Comprehensive Study Reveals Career Challenges for Olympians; Monster.com and the USOC Create Tools for Athletes to Prepare for Life After the Olympic Games
The study suggests there may be good reason for current and hopeful Olympians to be focused about life after the Olympic Games. Among retired Olympians in their prime earning years (45-54 years of age), 61% claim not to have yet fulfilled their career aspirations. Almost one-third (33%) of retired Olympians in the twilight of their career (55-64 years of age) still have not yet fulfilled those aspirations. Even though an overwhelming majority (83%) of retired Olympians have completed their college education and 38% have received a graduate degree, indications are that this group face career challenges well into their working lives.
Given the rigorous training schedule of Olympic athletes, it is easy to understand why preparing for a career may be put on hold. However, with 70% concerned that their competitive careers delayed their pursuit of professional goals and planning for their future, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Monster.com have teamed up to help athletes with this process.
"The Monster.com Olympian Career Study shows that the pursuit for Olympic glory creates career challenges for the very 'heroes' America cheers for during the Olympics," says Jeff Taylor, CEO of Monster.com. "The USOC and Monster are committed to providing programs that assist athletes with the challenges they face during their post-Olympic career. Together, we will provide this elite group of athletes with innovative tools and resources that will not only lead to meaningful professional careers, but more importantly help them showcase the sought-after skills that make them ideal employees."
Post-Games Job Search Triggers Emotional Letdown Many Olympians feel years behind their peers and lack hands-on working experience when they retire from their sport. While the fear of an emotional letdown is prevalent among Olympians, more than two-thirds (67%) report having this fear, a near equal amount (61%) reveal that they actually experienced from such a letdown following Olympic competition.
"The American public only sees the excitement surrounding the Olympics, but doesn't know the stress that comes after the competition is over," says Jimmy Pedro, Manager of Olympic Sponsorship for Monster.com, and three-time Olympian and judo world champion. "Many of us have given years of our lives to focus on our Olympic goals. When our athletic careers end, we are faced with having to set brand new goals, and many of us have to conduct a job search for the first time in our lives."
Half of those surveyed (43%) reveal they had trouble entering the workforce following the Olympic Games. As a result of their single-minded focus on achieving their Olympic aspirations, many Olympians require assistance in shifting their mind set from their athletic careers to professional careers.
"The USOC has always been committed to Olympian success before, during, and after the Games," says Scott Blackmun, acting chief executive officer for the USOC. "Monster.com has created unique programs designed to help Olympians increase their level of preparedness by connecting these athletes with mentors and arming them with the necessary tools for the job search process. This preparedness could lessen the feeling of a letdown and make their career management easier."
Olympians Possess Desirable Talents Despite reported career challenges, The Monster.com Olympian Career Study has found that Olympians develop a highly valued set of skills - discipline, work ethic, ability to perform under pressure and team spirit; these qualities can lead to success in the workplace and may be particularly attractive to prospective employers.
Many employers already appreciate the power of the Olympian profile and have capitalized on the desirable skills of Olympians. For example, Home Depot currently employs 140 Winter and Summer Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and has employed 285 athletes since 1992.
"We have found that Olympians are top notch associates who can inspire their co-workers through their team-spiritedness and unwavering discipline," says Mandy Holton, Home Depot spokesperson.
Breakthrough Online Tools for Olympians Connecting with mentors, networking within the Olympic community, and learning the basics of the job search process can help athletes prepare for their post-competitive career.
Monster.com and the USOC have created TeamUSAnet (http://teamusanet.monster.com), the first career management website designed to assist U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls in leveraging their Olympic experience while seeking new career aspirations. This legacy program is an exclusive site that features an assortment of offerings, including:
-- comprehensive resume builder and job search tools -- an Olympic mentoring network including more than 100 mentors -- unique content that caters specifically to Olympians and Olympic hopefuls in their pursuit to apply their athletic experience to the professional arena
"The TeamUSAnet website provides a perfect vehicle for retired Olympians to interact with hopefuls and for Olympians to answer questions about what happens after the Games," says Jim Craig, member of the gold medal winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team and TeamUSAnet mentor. "By communicating with these athletes online, we have been able to share experiences which will hopefully help them to make the most of their Olympic experience and life after the Games. I am glad the USOC and Monster have created programs and initiatives that will improve the lives of Olympians as their athletic careers have ended and their professional careers begin."
Panel Discussion Explores Solution The results of this survey were released today during a panel discussion, which reinforced the need for career management services for Olympic athletes. The panel discussion, facilitated by Monster.com CEO, Jeff Taylor, included "Miracle on Ice" Ice Hockey icon Jim Craig, speed skating legend Eric Heiden, U.S. Olympic Team sport psychologist Sean McCann, three-time Olympian and judo world champion Jimmy Pedro, current super-G world champion Daron Rahlves and freestyle skier hopeful Hannah Hardaway.
The online survey, commissioned by Monster.com, and fielded by Harris Interactive(sm), was completed by over 400 athletes across the country including Olympic hopefuls who have yet to compete in the Games, current Olympians who have competed in the Games and are currently in training, and Olympians no longer competing. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent. To obtain more information on this survey and Monster.com, the official career management sponsor of the 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, or initiatives surrounding their sponsorship, contact Sandy Yusen at 617-272-8317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Monster.com Monster.com, headquartered in Maynard, Mass., is the leading global careers website, recording over 24.9 million unique visits during the month of September 2001 according to independent research conducted by I/PRO. Monster.com connects the most progressive companies with the most qualified career-minded individuals, offering innovative technology and superior services that give them more control over the recruiting process. The Monster.com global network consists of local content and language sites in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg, India, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Finland. Monster.com is the official online career management services sponsor of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and 2002 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams. More information about Monster.com is available at www.monster.com or by calling 1-800-MONSTER.
About TMP Worldwide Founded in 1967, TMP Worldwide Inc., with more than 10,500 employees in 33 countries, is the online recruitment leader, the world's largest Recruitment Advertising agency network, and one of the world's largest Executive Search and Executive Selection agencies. TMP Worldwide, headquartered in New York, is also the world's largest Yellow Pages advertising agency and a provider of direct marketing services. The Company's clients include more than 90 of the Fortune 100 and more than 480 of the Fortune 500 companies. In June 2001, TMP Worldwide was added to the S&P 500 Index. More information about TMP Worldwide is available at www.tmp.com.
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