We highlight five athletes who have already used the IOC ACP to advance their non-sporting careers
The IOC Career+ programme – formerly the Athlete Career Programme (ACP) – has been helping athletes make the transition from sport to a new career since 2005.
Delivered in cooperation with The Adecco Group, Career+ provides resources focusing on three main pillars – education, life skills and employment – while also offering career development, help in identifying existing skills, coaching, and assistance in finding jobs and internships.
Targeting athletes all over the world and of all ages, Career+ has already reached more than 35,000 athletes from over 185 countries. Here are just five of those who have benefited…
The South African rower – who won gold in the lightweight coxless four at the Olympic Games London 2012 – attended an IOC ACP workshop in Johannesburg in 2011, which encouraged him to start planning for his life after sport.
“The session we had about how to develop a career path after retirement from elite competition was a real eye-opener,” he says. “I never really thought or planned my future beyond rowing. It gave me a new focus and a new outlook on life. The workshop exercises also provided me with insights to key skills such as networking and interview technique.”
Turkish boxer Metin Coruk was struggling to find a job to support his sporting ambitions until he received advice from an Adecco Career+ career coach, who showed him how the discipline and dedication he had shown in the boxing ring was transferable to the working world.
“In my boxing life, I’ve benefited from being trained by top professionals, and now the IOC ACP has given me the professional approach required to get between the ropes of the working world with confidence,” he explains. “I’ve now got the best of both worlds – the flexibility to pursue my sporting dreams plus a start on the career ladder which gives me an income, experience and prospects for the long term.”
The former long and triple jumper is currently pursuing her dream of competing in skeleton at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, but she has relied on the IOC Career+ programme to ensure that her long-term career prospects also remain on track.
“When I’m done with the sport, I want to make sure my skills are up to par with everyone else in the market,” she explains. “I don’t want the résumé of a recent graduate who finished eight years earlier; I want to continue to learn and keep current.”
Through Career+, Day was able to find a flexible marketing and events role that often allows her to work remotely – perfect for an athlete who travels regularly.
“The ACP has helped me get a great job and develop my career skills whilst earning a living and still training and competing at the elite level.”
Portuguese race walker Susana Feitor – a veteran of five Olympic Games – was worried about making the transition from sport into work, until she found help through Career+.
“I am going to leave a career that has been my life for 20 years and start another; I want to feel secure and happy in my ‘new skin’,” she says. “The IOC ACP has helped me build self-knowledge beyond the world of sports. I discovered that I possess skills that will help me in professional life. It’s also helped me better balance the competing interests of competition, training, study, friends and family. I have started building a network of contacts that will put me on the road to success in professional life and I can see the value the programme brings to athletes seeking to transition to a working life after sport.”
It is not only athletes reaching the end of their careers who can benefit from the IOC Career+ programme – young athletes like Swiss javelin thrower Nathalie Meier, who competed at the Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010, are also finding the resources helpful as they try to develop a dual career combining sport and work.
“The IOC ACP sessions have helped build my confidence about my work prospects,” she says. “I now realise that the skills I have developed balancing sport and education, as well as the teamwork approach I have developed with my javelin team-mates and coach, will be a valued asset in the workplace. I’m aiming high in sport, work and life, and the IOC ACP gives me the support and knowledge I need.”