pursue diploma in sports journalism
It is also paramount to have a budget plan to cover education and marketability. Advancing in sports career requires one to exercise what he has learnt in class. For instance, one can include training and team development in his budget.
A milestone in career advancement in sports is shown by one’s ability to relegate personal skills and resources. Dynamic leadership is demonstrated by the capacity to handle challenges effectively. Career advancement must be coupled with fostering healthy relationships by engaging in volunteer work and participation in various community activities. These will not only enable one to manage relationships with people but also enhance learning through transfer and sharing of knowledge. Interaction will also increase creativity and intellectual capacity, which are critical elements in advancing sports career.
The next big step after meeting all educational targets is for an individual to make infinite growth at a personal level. There is no any limit to the growth of a person in a job. Once a person has attained the highest job position in his field, the next step of professional growth is to become the entrepreneur or a proprietor (Tummons & Ingleby, 2014). For instance, if one was a training coach, he can reimagine the role of a training coach as a key business partner by starting a business in the fitness industry.
- Floyd, P. A., & Allen, B. J. (2009). Introduction to careers in health, physical education, and sport. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
- Harvard Business Review Press,. (2011). Harvard business review on advancing your career.
- Miller, L., & Cable, C. (2008). Professionalism in the early years. London: Hodder Arnold.
- Puteh, F., Kaliannan, M., & Alam, N. (2015, March). Strategic Professional Development: Does it Conform to Adult Learning Perspective?. In ICMLG2015-The 3rd International Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance: ICMLG2015 (p. 316). Academic Conferences and Publishing Limited.
- Tummons, J., & Ingleby, E. (2014). A-Z of lifelong learning.
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