Where do I start? Sport and Leisure

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1 Introduction Where do I start? Sport and Leisure The sport and leisure industry covers a wide range of areas, with jobs in sectors such as recreation, health and fitness, and outdoor pursuits. Some areas in the industry are thriving. The Golden Decade of Sport has seen events such as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup create thousands of jobs in coaching, fitness, logistics, management and many more. Finding out about Web The Careers Service website contains many useful resources, including links to sport and leisure industry insights, professional bodies, sector journals (such as those listed below), employer directories and vacancy sources. The Leisure, Sport and Tourism webpages link to these occupational resources Journals and newspapers Careers in Sport Leisure Opportunities Populous populous.com/magazine SportGrads Sports Management Workout

2 Information folder Green folders (C5) Physical Therapies (C6) Health Promotion and Wellbeing (C7) Psychology (F1) Leisure (F2) Sport Reference books (the brackets refer to which Careers Service office holds them) Becoming a Sport Psychologist (C) How to be a Sports Agent (C&KB) Sport and Fitness Uncovered (C) Sports Managment Handbook (C) Working in Sport (C) Information team The Careers Information Adviser at our Helpdesk will be happy to help with information and advice on careers in sport and leisure. Even if we do not have the information you are after, we can tell you how to track it down. No need to make an appointment just ask! Jobs in sport and leisure Coach Fitness instructor Health club manager Jockey Leisure (or recreation) assistant Leisure centre manager Outdoor pursuits instructor Personal trainer Physical education (PE) teacher Professional sportsperson Riding instructor Sports development work Swimming teacher Yoga teacher

3 Media jobs related to sport Journalist Public relations (PR) Sports photographer Medical work related to sport and leisure Nutritionist Osteopath Sport and exercise scientist/physiologist Sports physiotherapist Sports psychologist Sports therapist Getting experience Getting relevant experience in a sport or leisure setting will improve future applications and will also help you to decide if this is the right path for you. There are plenty of possibilities for this sort of work. A large number of voluntary, part-time and seasonal opportunities exist with local authority health and sport centres. Contact the University of Edinburgh Sports Union (SU) as a starting point o SupportED is the SU s community engagement and volunteering platform. o The SU website also advertises job vacancies, including Active Schools paid coaching and voluntary positions throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians. Summer camp placements in the USA and Canada, with organisations such as Camp America and BUNAC, are a very popular way to work abroad and gain experience in sport and working with young people. Holiday centres and parks in Europe can also provide opportunities to gain experience in seasonal positions within the sport and leisure industry. Coaching qualifications may be helpful in gaining work experience in sport and fitness. Consider joining a vacation/summer school centre in the UK or abroad to gain experience if you have sport coaching qualifications. Websites such as SeasonWorkers.com advertise temporary outdoor instructor positions.

4 Some employers provide formal, paid work placements. Check their websites for details of when you need to apply. For work shadowing in a health care setting, target a local provider such as NHS Lothian. Sport and leisure-related organisations can be busier at certain times of the year, such as summer or when major sporting events take place. Employers can therefore be short staffed and are more likely to take on temporary, part-time staff. Bear in mind that you may need to apply a few months in advance for these sorts of opportunities as managers cannot afford to run the risk of being understaffed at such critical times and so do not leave recruitment to the last minute. Check out the vacancies we regularly advertise on MyCareerHub. Try some speculative approaches to employers head office HR or graduate teams. If an employer offers no formal scheme for students it doesn t mean that they aren t interested in offering some work shadowing or even some paid work for a particular project that needs doing. Be polite, enthusiastic and proactive in your approach and you could be successful. You can read more about Finding unadvertised jobs on our website. Volunteer for a local charity which can offer you experience in areas such as customer service, marketing or youth work. Visit or > Explore your options > Volunteering Check the Events section of MyCareerHub for details of employers giving presentations to University of Edinburgh students during semester. The Careers Service also organises Careers information sessions where professionals from certain sectors talk to students about the industry, what it s like to work there and how to get into it. For more information visit the Events section of MyCareerHub mycareerhub.ed.ac.uk/students/events Use Connect.ed to make contact with alumni for tips and advice on getting into sport and leisure connected

5 How to find a job Some relevant employers visit Edinburgh during Semesters One and Two, and some attend the Edinburgh Careers Fair and Graduate Recruitment Fair, but there are many more opportunities advertised on MyCareerHub. The National Sports Roadshow is a large annual fair which visits a several cities across the UK. The Roadshow hosts a wide variety of employers and jobs. The majority of positions within the industry are non-graduate and many are part-time. Graduate schemes are not very common but do exist with some of the larger national and multinational chains. Consider your areas of interest (for example, education, health promotion, media) and the types of employers you would like to work for, such as marketing agencies or local authorities, and visit their websites for advertised vacancies. Use the sector specific resources linked from our Occupations webpages, including links to organisations which might advertise vacancies or have directories of potential employers uk/careers > Explore your options > Occupations > Leisure, Sport and Tourism Social media is becoming a more popular way to advertise sport and leisure jobs. Our website contains tips on using social media for professional purposes The sport and leisure industry is increasingly global and jobs are available around the world. Examples of occupations where overseas opportunities are available include coach, fitness instructor, personal trainer, professional sportsperson, sales/leisure manager, and PR and marketing managers. Working for one of the larger multinational companies could offer more opportunities to work abroad. This may be advertised as part of their graduate scheme or once you are already employed by the company. Work can also be found on cruise ships or in holiday resorts. You can find more information on working overseas, including how to find employers, on our Global opportunities pages

6 Further study In general, industry-specific qualifications, such as the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC), are more important than academic qualifications. A degree, however, is essential for the small number of graduate schemes and for teaching, lecturing and sport science-related vacancies. The SU website contains details of their annual Coaching Week, a chance to obtain coaching qualifications in different sports. Those wishing to pursue a career in health and fitness will need to gain accreditation which is certified by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). SkillsActive, which is responsible for REPs, has also launched the Register of Aquatic Professionals (RAPs). Some other professions also require members to complete further study in order to become accredited and, therefore, to practise. Check with the relevant accrediting body (if applicable). There are postgraduate courses available which may help to develop your management skills within a sport or leisure environment but while some employers will be looking for relevant qualifications either at undergraduate or postgraduate level, others will focus more on work experience. Some of these courses will have a work placement component and links with employers. Examples of subject areas include dance science, outdoor education, physical activity for health, and sport management. Postgraduate courses range from certificate to masters level. Examples of occupations where further study is usually a requirement include exercise physiologist, sport and exercise psychologist, and strength and conditioning coach. Some employers encourage further study as part of your professional development, providing funding and time off to study. The Further study section of our website contains information on finding postgraduate courses, applying and funding uk/careers > Explore your options > Further study Applications and interviews Securing a job in sport and leisure isn t an easy option. Some of the popular sport-related roles in particular are as competitive, if

7 not more so, than many jobs in other sectors. Graduates are often required to have a range of paid and/or voluntary work experience on their CV, coaching qualifications or evidence of club sports participation, in addition to a first degree. Sport or leisure workers will be required to already have or agree to undergo a disclosure check before being allowed to work directly with children or vulnerable adults. Some employers will reimburse the cost incurred. Many employers recruit all year round for positions, although graduate schemes, such as the British Horseracing Graduate Development Programme, usually have specific closing dates for applications in Semester One or early in Semester Two, with schemes often starting in the autumn. For many areas of sport and leisure, making speculative applications can be a powerful strategy when looking for work. This means uncovering or creating potential opportunities which are not advertised and are therefore hidden. In order to help you prepare for applications and interviews, improve your business awareness by reading press such as the industry journals mentioned above, and by looking at the websites of bodies such as the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and UK Sport. We have a handout on Business awareness which you can pick up at the Careers Service or view on our website. See our website for further help on applying for jobs uk/careers/applications-interviews Self-employment A significant number of people working in sport and leisure are self-employed, freelance or on short-term contracts, particularly in personal training, sport performance and psychology. One of the key ways of minimising risk is to do some planning before you commit yourself to self-employment. You can find information on our website as well as links to other sources of help > Explore your options > Self- Employment

8 Considerations Think about whether you would prefer to work on a football pitch or in an office; with children and vulnerable groups or with worldclass athletes. Would you like to work in a small team, one-to-one with clients, overseas, outdoors or for a large organisation such as a major city leisure centre? Salary levels vary considerably but while on average they might not be as high as in some other sectors, careers in sport and leisure do offer other significant benefits such as discounts, access to facilities and job satisfaction! If working in an office role (development or marketing, for example), hours are generally Monday to Friday, nine to five. Other jobs require more flexibility: working hours can be long and seasonal, and employees are often required to work shift patterns and weekends. The biggest seasonal changes are in the outdoor sector, where most jobs are created in the summer. About 47% of the industry is employed on a part-time basis, compared to 27% of the whole UK workforce. The sport and leisure industry as a whole employs 663,300 people, accounting for around 2% of the UK workforce (SkillsActive 2010). Relatively few people in sport are professionals: most are amateurs who might compete at the highest levels but do not make money from their sport. Careers in sport and leisure can be highly unpredictable, owing to injury, funding and of course the change in seasons. Those working in the industry recommend having a back-up and many depend upon second jobs for financial stability. You are welcome to discuss any of these issues with a Careers Consultant. The University of Edinburgh Careers Service, 2013 August 2014 The Careers Service aims to be accessible to all users. If you require support to access any of our events or facilities, please let us know. We are happy to make this publication available in an alternative format. Please phone or to alert us to your needs. The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336

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