After the Cheers, What's Next for Your Athletes?

It's a fact: According to the NCAA, only a very small percentage of college athetes go on to professional athletic careers. For the remaining 98 percent of athletes who move on to other careers, the good news is that the hard work they've put in on the field can translate into worthwhile skills, particularly in emerging businesses.

So what skills do interviewers look for?

1) Work ethic. Athletes know that a win on the field takes many hours of preparation leading up to the big game. In the same way, a product launch or campaign takes hours of hard work before success.

2) Ability to overcome failure. Miss a shot or strike out? Athletes know that's the name of the game, so when it comes time for the next product pitch, they're able to step up to the plate with confidence.

3) Positive energy. Passionate, high-energy individuals make the workplace a fun place to be--and help businesses thrive.

4) Handling risks and responsibilities. What athlete hasn't been afraid before a big game? What matters though is the ability to push through that fear and go out of your comfort zone. Athletes are able to do this well.  

So when you're inspiring your team to victory, remember this: You're not only preparing them for the game but for their possible future careers.

As a young technology company, we go out of our way to recruit and hire athletes. Most negative stereotypes surrounding athletes are misleading -- but in a strange way that helps our company. While some employers shy away from athletes for these reasons, we go after them with all the passion of a running back stretching for the goal line on fourth down.

Our interest in hiring athletes extends well beyond the usual clichés of teamwork and competitive instincts. Of course, we don’t hire based solely on how well someone has done on the field or in the gym. As I told a group of college lacrosse players in a career seminar recently, you can’t just walk into an interview and say, “I led the league in assists, so clearly I’m a team player. When do I start?”

Here are a few traits that are appealing among the athletes we hire. Whether a company is considering hiring an athlete or a “mathlete,” we believe that measuring people on these traits can help predict success in the workplace.

This article excerpt, by David Lavallee, originally appeared here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241857.

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