I was approached the other day by the Globe and Mail, for an article on how athletics can boost people’s careers. We discussed how Olympians can have a competitive advantage over other candidates in a business-setting, based on their training.
But it doesn’t stop at the Olympic level. Dedicated athletes in general can be great hires in the business environment. Astute employers value their “soft skills” that in many cases take years to hone.
Here are just a few advantages that athletes bring to the boardroom:
1. Work ethic: by nature, athletes often tend to be hard working, and goal-oriented.
2. Razor-sharp focus: their rigorous training regimens result in athletes being both highly focused and disciplined.
3. Mental agility: that mental discipline also fosters an athlete’s sense of agility to changing circumstances. They don’t like to fail, so they intrinsically set themselves up for success, and in the event of a failure, they can pick themselves back up quickly, and move forward.
4. Being one step ahead of the game: competing athletes learn visualization techniques as part of their training, so they become adept at thinking ahead and zooming in on desired results.
5. Being PR-savvy: there’s something to be said for people in business who know how to say the right thing at the right time – it can be argued that it’s an invaluable skill to have for the boardroom. Consider then, when hiring, that winning athletes usually undergo media training. Through their experiences in the media spotlight can become very well-spoken, articulate and PR savvy.
6. Physical fitness: another benefit that companies can consider is that athletes are health conscious and physically fit too, thereby reducing the risk of health-related employee absenteeism.In many instances, athletes thrive in challenge-driven positions versus process-driven ones, given the performance-based culture they’ve grown up in.
Companies like Canadian Tire and RBC have specific HR initiatives focused on hiring athletes and their efforts are paying off. Read this latest Globe and Mail article here, to find out more about why hiring an athlete can be good for business and good for athletes.