About the Author: Adam Blacker is a recent URI graduate attempting to break into PR or marketing. He enjoys animals, business, green tech, sustainability, sports & other outdoor activities. While on the Internet super-highway, stop by his LinkedIn & Twitter.
Can you feel it? It’s the beginning of something new, some call it a new season, others just a fresh start. Preparing for and embarking on a search for a new job is a lot like a new season in fantasy football. You get to start over, kick off on a new journey full of optimism and eagerness to improve at every turn!
Here are some fantasy football skills that will help land you a job:
Be Confident; Be Prepared
The interview is your draft. This is your starting point for your new career. Both the draft and interview can easily make or break your chances at having everything you desire. Because your interview/draft are so vital it would be unwise to walk right in and just have at it. You want to ooze confidence, which can only come from being prepared. Have you had any internships in the field you’ve chosen? Any prior experience? Especially for entry-level positions do not be afraid to take an internship as this will enable your awesome self to be and feel ready to take on that job you strive for.
Be in the Know
Just as you would be up-to-date on football news you must know your industry inside and out. What players are injured or just coming back from injury? How does the offense look to move the chains this season? Does this player’s team have a favorable schedule? This translates into the real world as well. What are the latest industry trends? Where do you see it moving in the future? Who are the big players and or companies? How is the industry as a whole doing and where does the company you’re applying to fit in? Not only will you have more to discuss in your interviews, but you’ll come off as intelligent, informed, and possibly insightful.
Don’t Knock the Mock
Why not interview before you interview? A mock draft is essential to having your real draft run smoothly. You want to know what players are probably going in what round, what sleepers will still be out there, who your second and third options are at key moments, and your overall strategy. Experience breeds confidence. We want to be confident, so what better way to achieve this than to do a mock interview? Being put on the spot won’t be so “on the spot” anymore. Know what you want to convey to your interviewer (there are some things that will be job specific and others that you will want to tell anyone who interviews you) and have the experience to know how and when to do it. Having familiarity in this situation will prove to be invaluable in the heat of the moment. Being cool, calm, and collected is not only a great feeling but your interviewer will absolutely take notice. Be interviewed by a friend or family member many times. Have key questions that they ask every time but also a handful of new questions for each interview. You’ll feel so good after a few of these that you’ll be chomping at the bit to get out there and go at it for real.
Communicate Effectively to Reach a Goal
Are you enough of a savvy communicator to pull off a trade? What about to meet up with an established industry professional for an in-person discussion? You might be sick of hearing the most over used word of the past few years, “networking.” The reason it’s so over used is because it’s also the most important thing as job competition has heated up over the past few years. To pull off a trade you can’t be selfish or harassing. One needs to be smooth and cordial. This is an experience for both parties and that’s how you have to attack the trade if you want what he or she has got. Through LinkedIn anyone has the ability to search people out who are in positions that they would like to one day be in. I’m paraphrasing here but it’s as simple as emailing that person (after you’ve read through their profile thoroughly) and saying something as simple as “Hey, you’re in a position I’d love to be in, it seems we both have an affinity for bird watching, any way we could meet up for coffee one day and I could pick your brain and learn more about the industry?” Make sure you don’t come off as if you are just hunting for a job. You just want to chat with them. People don’t always have a lot of time to do favors but they are usually always willing to talk and discuss. If you really hit it off this small conversation may lead to something! If not, at least you got your questions answered and are now more informed for future endeavors.
Good luck and remember to be a predictor, a forward thinker. Don’t necessarily draft based on last year’s statistics and don’t talk to your interviewers/new acquaintances about where business has been, but where it’s going.
What do you think? What other skills translate from fantasy football into your job search?