Coaches have two levels of employment. The first is the job. The second is the career.
There are ways to kill both.
Job-killers are actions which cause you to be fired. Career-killers are actions which make it improbable (or impossible) to get another job in your field.
Coaches mistakenly think a specific event is the culprit when either of these happen.
“Man, I broke those NCAA rules, so I was fired.” Or, “Hazing happened under my watch, I won’t ever coach again!”
While both those statements may be true, it is dangerously narrow thinking.
How To Kill Your Job
You must think wider and dig deeper to avoid job-killers. Here’s the trick, you are expected to do certain things in your job. As coaches:
- We are expected to recruit
- We are expected to retain
- We are expected to follow the rules
- We are expected to be safe
- We are expected (in some situations) to win
When we don’t do what is expected, we get fired, and someone who will meet the expectations will take our place.
It is as simple as that.
How To Kill Your Career
Careers are different. Careers are killed by unmet obligations. As coaches:
- We are obligated to prohibit and prevent hazing and harassment
- We are obligated to be reasonable-and-prudent
- We are obligated to follow nationally accepted standards
- We are obligated to follow societal rules
- We are obligated (in some situations) to win
Once again, that simple. Actually it’s not simple, and this might help: Become The Coach They’d Love To Keep.
Action You Can (and should) Take
As soon as possible, have a conversation with all the people who have the power to fire you. Ask them two specific questions:
- What is expected of me?
- What am I obligated to do?
Record the answers. If they are acceptable then incorporate appropriate actions into your workflows so you meet the expectations and obligations.
And if their answers are not acceptable? Beware, as I note here (Why Sport Coaches MUST Protect Themselves). And then, find another job, since you will soon be looking for one any way.
Happy Labor Day (if you live in a country that celebrates it). And the irony of this being posted on Labor Day is not lost on me.
PS: If you find value in this, I’d be tickled pink if you’d share it with your social clan. Thanks.