Welcome to the Endgame
The Endgame project is designed to help athletes better prepare for when they stop competing. The first phase is to tell the stories of guys I’ve met through rugby, what they’ve moved on to, how they found the transition and their advice for people in the same position.
Employment is a broad church and the options can seem both limiting and overwhelmingly vast. Here, in the stories below, you can find out ways of earning a living that you possibly hadn’t considered or didn’t know were possible.
I want to furnish athletes with information, provide some resources and who knows, eventually be able to offer skill development, part time employment and mentorship with those who have moved beyond the Endgame.
Wrestling with my own career change has lead me down some interesting rabbit holes with regards to advice. I’ve certainly read some rubbish but much of it is incredibly interesting and helpful.
I find a mix of theory from thought leaders in the space, combined with some personal stories of changing career, gives a good balance.
‘You should always be working your next job, because if you don’t, you won’t be qualified for anything else when your current job ends’
- Jason Feifer of Entrepreneur Magazine
This is intended for everyone but is particularly applicable for an athlete; your career has a time limit on it. We all know that we should prepare. How is the question.
Credentials are one way; studying for a degree or another qualification can open doors to particular lines of work.
The other way is to consider building a project based CV. Explore different industries or lines of work with experiments, using them to demonstrate actual skills that an employer will value. Write for a blog. Do a photo project. Build a product. Make a website.
In my experience, being an athlete gives you a wealth of ‘soft skills’, communication, teamwork, leadership and resilience, but employers want to see evidence of more technical skills that they can put to use.
The workplace is changing dramatically with technology enabling and creating new ways of working that aren’t yet fully explored. As an athlete, you can use your downtime to research areas of interest and create small projects that can demonstrate your aptitude and your initiative to a potential employer.
You can also use this time to research potential business ideas for yourself.
Here I’ll collate some resources for you to explore.
Careershifters - as their name suggests, these guys specialise in career change. Their email newsletter has good examples of people who have made career shifts and outlines how they managed it.
Radreads - Khe Hy worked for Blackrock Investments before changing career. Now he writes about work, money and life in his email newsletter. The link will take you to a post on career change and how to deal with it but the rest of the material is well worth exploring.
Praxis - a lot of content on how to launch a new career, much of which is very applicable to the currently competing or recently retired athlete.
Starter Story - some very detailed interview based content, showcasing entrepreneurial projects and businesses including the financials and systems that underpin them. Great if you’re after ideas for your own ventures.
Yunzhe Zhou is a career change specialist and coach. Here are how 25 side projects lead to new careers.
Radreads collated side project articles and examples here.
Makerpad is a great resource for those who want to launch or test any side project they can think of. Learn how to stitch together no-code tools in order to facilitate your business idea.
When to Jump - start with this episode for an athlete specific take
Reimagine Work - details people living their lives in unusual ways, often with remote work. This one details a post professional basketball journey.
A tech CEO and incredibly smart guy. Here’s a link to loads of his output but below are some selected quotes.
Stop thinking in terms of “careers”. Instead, focus on develop skills, and doing what you want to do at a particular time to get paid
Create work that can be seen and recognized, and the network emerges
Create a product out of whatever it is that you naturally and uniquely do really well
Don’t pick a job. Pick a Boss. Your first boss is the biggest factor in your career success. A boss who doesn’t trust you won’t give you opportunities to grow.
What do you find easy and fun that others find hard?