Five Ways To Capitalize On College Basketball Playoffs
The NCAA playoffs aren’t just a good way to banter around the office or bring on the bracket bets. It’s time to make March Madness a career enhancing experience.
As anyone who attended a Sweet Sixteen university knows, basketball’s fervor can bring together an amazing array of alumni and faculty and students, some of whom have not spoken to each other for years. Just don’t ask for career advice or a connection to someone on their corporate team as a game is starting or when they clearly want to discuss their university team’s chances of winning.
Here are five ways to capitalize on the college basketball playoffs for career success:
Reinvention. Those making a career switch need an extra level of supporters and advisors. Friends from your fraternity or college newspaper or other organization may be able to help open doors. So use your team’s success or failure as a first step to reconnecting with them.
Relocation: If you’ve recently moved or are planning a move, see what kinds of March Madness events are happening around town. Then start a list of alums in your new port and locate the nearest alumni chapter. Use LinkedIn’s feature that allows you to search people by school or ask your alumni office to prepare a list for you.
Reinvigoration. If your job search feels like it’s taking way too long, use March Madness to speed it up. Set a job search goal related to the playoffs, or points scored. One example: For each game played, you must dunk two resumes – one to a job opening and one to a friend from high school or college days.
Reminders. College basketball has lessons for anyone who’s aiming high. So much of success starts before the big game – so show up for all the practice and make sure you listen to your coaches, whether she’s your wife or an outplacement counselor. Sometimes winning depends almost as much on timing and luck as it does on skill. The underdog – think Moorehead State – sometimes does beat the favorite.
Reconnect. There’s so many ways to find people you knew in college on social media sites and in professional organizations. Make a list of 20 people who seemed like they were headed for success in college or graduate school- and check their career path on LinkedIn. Go to lunch with your college roommate and ask for some career help after the playoffs are over. Send an update on yourself to your alumni newspaper. Check in with professors about the team – and the trends they’re seeing in your field. Offer to mentor a student or serve on a department committee.
While you’re enjoying the March Madness and screaming for your team, make sure that your Twitter feed and Facebook posts around basketball are PG rated and not too boastful. When your future boss reads them, she may be rooting for a rival.