Your next best move may be to continue to “bloom in place” and get better at each area of your job. You might just desire to handle the demands of your current coaching position and still have a life outside of the profession. You may even decide to get off the coaching carousel altogether and do a little bit of soul searching. Researching and just getting energized to make a run at it again. It’s your decision, not anyone else. It’s important that once you make this decision to act upon it with passion and integrity.
Coaching Carousel: Research for higher probability.
The off-season is the best time of the year to work on your next job. Schedule some time to research and fully understand where you are a “fit.” Doing this exercise on your own time is generally best and make sure to block off the time so you are not interrupted. Look into the following areas…
Regarding “fit”, Is there a region of the country where you are a better fit for a position? What type of staff do you best work with? Fit may be assessed on your connections, your accent, style or just the type of place you feel most at home. I’ve had a few friends in the profession that stay on a job even though they don’t have the same philosophy as the head coach or their co-workers… that can be professional suicide! Trust me, to stay in the business among co-workers that are not aligned with your values is a one-way ticket to being miserable.
In the type of job you aspire, who is actually the decision-maker? The athletic director, the head football coach, the principal? And, what is this person’s background?
How about looking into prospective jobs that could open at the end of the season?
If you are searching for a head coaching job that may be a bit easier. All you have to do is see what programs are under-performing and have run their course in building the program. From there, you can look into who the decision maker may be and see if you have common ground.
I would not in any way approach these individuals. Why? Because, if they are taking communication from coaches regarding a job opening that isn’t even open, what does that tell you about working for them 3-5 years down the road? Your job security may not be what you want when you are always looking over your shoulder. Ideally, you want a trustworthy individual as your boss.
With that being said, most decision-makers already have their short list of candidates for each position in their program. I know that if I decide to take a head coaching job, I already have a list of 3 candidates for every assistant coaching position. And, as a head coach, I always knew who I would hire if I lost an assistant coach.
So, if you shouldn’t contact these decision makers, how in the world can you ever land a job working for them?
In most cases, it’s about your closest circle of influencers that can help you to get in on the job you aspire. Think about it, who is that very short list of people you are very close to that will help you and you would help them as well? A great book that explains this concept is The Power of Who, by Bob Beaudine. In essence, networking is just the opposite of what most football coaches think it is…