“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Albert Schweitzer, philosopher & winner of 1952 Nobel Peace Prize
For many, the primary reason for wanting to get involved in the sports industry is passion: the passion for a particular sport or even the passion for a specific team or club. People love sports and will do anything get themselves involved.
And when it comes to football – the international language of sport – the passion is often miles deep and follows a dream. Growing up, kids were – and still are – playing football in their back gardens or in the streets with their mates, revolving their entire weekends around kicking a ball about or, perhaps, yelling at the telly when the referee makes a bad call. But, of course, most don’t make it professionally so instead live through sports by way of a career outside the physical playing of it.
Working in the sports industry can be very exciting, but also extremely challenging. And it is typical to find very high job satisfaction and, so, accentuated rich-reward. Since 2010, the business of sport has become a £20bn-a-year industry in the UK, supporting some 450,000 jobs. But it has not always been that way – particularly within football.
Rewind 30 years ago, business and sport were rarely mentioned in the same breath. It was an entirely different playing field. Fortunately, though, for the game, business came to the rescue, identifying opportunities, creating markets and sparking unprecedented investment and with TV acting as the major power broker, the benefits of a career in football are clear.
Perhaps the most noticeable benefit of working in football is the sense of health and wellbeing. Considerable efforts have been and continue to be put into ensuring the sport is as good for the mental and physical state off the pitch, as it is on it.
Whilst many sports are individualistic, football success is underpinned by teamwork and supportive environments – the backroom staff, the medics and the fans. Away from playing, these feel-good factors and sense of belonging exist just the same.
Whilst undoubtedly challenging, jobs in football tend to come with significant promotion prospects and lots of room for manoeuvre. Often you will be dual-rolling, working ordinarily in one department but taking responsibility for something entirely different come match-day. This helps heighten the sense of satisfaction that many consider a perk not found in other industries.
The diversity, flexibility and subsequent feeling of worth and status is often cited as a key driver for business professionals remaining in the football and, indeed, sporting world. And generally, of course, with elongated employment come increased income levels.
Football is a multi-national sport, attracting a myriad of professionals from a range of sectors, with a variety of skills and knowledge. And with this mix emanates many nationalities and, so, a compendium of cultures. The conditions of the working environment, therefore, tend to be dynamic, exciting and entirely different day-to-day.
So if passion is your poison and multifarious Monday’s are your thing, a job in football might just be the challenge you’re looking for.