My thought process when joining a fantasy football league went something like this: “I don’t really watch a lot of football, but being in a league sounds like fun, and once you set up the team it basically takes care of itself.” FALSE. I forgot to manage my team the first week or so, and my current standing is proof that you can’t really take a “set it and forget it” mindset, especially not when you are on a league with people who know more about the players than I do some of my close relatives. While their weekends growing up were spent watching the game so they could functionally discuss one of America’s most popular sports, I was spending my free time as a child reading and curating an extensive sugar packet collection. As someone who works in career services I am fortunately more strategic when it comes to professional development, so here are some tips on what fantasy football can teach us about growing in your career.
Career development doesn’t end after you secure a job
It makes sense that you are most motivated to network and work on your career development when you are actively engaged in a search, but you should always be thinking about how to position yourself to take advantage of future opportunities. Updating your roster regularly and looking for free agents helps you develop a strong team. Keeping your resume and online profile current with your accomplishments and maintaining strong connections with peers will help you be prepared for your next search.
Keep the big picture in mind and know how your short and long term goals match up
Are your current responsibilities preparing you for future positions in your field? Even if you aren’t planning on doing a job search soon, look regularly at the postings for positions a step above yours so you know the types of skills you should be developing in order to be a well-rounded candidate. Your resume should demonstrate a track record of success that will make a future employer feel confident in your abilities to round out their team.
Build professional development into your schedule
There are a lot of resources to help people be successful in playing fantasy football. For example, now that I’m reading my ESPN weekly preview emails and saw this morning that I am projected to get only 28 points this week, I know I need to do some work pulling my team together. Similarly, reading articles from thought leaders, getting involved with local chapters of student affairs groups, and meeting with mentors are great ways to build personal and professional development into your schedule and help you develop professional competencies in areas of growth.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Jake Nelko at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Danny Malave on New Professional Retrospective on the Job Search