7 Job Search Tips You Can Learn from Pro Athletes

7 Job Search Tips You Can Learn from Pro Athletes was originally published on College Recruiter.

Dawn Dugan

Dawn Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer

Americans love their professional sports. According to recent survey done by ESPN, 74% of Americans watch four or more hours of professional sports on television per week!

As we root for our favorite teams and players, it’s hard to remember that professional athletes are just that: professional. Yes, as tough as it is to believe sometimes, and despite the envious lifestyle of guys like LeBron James, shooting hoops is a J.O.B. Just like the rest of us, professional athletes change jobs, get promoted, get fired, have bad days at work, and make moves that can make—or break—their careers. And they do it in a very public manner.

So what can today’s job seekers learn from professional athletes? This article explores seven lessons from seven pro athletes you can apply to your job search.

7. Jeremy Lin, Professional Basketball Player

Lesson Learned: The first step to success is getting your foot in the door.

Most NBA players have spent much of their lives as highly touted prospects, but Jeremy Lin was a non-scholarship player who went undrafted out of Harvard University. He started 2011 as a third-string point guard for the New York Knicks, Lin, if he was known for anything, was known for spending more time on the bench than on the court.

On the verge of being cut for the third time, coaches allowed him to play for the first time on February 4, 2012. The team was struggling big-time, so why not? He earned 25 points, and and the opportunity to start in the next game. Lin went on to make NBA history by scoring 136 points in five starts and went from sleeping on teammate’s couches to becoming a household name.

Just like the frustrated but talented job seeker, Lin proves getting your foot in the door and capitalizing on opportunities that present themselves can give you the chance to show your stuff.

6. Dana Torres, US Olympic Swimmer

Lesson Learned: You’re never too old to make a splash.

If you think your age is holding you back in your career, consider Torres. She had a long and storied career as a swimmer, but she wasn’t ready to sit on the sidelines quite yet. In 2000, at age 33, Torres became the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. In 2008, at age 41, she became the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the Olympic team.

Just like Olympians competing for a spot on the team, the job market is brutally competitive right now. And that goes double for older workers. But if you can prove you have right skill set and can get the job done, age shouldn’t matter.

5. Bobby Orr, Hall of Fame Hockey Player

Lesson Learned: It pays to negotiate your salary.

In 1966, the Boston Bruins offered rookie hockey player Bobby Orr a salary of $9,000. In an unprecedented move—rookies simply did not negotiate their salaries—Orr turned them down and hired an agent. He knew how talented he was, he knew how much the Bruins needed him, and he knew how much he was worth. As a result, he became the highest paid player in the NHL.

We know jobs are scarce and individual circumstances vary, but you should ALWAYS negotiate. Always. Never accept the initial offer and take a page out of Orr’s book, because it really does pay to hold out for what you’re worth. You can start with research and knowing what you’re worth, using Salary.com’s free Salary WizardContinue reading . . .

Article by and courtesy of Salary.com

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