With jobs in the financial world remaining as competitive as ever, you need to stack the deck in your favour and do what you can to enhance your employability. A great way to get ahead is to participate in a sport, and understand how this can benefit you in the working world. Utilise the skill-set that you have gained from sport, be aware of these skills and apply them in order to drive your career forward.

There are many skills which are required in order to lead to a successful career. But which of these skills are enhanced by participating in sport? JDX Recruitment Manager states: ‘There are many attributes which can make a successful candidate for employment. Here at JDX, we recognise the value that sport can add to a potential employee’s skill-set. We feel that sport can instil many qualities from self-discipline to being a good team player.’

A recent survey at the Sport Industry Research centre at Sheffield Hallam University found:
• The average graduate who participated in some form of sport earns £5,824 (18%) more than those who do not participate in a sport.
• Graduates who do not participate in sport, experience more periods of unemployment compared to those who describe themselves as ‘sporty students’.

Which sport should you play?

If you are new to sport it would be useful to choose a sport which not only you enjoy, but also which enables you to build upon your worker skill-set. An individual sport, such as tennis or golf, can address intrinsic motivation and self-confidence. In comparison, team sports such as football or netball can reap the benefits of increased reliability and effectiveness as a good team player, as well as enhancing your leadership skills. All of these can increase your confidence in these areas and can be transferred to your advantage in the workplace.

Sport can also teach some important life lessons:

Just like an exam or essay deadline, if you haven’t prepared properly, you probably are not going to do your best.

Dealing with defeat as well as victory
Being gracious in victory is just as important as being gracious in defeat, and the same holds true in the workplace. Be happy for a colleague’s successes, even if it comes at the expense of your own.

Focus on your own personal strengths and weaknesses
Sport is great for looking at situations objectively and analysing which is the best way to approach the task at hand. In order to help your team achieve a common goal it is essential that you are able to evaluate and utilise your skillset.

Learning from mistakes
In sport, if you don’t learn from your mistakes you will not succeed. Sport helps you to be OK with making mistakes and teaches you how to deal with them and manage their consequences.

Tough decisions come hand-in-hand with sport. You have to be prepared to demonstrate your bravery and sometimes opt for the tougher option which will ultimately put you out of your comfort zone. This is hugely applicable to work-life situations.

As the research, and the points above suggest, participation in any sport has the potential to improve your employability. How much it can help however, is up to you. If nothing else, it is a great healthy way to meet and connect with new people. What do you have to lose?