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When you are young, you have this vision or ideal direction of how you would like your career to plan out one day. You go to varsity to study in your desired field, and hopefully then follow this with a successful career in the same field. This is an example of the perfect scenario … but this is not always the case.  

Sport was always my passion and I always envisioned a career involving sport. After finishing my studies, ­– a sports degree — I began working in the retail industry in a sports store. While working there, I began to realize it was not the field I wanted to play in anymore and decided to move to another field, which would challenge and grow me further. I think this is the competitive side of me, always up for a challenge and striving to be the best, better, faster and fitter.

One day, I was given the opportunity to start playing in a new field, which meant moving from the retail industry to digital marketing in an Account Manager position.
As this was all new to me, I thought about how my history with sport could assist me with the position I found myself then and still today.

Below are a few of the key elements which are invaluable in both fields which made this daunting move slightly more comfortable:

Teamwork

Relationship management

Communication

Manage emotions

Always be positive

Let’s take a closer look at each…

Teamwork – Teamwork is dream work and there is no better way to describe it. This is the same when you are on the field with a team or being an AM. As an AM you need to work with and rely on a team of people to execute the client’s brief. Sometimes this involves maybe 2 people but sometimes this could involve 10 different individuals all on different tasks working towards the same goal. Without positive teamwork and everyone assisting each other, there will not be any success in delivering the task on time.

Relationship management – Relationship management is prevalent in both the sports field and as an AM. Sportsmen deal with coaches, sponsors, fellow athletes and supporters and without healthy relationships, there will be no success.

In an AM position, you are working with clients, who are paying for your services. As well as your fellow colleagues to deliver on the tasks. If there is a breakdown in the relationship, this will not allow any goal to be achieved and negatively affect the end goal.

Communication – if a team does not communicate effectively, there will be no victory. Open lines of effective communication are important when on the sports field to ensure everyone knows what is taking place and what the game plan is. Without effective communication, no one will know what is going on or what needs to be done. The same goes for being in an AM position, you need to effectively communicate with the clients as well as your internal team to ensure everyone is on the same page and working effectively toward the same goal.

Managing emotions (when losing or winning) – we are all human and emotions are a part of our genetic makeup. When you are on the sports field, you need to manage your emotions whether you are winning or losing until the end of the match to ensure your emotions do not negatively affect the outcome. This is appropriate when in the office environment, you cannot let your emotions negatively affect the bigger picture and/or team effort in striving to achieve the goal. Clients should never be affected by your personal mood and they should always be greeted with a positive attitude.

This brings me to my final and last point.

Be positive – attitude is everything, with everything. By keeping a positive attitude through the high and low times, both on the field and in the office, this will ensure the team morale is kept high and everyone involved in the project remains focused and driven towards achieving the end goal.

The world we live in is rapidly changing and with the right attitude and goal you no longer need to stick to the one field you are currently playing. Take the risk and move to another field of play and who knows what this could do for you.

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