Outside the bubble: new identity

Thinking about a new career but don’t know where to start? Struggling with the prospect of a 9 to 5? At a loss as to where to begin? You have a degree but can’t relate to it anymore? Put the brakes on a little bit and really take your time to assess your options.

Finding something that replaced what you had in sport is a difficult task and much more difficult than imagined. It is very hard to put an athlete at a desk a few weeks after the peak event of their careers and tell them to start tasks that are going to seem immensely mundane in comparison. It is a recipie for disaster and certainly not good for the soul of the athlete.

While you have been training and competing for the last show you may or may not have been putting steps in place for your new career. If you have, great, but it does not mean you are going to feel amazing about it in the first few weeks or even months.

Remember you will still be dealing with the loss of your old life, even at a subconscious level.

As soon as you can after you stop, take a bit of time out to reflect on what you have done in your sports career. Regardless of the outcomes or shortness of your career or how it ended – it is a good idea to take stock and get some peace around it (see RECONCILING YOUR CAREER).

If you take the time here and really slow down and FEEL what it is you want to do then you will possibly eliminate false starts in careers ahead.

False starts do your confidence and self esteem no good whatsoever.

See what is out there. Do a personality test to see where your passions lie.
Maybe you aren’t suited to a 9 to 5 gig. Perhaps you are an entrepreneur. In fact, athletes are predisposed to being entrepreneurs and business owners due to the similarities between them and being an athlete.

Don’t go it alone. Talk to as many people as you can and confide in those you trust. Everyone will want you to succeed.


Crossing the Line athlete career expert Rene Poulos answers your career and education questions here


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