Josh Martin

As I sit here staring at empty streets through the window of my Brooklyn apartment, it’s hard not to reflect on how many changes have transpired over the past few weeks.

In general, throughout our developmentboth personal and professionalwe’re taught to accept change. In fact, even the Greek philosopher Eraclitus claimed that, “change is the only constant in life.”

Now, due to Covid-19 complications, we’re all experiencing massive changes including (but not limited to) economic shifts, job layoffs and furloughs, and an overarching sense of fear that have caused us to adjust. 

These changes can be hard to get used to or “embrace,” especially depending on their severity or the damage that they’ve caused.

However, during difficult times, it’s especially important to try to focus on what’s positive. Here are a few tips for how you can make the most out of a not-so-ideal situation, shared by someone who’s focused on how they will pivot their career path post-NFL: 

Why Is It A Struggle to Accept Change?

Let’s take a step back for a second and ask ourselves, at a high level, why is accepting change such a struggle? 

Well, for starters, we’re creatures of habit who crave routine. But if we dig a little deeper, we can discover that our reluctance to accept change boils down to three different things

  1. We are unable to understand how to go about doing it.
  2. We don’t feel we are ready. Or, we’re aware that we have to step out of our comfort zone to be ready, and that feels daunting.
  3. As Gary Vaynerchuk says, we like the idea of the result, but don’t love the process

Regarding football specifically, Covid-19 has affected both fans and players alike. 

The virus has created a massive disruption in players’ routines, schedules, and could have some players’ careers called into question if this coming season becomes cancelled. 

Sure, we don’t know all of the changes that we will face post-pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t do a little legwork on this side of the clock while quarantining to prepare for the pivoting that we’ll endure once we’re able to roam more freely. 

How I’m Thinking of Pivoting My Career Path Post-NFL

It’s no secret that I’ve loved my time as an NFL athlete, my teammates, and the memories that I’ve garnered from my time as a player. 

And to be completely honest, thinking about my life as it moves further away from the field can bring up some uneasy sentiments, especially considering derogatory stats such as, “80% of retired NFL players go broke.”

As I’ve learned how to push fear aside while thinking about this transitional phase, here are 5 simple techniques that I know I’ll consider to be integral throughout the process of pivoting my career path:

5 Techniques That Will Help You Overcome Challenges and Pivot 

1.) Practice Self-Reflection 

As we self-isolate throughout these spring days, allocate parts of this current time for self-reflection. 

Pause and ask yourself the following:

  • What are your interests or hobbies, and what drives you?
  • What would you like to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t been able to yet?
  • What could help you succeed in your desired endeavors? 

2.) Make a List of Goals

Not only will making a list help you to organize your thoughts, but you’re also 42% more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. 

One way that I’ve personally gone about doing this is by identifying different facets of my life that are important to me, including: social activism, community engagement, and food.

Then, think of people whom you admiresubject matter experts and/or influencers in these areasand strategize different ways to get in touch with them. 

3.) Reach Out and Connect with Others

Now’s the perfect time to grow your network, since everyone’s at home right now practicing social distancing and sheltering in place

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and initiate connections. Not only will they appreciate having the opportunity to talk, but you can gain insights from those who have undergone trials and tribulations that are outside of the scope of your experiences. 

4.) Leverage Your Learnings 

Once you’ve conducted a few of these conversations, try to identify common themes or topics that were referenced during these discussions. Then, create a strategy that aligns with the main points that you’ve pinpointed.

To provide a personal example, knowing that I’ll have to make a few life changes post-NFL, I’ve been reaching out to a few people within my network to hear their advice. 

Multiple contacts highlighted the importance of creating content in order to speak to my passions and emphasize my personal brand. So in addition to building this website, I’ve been focused on creating videos, podcasting, and blog production (so prepare yourself for more posts). 

5.) Try to Execute 

You’ve done your research, and you’ve developed a solid game plan. Now’s the time to put it into place—because if you never try, you could regret not knowing whether or not you would have attained success! 

During Difficult Times, It’s Okay to Dream

During difficult times such as the one that we’re currently in, it’s important to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Although recent circumstances may have caused some bumps within your life’s narrative, try to set aside some time to concentrate your energies by focusing on what you can control.

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