VP, Public Relations
Sodexo North America
Yesterday the New York Mets announced that they signed Tim Tebow to a minor league baseball contract. It marks a second career for Tebow and it’s just another surprising turn in his unusual sporting history. His story of success, struggles and resilience is one we can learn from in our own careers.
Tebow was a superstar football player in college, winning a Heisman trophy, and two national championships. He was expected to be a superstar in the NFL, too. But, once he got there, he struggled. Tebow spent brief stints with four different NFL teams, but never had much success—or much playing time—with any of them.
After such a bright start, Tebow’s fizzle would have sent many people home to lick their wounds. But instead of giving up on his sports dreams, Tebow only adjusted his a little. For Tebow that meant a new career in baseball, which he said he had loved since he was a kid.
While Tebow’s second career may or may not be a huge success, his willingness to bounce back can teach us an important lesson – setbacks at work don’t have to mean failure if we’re open to learning something new.
Many of us choose a career path when we’re young and pursue it doggedly for years—even when circumstances change, or we don’t find the success we want, or we’re not as happy as we hoped we’d be. If, like Tebow, you chose your path in college, there’s a lot than can change throughout your career. As you get older your interests or your industry might evolve quite a bit.
A whopping 50 percent of workers want to change careers, according to the Huffington Post. This problem becomes more pronounced as people get older. A recent study shows that 80 percent of people over the age of 45 consider changing careers, but only 6 percent actually do.
Why are so many of us so hesitant to actually do it? One reason is that it would open us up to risk. Take Tebow, for example. The media has been snidely skeptical about his career change. After all, the last high-profile, other-sport athlete to try his hand at baseball, NBA great Michael Jordan, spent an unremarkable season with a minor league team before returning to basketball.
But Tebow is ignoring all of that in favor of taking a chance on a new dream. He might fail. He might succeed. But he’s not giving up. Instead, he’s pursuing a new passion and seeing where it leads.
Have you started a second career? Why did you do it and what did you learn? Share your experience in the comments.