The Leaders of NASCAR, MLS Soccer, and the NFL Share Their Best Career Advice

There are many steps to successfully landing your next job, and as competition for key positions continues to grow you will need to find a way to set yourself apart of the pack. Want to know how you can land your dream job? Major League sports experts provide some excellent advice to help you get noticed. 

The Daytona International Speedway (@disupdates) recently hosted a sports career summit that featured three outstanding leaders from major league sports. The sports industry includes jobs in sales, digital media, customer appreciation, HVAC, public relations, catering, publication, video production, ticket management, security, and the list goes on. While sport franchises have a wide range of career opportunities available, competition remains fierce. The same can be said very many popular positions in other top tier industries.

So how can you gain an edge when applying to these and other jobs? Three local Central Florida sports leaders provide some great insight on landing your perfect job. 

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Joie Chitwood III, President, Daytona International Speedway

•  Have a plan for your career. Don’t wing it. If you want to work for the Daytona International Speedway Corporation, develop a plan to get yourself and your credentials recognized. 

• Stand out by being “shameless”. When you get a chance to meet key people from places you want to work, get yourself out there and meet them. Tell them you want to work for them and ask permission to send them your resume. 

• Intern. Be the first one in and the last one out. You will get noticed by the leaders. Get as many internships as you can while in school. Two is better than one.

• Once you get a job, continue to grow even if it means leaving a job you love. (Joie went from being the president of Indianapolis Motor Speedway to DIS for one big reason; Indy was a private company and he wanted get experience in the public sector.

• Number one skill set EVERYONE needs: Public Speaking. You have to be able to tell your story in a very powerful way. Also, everybody is in sales. You must sell everything you do to be successful. 

• Favorite Quote: (via Mario Andretti) “If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough.”

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Phil Rawlins, President, Orlando City Soccer (MLS 2015)

• Jobs that interact with fans are in high demand. Those include areas such as writing, social media, game day, media relations and website development. Sports is about creating a fantastic “live” sporting experience for fans so they come out to the stadium instead of watching on television. 

• Since soccer is a global brand, we are looking for people currently who can speak Portuguese. 

• If offered a job, any job, take it and “turn on” the opportunity. Many great sports careers begin here.

• Favorite Quote: “If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.”

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Dan Edwards, Vice President of Communications, Jacksonville Jaguars 

• Internships are the best way to get a job in sports. (Dan had two internships) 

•  He suggests reaching out to people who work at companies you want to work for and doing an “informational interview”. Interview them on how they got their job, what it’s like is to work at the company and ask them for advice on how to get your resume noticed. 

• Passion is needed in sports. You have to really want to be in the game and be invested in your job. In this industry, there’s no such thing as a 9-5 job.

• Huge increase in digital and social media jobs. Also, coding, website and video jobs are huge.

• Great jobs in sports exist at the college level. Do your research to identify all sports entities.

• Best advice: Everyday there are hidden treasures in your life...look for them.

Joie, Phil and Dan provide great advice from the top to help you in your job search no matter what company you want to work for. Many job seekers make a huge mistake during a job search by NOT marketing themselves to create some momentum that leads to the interview. You have three leaders telling you they are approachable. I think that is the biggest takeaway from this great event. Don’t just sit back and wait after you hit the “submit application” button on a great job. Go out and create your own momentum by reaching out to key people within the company. Just be prepared. It’s okay. Joie, Phil and Dan all agree!

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