Misconceptions

When people find out I work for an NFL team, I hear quite a few of the same responses time and time again. So many of their responses or questions are based on misconceptions people have on working in sports. I thought maybe I'd clarify a few of those things today :)

Misconception #1: "So cool! Do you hang out with the players all the time?!"
False. Yes, I see players and do interact with them occasionally at events or just in passing, but that's about the extent of it. I'm much more likely to run into the coaches and chat with them in the mail room than I am to be hanging with NFL athletes. Although, I do have a good story or two about interactions with some of the team.

Misconception #2: "How did you land this job? Who did you know?"
I will say- sports careers are TOUGH to get and often people only get them because they know someone. That is certainly not the only way to get a job in sports and not the way I got my job. I networked, utilized LinkedIn to make numerous connections and sought out the person I wanted to work for on my own when there wasn't even an open position available. Often jobs aren't posted in the sports world so you have to go after the employer yourself.
Misconception #3: "Holy cow, you must make so much money!!!"
No, just....no. Is their potential if you're a standout employee and work your way up? Absolutely. But you will start at the bottom of the totem pole and go from there. Many people intern for free for years in hopes of landing a job with a team and still don't. It's a tough career to break into, but definitely worth it if you can suck it up for awhile.
Misconception #4: "Awesome- so you get to go to all the games for free?!"
Well, technically, yes, I'm at every game. But I'm working- people! I typically get to our stadium a minimum of FIVE HOURS before kickoff and work through almost the end of the game. Like I said, it's not always glamorous, but if you love the sport, it is worth it even on the long days. Plus, Jared gets to reap the benefits of my job and enjoy the games- so there's that, I guess ;)

Do you have any misconceptions about working in sports? What about misconceptions that people have about YOUR job that just drive you crazy? I'd love to hear your comments!

PS-- Football Friday will be back this week, check here for details!

44 comments

  1. Oh girl, I completely get you on this! I interned/worked in sports broadcasting for 5 years for free. Got to go to college football games, stand at the sidelines, etc all the fun stuff..... It's hard being a female in a male dominated world!!! I give you serious props for you job!!!

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  2. I work from home and people are always like ooohhh you are so lucky and sometimes I feel like I am too but when there is no separation between where you work and where you live your home can sometimes feel like a prison.

    I rarely leave my house Monday - Friday, and if I do leave it's usually for less than an hour. It may sound like fun and at first it's great but after a while you're like just get me out of here already.

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  3. It seems working in finance people automatically assume I know where the S&P/Dow stock is at at all times... umm no, like you said...just, no. Ha! I do retirement planning, people!! I don't watch the NYSE 24/7!! ;)

    You are such a hard worker ma'am. :)

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  4. Haha....the SAME thing goes with my job. When I tell people I work for Food Network & HGTV, they always ask: 1. Do you have out with Bobby Flay and everyone all the time??? (Uhm. No.) 2. Can you get me on a show??? (Uhm. No.)

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  5. Haha I might have thought some of these misconceptions :P But you sound like you're a rock star worker and I'm glad you love it!

    Being in HR, everyone thinks I listen to people complain all day and that we're all mean. Luckily I don't do employee relations and I'm probably bias but I think we're all nice people haha sometimes we just got to enforce the policies.

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  6. Yess! Having worked in the country music world and blogging for The GRAMMYs people just assume that I'm bff's with every.single.artist. which is certainly not the case! My favorite is the people you haven't seen since second grade asking for tickets... umm, no, just no. You must get that a lot too!

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  7. Somehow I had no idea you worked for a team!! How did I miss that? How cool! I'm sure it's A LOT of hard work for you but sounds fun!

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  8. I love that you did this! My sister majored in Sports Management and when she was looking for jobs she had to ditch it, the highest salary she found was $11,000 a year. You have to get it and stick it out! But of course they only tell you about the glamorous lives of the owners and such who make so much money it's insane.

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  9. I interned in sports- baseball and for FREE! I totally get where you are coming from! I also worked my booty off to get that coveted internship... I ultimately decided the hours weren't for me but then again wanting to be in AR after graduation doesn't lead me to any AWESOME NFL or MLB teams..! :( ha! Good for you for working and loving it! I see where it can be very addictive :)

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  10. this is an awesome post! and really i did not know very much about the sports world. It is very very cool!

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  11. I sell wedding gowns, and people always think my job is just like "Say Yes to the Dress". Nope. Their prices are much higher than what we deal with, and most people do not make a decision on their first visit.

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  12. This is a great post! I didn't know a single thing about working in sports and I'm glad you were able to clarify things for us. :)

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  13. What do you do before/at the games? I know you do some graphics and other things in the office..you must do all sorts of stuff!

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  14. So what do you actually have to do during the games (since you have to be there to work)?

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  15. Wow! All these things I didn't know! Interesting! =)

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  16. I work for Hilton & the first question I'm always asked is - have you ever met Paris? No, thank god! The family doesn't even own the company anymore. Next is always, do you get to stay in hotels for free? Yes and no. More often, no :(

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  17. All I want to do in life is be an anchor on Sportscenter, but I knew how difficult it is to get into the sports world, let alone a broadcasting job. It's even more difficult because I'm a lady! I'm extremely jealous of your job - the NFL is my life and I'd love to have a part in it.

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    1. It's definitely difficult, but if it's your goal I say go after it! LinkedIn has been a great resource for me- you can always find networking events in your area and you never know who you'll meet/impress at one of those!

      (PS- I couldn't find a way to respond to you via email!)

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  18. Um...I most definitely second EVERYTHING you wrote in this post! Great clarifications...especially since those are basically the standard questions that every person I have ever met asks me as well. Being in sports is tough...but fortunately it does have an upside as well :) And last, but not least...WHO DEY!! Hope they can keep it together for all four quarters next week! :)

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  19. So amazing! Sounds like such a fun (and busy / crazy / hard / exciting) job. I am sure you ROCK at what you do and will climb that latter like a champ! :)

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  20. I missed the fact that you worked for a team too but so cool! WHat an awesome experience and cool industry to be a part of. Impressed with the linkedin skills too! What exactly do you do?

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  21. I brag about you to Freddie. "The girl that did that sweet poster for the wedding? That's the girl that works for the Bengals!" I show off your Instagrams and what not, ya know, not creepy in the least! ;) Basically, you just answered some good questions for me.

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  22. My husband coaches college football and people assume he makes tons of money like the big name Division I coaches. I wish...

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  23. Wow Erin, I didn't know that about you. You are even cooler than I thought you were :) Hehe.

    Glad you see that you really went out and got what you wanted. You worked for it and in the end it happened.

    Love stories like that.

    Ginny
    www.buttergirldiaries.com

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  24. I didn't have any of these misconceptions about your job, although I didn't realize that you have to work the games. Excellent post!

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  25. The misconceptions about teaching are BEYOND annoying to me. I should do my own version of this post. I have that much to say. My favorite is that we get 3 months off. Oh my gosh...we don't. Haha. At least someone gets to enjoy the benefits of your job *cough* Jared *cough* Haha. Lucky guy in more than one way. :)

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  26. Well, even though you have to work your way up the ladder, it's still SUPER COOL that you work for a professional sports team. Do you get to watch the games while you're working? I guess I'm not exactly sure what you do...

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  27. Hah everyone always thinks we drink all day, and just go to events at bars every night. No guys, sorry, I actually log a LOT of work time - although there are some pretty awesome benefits in my industry!

    Your job sounds great though, I can always tell you really love it

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  28. cool post lady! i can tell you are a hard worker....and i love how you got your job - way to go after it!

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  29. Love this!!! But you forgot one... "OMG you work for the Bengals! Can you hook me up with tickets?!?!" ;)

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  30. I was curious about you going to each game but I couldn't remember if I had asked it before!

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  31. I loved reading this! I know nothing about the sports world and these are good things to know! I work in HR and hands down the first question people ask me is if I've fired someone. LOL

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  32. Love this list! People are crazy. Some of my old friends think that just bc I live in Florida I sit on the beach and drink pins coladas all day. I wish!

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  33. Great post! My husband and I own our own Ameriprise Financial business (franchise office). So many misconceptions about it! The biggest thing we get is that we must make and have a lot of money since we are able to own our business, specifically a financial business! Add knowing a thing or two about spending/saving and you live with a lot of jealous people around you :(
    Another thing is that we get a lot of calls/questions about banking since the word financial is in our title. No we don't handle loans. More in the business of retirement savings, planning, etc.
    Oh and we used to be called American Express so everyone thought we had something to do with the credit card! Thankfully, the name was changed to Ameriprise Financial Services about 10 years ago :)

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  34. My first question would be: CAN YOU GET ME FREE TICKETS!!!?? Then you would probably give me the eye roll :)

    I bet you get a lot of people drooling and professing their jealousy over your job! Great post, thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

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  35. So funny. I thought all of these questions and you just answered them for me :) Cool post! :)

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  36. This is really cool! The misconceptions people have about different careers is interesting to me. I'm the director of marketing and pr at a university and people think all I do is come up with billboards and plan events - far from the truth. My husband works in the mortgage industry and he has people ask him all the time about loans and anything to do with banking in general which is totally not what he does.

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  37. okay, I know that this is probably posted somewhere, but what exactly do you do for the team?

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  38. I work at an car dealership and people think I get free cars or can drive any car I want home, and that i can get them amazing deals on cars. all not true.

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  39. I get misconceptions about my job all the time as well. I try not to roll my eyes at them all the time cause for instance the first questions I would have asked you is...who do you know?! LOL!

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  40. As a kinder teacher, I always get the how do I make my child... blank. As if I'm somehow the person who knows how to answer everything. No lady!

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  41. I've thought about doing one of these posts but I think my entire blog is kind of one big "misconceptions" post! Yours was an interesting read! Looking forward to reading more of your posts. ;)

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  42. I don't know how I never saw this post, but THIS IS MY LIFE. I work for Indiana University Athletics and all of these still apply. Football games I'm there 4 hours before and I don't leave until at least an hour after the game is over. Basketball it's only 3 hours before, but still. Also, I don't make that much money. I love the job, most days, but I definitely don't do it for the money. However, I do have quite a bit of interaction with the athletes. A few years ago I spent most of my time with them, but I would say I get to know the support staff and coaches a lot more.

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