Pros and Cons of my real job
It is good to be back. I took a little bit of time off before and after the Fourth of July. We were doing a lot of traveling and sometimes our internet access was not the greatest and besides it is a little rude to visit family and then be off typing on the computer for an hour or so. I must also admit that I spent a lot of time watching the World Cup and now that the tournament is over, I can get back to life as usual. I hope that all of you, the Gather Little by Little readers, are having a great summer.
I had another personal finance blogger suggest that we write about the pros and cons of our real jobs as part of a bigger post project and I thought I would do that today. My job is one that I wanted for a long time, but I never really believed that I would actually reach this particular goal: I am a full-time college soccer coach. There are days that I cannot really believe that I am being paid to teach people how to kick a ball. There are not a lot of people in this country who make a living in sports. Of course, there is a lot more to the job than just kicking a ball, but the bottom line is true.
Mike asked the following questions, which I will answer here:
What you like the most about your job?
There are many aspects of my job that I enjoy. First, I like competition. In fact, I like competition more than I like soccer – always have. I enjoy the relationships that are built through sports. There is a bond between teammates that is unique and long lasting. I particularly like coaching in the college setting where I get to see young kids mature into adults over a four year period and have a hand in that process.
I enjoy that my job is different almost every day. The outdoors, travel, the office and more are all parts of my job. The dress code is also a great aspect of my job. I used to have a job where I needed to wear a coat and tie every day. As a full-time soccer coach, a polo shirt is the apex of my “dressing up”. Most days find me in shorts, sneakers and a team t-shirt.
What you dislike the most about your job?
The crazy hours. It is not so much that the hours are long or late or early, but simply that they are always different. There are days when I get home as early as 2 or 3 pm and days when I do not leave the house until 11 am. There are days that I have to leave the house at 5 or 6 am and do not get home until 10 or 11 pm. And all of that can happen in the same week. I work a lot of Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. There are certain times of the year where I never get time off. For instance, since college soccer is in the fall, I have not taken a day’s vacation between August 10th and Thanksgiving for over fifteen years. Someday I would like to have a job that allowed me to deer hunt . . .
A college coach, no matter what sport, can never take time off and totally forget about the job. There are aspects of the job that demand attention. I take calls from players and recruits on every major holiday and e-mail is a constant slave master. The modern convenience that has most benefited my life is texting. I can now keep up with players during family events without having to go in the other room to make a call.
There are also a number of aspects to college coaching that the coach cannot control – funding, injuries, etc. Athletic coaching is based on performance and at most schools, if you do not perform to the specifications of your administration, you will not get a second chance.
What are the requirements for your job?
Good question. College coaching, in particular, really subscribes to the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Landing a college coaching job is really about networking. Other than that, the following are highly recommended: college playing experience, a post-graduate degree, lots and lots of coaching experience. Getting experience might be the hardest part about eventually working in college athletics. A person with the goal of being a college coach will need to spend many, many hours volunteering or working for little pay before getting close to a job that pays enough to live on.
I meet many people who would like to someday be a college coach. I enjoy my job . . . but be careful for what you wish . . . On Wednesday, we will discuss some of the jobs that have the best perks!
Article by Stew
Photo by EAWB