Are You a 1st-Round Pick?

Published on 06 April 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Career Building


NFL logo Are You a 1st Round Pick?The NFL draft is right around the corner. In case you don’t care – or don’t have a clue – this is the process in which thirty-two National Football League teams take turns selecting players for their respective teams over the course of seven rounds. When it is all said and done, 224 players will have been selected to compete for the 1,696 starting positions available at the start of next season.

Of those that are drafted, some will make it and some won’t. Which also means that some of last year’s 1,696 starters will get replaced. The NFL is tough and unforgiving. The bottom line is you have to develop your skills and be good enough to contribute on Sundays, or you will be looking for another line of work.

Sound familiar?

If you are looking for a job, you have to develop a skill-set that is compelling to an employer, and you have to convince prospective employers that you are better than other candidates. In the NFL, potential draftees spend months preparing for the draft – improving their performance both in critical positions skills and in raw physical performance (40-yard dash, vertical jump, shuttle run, and so forth).

What exactly are you doing to improve your “draft position?”

Tim Tebow, a high-profile star from the University of Florida, has been widely criticized because of his skills as a quarterback. Despite two national championships and a Heismann Trophy to his credit, Tebow’s skills were seen as marginal to play QB at the pro level so he has been projected as a late-round draft pick at best, perhaps even at a different position.

Tebow, however, wants to play quarterback – so he got help. Former NFL coach Jon Gruden, among others, worked with Tebow to change his throwing motion and improve his footwork. The new, improved Tebow is now projected as a likely second-round pick. The difference in salary? About $1.5 million. A second-round pick will make an average of nearly $2 million while a late round pick will average less than $500,000.

It is time to take a critical look at your skills. Are you better than everyone else, or are you just middle-of-the-road? Do you have specialized or highly-developed skills that ensure you will be a first-rounder, or do you have to hope that somebody takes a chance on you? Candidates that get hired not only have good skills, they typically have demonstrated the willingness to work hard and improve their skills on their own time. Employers love this initiative because it demonstrates accountability – a critical factor in workplace performance.

Work on improving your critical “position skills” – attend classes or workshops, get certified, become an expert. Make yourself indispensable.

You don’t want the draft to end and a team never called.

3 Responses to “Are You a 1st-Round Pick?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by 360JobInterview, 360 Jeff G. 360 Jeff G said: Are You a 1st-Round Pick? [...]

  2. [...] – not only do you need to improve the scope of your job skills at every opportunity (see my last post), but you need to think in terms of positioning yourself [...]

  3. [...] can afford to be that particular.” My standard reply: First, you need to improve your skills, enhance your image, and generally do everything possible to build your personal brand. If you put yourself in a [...]