While swimming is obviously valuable for us physically, many people don’t realize the lasting effects it can have on a person as they enter the professional world. Being a long time athlete shapes someone in more ways than you’d expect and teaches you values that you can take with you for the rest of your life. Here are six ways being a swimmer can make you more hirable to employers.
- You know the value of hard work.
You’ve been brought up working hard and doing the same thing day in and day out, even when it produces no results. You know how to work through a drought and adapt the attitude that things will get better as long as you keep working hard. Many people don’t learn this lesson until much later in life, but as a swimmer, you’ve weathered the storm and already learned these valuable lessons.
- You know how to work independently and on a team.
Unlike many other sports, swimming is unique in that it is equal parts a team sport and an individual one. Because most races are individual, you learn how to hold yourself accountable when you make a mistake or not work as hard as you should have. However, through relays and team dual meets, you also learn the compromise involved when working with others and the amazing results you can get.
- You don’t complain.
Complaining is something that most swimmers have moved on from as they get older. After some time, you come to realize that you have to do what you have to do, and that’s not going to change. I remember complaining constantly when I first started swimming until I finally realized that it wasn’t going to make practice any easier, it would just make me more miserable. There is no room for negativity, especially in the workplace. Employers will quickly get sick of hearing their employees complain.
- Your resume may be more impressive than others.
If an employer is choosing between two equally qualified candidates and one was a college swimmer, they would probably be more inclined to choose the athlete. Why? Because they know that being a collegiate athlete means you made a conscious choice to devote yourself to spending hours and hours working unquestionably hard. The employer will know ahead of time that you know what it’s like to be committed to something and you are willing to put in the work that is involved in the position that you applied for.
- You have connections with people.
If you swam for a considerably long amount of time, you probably have connections with all different people through the swimming world. Just from being on a club team growing up, I’ve made friends from all over the state where I live even if we were not on the same team. Swimming truly is a social sport, and it’s always helpful to know people when you’re networking as you begin your job search.
- You have good time management skills.
There’s no doubt about the fact that being a serious competitive swimmer takes up a lot of our time. I remember, when I was in high school, some days I would leave my house at 7 a.m. and not get home until 9 at night. My days would consist of school, a high school team practice or meet, a snack, and then club practice right after. I would work on my homework the day it was assigned, even if it wasn’t due for weeks because my days were so preoccupied. Swimmers learn from a young age how to prioritize their time in order to be successful in everything they do, even if it means a whole day of school, two club team practices, and a high school team meet. This will undoubtedly carry over into the workplace when you use these skills and can easily finish what you are assigned in a timely fashion.