This one hits close to home.
If you have an “unconventional” career goal, I’m sure you’ve gotten a lot of pushback. “It’s not stable.” “It’s going to be really hard.” and the best question of them all, “Are you going to make enough money?” That one right there makes me want to scream.
I work in sports. I’ve worn many different hats but would call myself a professional sports marketer. It’s a career that has given me some incredible highs and some incredible lows. I have done everything from being dancing corn (yes really) to creating awesome in-game promotion ideas to draw in new fans. It’s a grind and requires that I often work some insane hours. But I do this because I love it. The real kicker for a lot of people, I don’t make a lot of money. In fact, there have been times where I’ve had to have multiple jobs to keep me afloat. Sometimes the sports world seems really glamorous, and it can be, and other times it’s really hard.
I’m not a big fan of people dragging my career as if they’ve been in the industry themselves and have all the answers. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to get to where I am, and I’m still in the process of moving up the ladder. Here’s what I have to say to people that constantly disrespect me about my career path:
- IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY
- I’ve made a lot less money than I do right now and I was fine
- I’ve made a lot more money than I do right now, and I was miserable
- I’ve found “my people” while working in the sports industry. It’s a bond like no other because we are all crazy passionate about what we do.
- I’m an adult and can make my own decisions
- My values are not the same as your values
- I’d much rather work for less money doing what I love than slaving away at a job just to get to the weekend
- If you don’t like my career choices, keep them to yourself
- My career has given me the true feeling of fulfillment rather than contentment
- Refer to #1 and #8
This list could go on forever but I’ll stop there for now. I appreciate the concern and most people offer up their “advice” out of love, but when you say to me ” You know you could really make more money working at XYZ” 6 times while discussing my career, it crosses into the realm of disrespect. I’m a woman in the sports world, i’ve endured enough disrespect on this journey, and I don’t need any from you. Thanks.
Why I Do It
Not that I owe anyone an explanation for my decisions, I’ll give you a bit of insight as to why I chose this path. I love that I can be a part of helping a fan have a memorable experience at a game and connect with sports on a deeper level. I love being able to push the envelope in terms of creativity. I love the tight-knit community that is the sports industry. You might not think so, but the industry is very tight-knit and connected, making it really easy to meet people that can help you further your career. I have the ability to be a part of an organization with deep-rooted traditions, incredible philanthropy efforts, and community outreach programs. There’s more to the sports world than meets the eye, and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
Maybe I won’t work in sports forever, but for now, it’s what I’m passionate about. I’m young enough and in the right place to take on a career that is as demanding as sports can be. As for everyone else, I hope that you can find a career you truly care about.