Sunday, June 23, 2013

Add Value and Enhance Career

The first CoSIDA convention under the NACDA umbrella is still fresh on our minds. What are your takeaways?

My big one: add value.

According to a report, college division athletic directors (most) are our biggest fans. They now see the the quality and quantity of what the SID does. That is HUGE progress, my friends.

On the negative side, many higher ups--VPs and Presidents--are unaware of the tremendous value we add to our institutions.

They need to know that a strategic communicator greatly assists in attracting and retaining students to a college or university.

What can we do to convince the higher ups of this fact?

Continue the good we are doing and broadcast the successes.

Be Yourself, but Make a Splash 

What is your AD, coach or president saying about you?

The valued SIDs are using their unique talents to fortify their jobs.

For example, one SID is big on game shows and can take over a room. But he also gets in his game files promptly each night. His bosses know the job he does but also that extra effort to make the student-athlete experience unique and special.

Define your unique skills and build on them. What are you adding to your repertoire in 2014? If you don't at least try something new or to get better, you are not helping your situation or the profession.

Know Your Limitations

Just about every job interviewee is asked of his/her biggest weakness? Have you defined yours in relation to your job? If the answer is yes, ask for help.

If graphic design is not your thing, can the PR office assist on layout and cover design of a media guide?

Does your office have a plan in place for editing and accuracy? Don Ranly once said a doctor can't operate on himself and an author needs an editor as well.

Do you have too many responsibilities on game day? Perhaps a local statistician or PA announcer can help. Identify the hole and ask for help. They can only say "no."

Nice Guys Finish First 

If I were to guess what the biggest asset of an embedded/successful/respected SID was, it would be that he/she is well-liked.

"Every time I say yes to a coach, it's a deposit in the bank," was a takeaway from a CoSIDA panel about dealing with coaches. The veteran from the commonwealth of Virginia made a wise point.

For those of us handling multiple sports, do you have a genuine interest in every athletic team you cover? Say "yes" to their unique needs and you can reap dividends.

More importantly, do you strive to achieve positive personal relationships with coaches? A friend is likely to be your biggest advocate.

Get Involved

It may be a broken record, but get involved. The CoSIDA Board, committees, divisional leadership, and activity on the conference level are all good examples.

SIDs can make a difference elsewhere. We now can sit on sport championship committees, which is another indication of the increasing respect of our profession within intercollegiate athletics.

However, there are other ways to be involved. Be an asset by blogging about the profession, get active on LinkedIn discussion boards, the or SIDChat. If you are helping or educating others, you are an asset.

Or, perhaps simply pick up of the phone and see how a colleague and or newcomer is doing once a week. I can do that.


  1. Great ideas about ways to better invole yourself in the college landscape. I would also suggest joining the Faculty-Staff Council, if there is one, of the college/university that you are affiliated as that is a great way to better strengthen the relationship with the athletic department. It also will show a solid interest on the campus landscape that you are investing in the overall well being of the campus. In turn it gives alternatives to entertainment for families of the staff of those on campus.

    Glad that you mentioned LinkedIn.....that has really helped my career and offers a way for me to connect with those that are in the profession. I know that it gives me a chance to bounce ideas, emails and questions off others that can assist with these dilemmas.

  2. Great points, Jon. Ask not what your employer is doing for you but what you can do for your career."