Football, tennis, baseball, boxing, and cycling are just a few of sports our employees play in their spare time. We’re proud of the fact that we’re an active bunch who enjoys a mid-day sweat. Over the years of working with a wide variety of personality types, I’ve noticed there is an unusual surplus of people who work in sales and who are (or were) athletes and enjoy playing sports. After a while, it seemed to make sense, mainly for these four reasons.
1 – Athletes are in it to win it. Chances are, if you love sports, you probably enjoy a good dose of competition. This personality trait will likely transfer over into the workplace, meaning you enjoy a good challenge and an environment where ‘wins’ are celebrated and rewarded. A career in sales is all about winning and being better than your competition.
2 – Team oriented. Similar to those who enjoy playing a team sport (i.e. football) and who have experience winning (and losing) together, it’s likely that this type of person would thrive in a team based atmosphere in the workplace. Sales is often very team focused and although employees have individual targets, it’s generally the workplace culture that allows great sales people to perform and work towards that common goal of success.
3 – Overcoming the loss. As much as no one likes to lose, I’d argue that athletes are much more exposed to losing than the average person (especially if their team isn’t very good!). Losing allows a person to practice turning negative emotions into a positive experience; to learn and move forward. Bringing these skills into a workplace, especially in sales, is an amazing quality that will always be beneficial. Sales reps constantly have to deal with rejection, so having that positive mindset of how to move forward without getting too defeated is a great transition from sports to sales.
4 – Happy employees = productive employees. Those who play sports and exercise regularly will likely live a healthier lifestyle, and feel more energetic overall. This will be an excellent quality to possess in sales as the days are often long and demanding, so having that extra energy will only be beneficial.
About five of our staff play in a football league on a weekly basis and many of the characteristics they show on the field are portrayed in the office through their working styles. Interestingly enough, one of our Senior Consultants, Alex Speedie, mentioned a lot of the players in that league also work in recruitment or other forms of sales. If you’re an athlete and aren’t sure about what direction to take your career, perhaps give sales a second thought.
Bonus tip: always add sports you play to your CV as many employers value those who live an active lifestyle.
Until next time…